NRF Rating | Research Support

National Research Foundation - Rating


"The NRF rating system is a key driver in the NRF’s aim to build a globally competitive science system in South Africa. It is a valuable tool for benchmarking the quality of our researchers against the best in the world.  NRF ratings are allocated based on a researcher’s recent research outputs and impact as perceived by international peer reviewers. The rating system encourages researchers to publish high quality outputs in high impact journals/outlets. Rated researchers as supervisors will impart cutting-edge skills to the next generation of researchers.

The rating of individuals is based primarily on the quality and impact of their research outputs over the past eight years, taking into consideration the evaluation made by local and international peers. It identifies researchers who count among the leaders in their fields of expertise and gives recognition to those who constantly produce high quality research outputs. Several South African universities use the outcomes of the NRF evaluation and rating process to position themselves as research-intensive institutions, while others provide incentives for their staff members to acquire and maintain a rating and give special recognition to top-rated researchers." National Research Foundation


NRF Rating application

There are four types of applications:

This applies to researcher who have never applied for rating before or researchers whose application had been withdrawn before it was processed.


Re-evaluation by invitation

Researchers who are currently rated will be invited by the NRF to submit the relevant documents for re-evaluation in the fifth year of their cycle.  If the rating was successful, the new rating will be valid on 1 January of the next year.



When a researcher chose not to respond to the re-evaluation by invitation and whose ratings are no longer valid, or whose application rating was unsuccessful more than three or more years ago.


Special re-evaluation

In some cases, an applicant may apply for a special re-evaluation sooner than the five year cycle if an applicant has shown such progress that the existing rating is inconsistent with the applicant’s present rating. A newly prepared application must be submitted to the NRF, together with a motivation from the appropriate authority.


Please note that the campus process should be completed before you can submit your application for a NRF Rating. Electronical applications can be submitted here.

For any further information or assistance, please contact Ms Buyi Ntaka


NRF rated researchers

A – Leading international researchers

Prof Richard Haynes - Centre of Excellence for Pharmaceutical Sciences

Prof Marius Potgieter - Centre for Space Research, School of Physical and Chemical Sciences

B – Internationally acclaimed researchers

Dr Alexander Avdeenkov - HySA DST Center

Prof Etienne Barnard - School of Information Technology

Prof Markus Boettcher - Center for Space Research

Prof Adri Burger - School of Physical and Chemical Sciences

Prof Lourens du Plessis - Development in the SA Constitutional State

Prof Eno Ebenso - Department of Chemistry,  Research Entity MaSIM

Prof Stefan Ferreira - Centre for Space Research

Prof John Gouws - Research Unit

C – Established researchers

Dr Sandra Barnard - Plant Sciences

Dr Paul Beukes - Earth Sciences

Prof Kobus du Pisani - Historical Studies

Prof Willemien du Plessis - Law

Prof Louis du Preez - Animal and Veterinary Sciences

Prof Jan du Preez - Health Sciences

Prof Hinaunye Eita - Economics

Prof Minrie Greef - Health Sciences

Prof Cara Jonker - Economics, Management, Administration and Accounting

Prof Pierre Jordaan - Religious Studies and Theology

Prof Elsa Mentz - Education

Prof Victor Mlambo - Animal and Veterinary Sciences

Prof Andries Monyeki - Health Sciences

Prof Oladejo Olowu - Law

Prof Robbie Robinson - Law

Prof Melville Saayman - Economics, Management, Administration and Accounting

Prof Abiodun Salawu - Communication, Media Studies, Library and Information

Prof Marius Smuts - Health Sciences

Prof Felix Spanier - Physics

Prof Dewald van Niekerk - Economics, Management, Administration and Accounting

Prof Johannes van Rooyen - Health Sciences

Prof Francois Viljoen - Religious Studies and Theology

Prof Mike Weyers - Religious Studies and Theology

Prof Lesley Wood - Education

P – Prestigious Awards

No new or re-evaluated rated researchers

Y – Promising young researchers

Dr Avitus Agbor - Law

Prof Anel du Plessis - Law

Dr Elvis Fosso Kankeu - Biochemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology

Prof Tumi Khumalo - Psychology

Dr Lesetja Legoabe - Health Sciences

Pof Clovis Oukouomi Noutchie - Mathematical Sciences

Dr Anel Petzer - Health Sciences