Research and Innovation


The intensification of our research and innovation activity is key to realising our dream of moving from being a balanced teaching and research university towards being a more research-intensive institution. We strive to be an inter­nationally recognised university in Africa, distinguished for engaged scholarship, social responsiveness and an ethic of care. The objective is to make an impact in research focus areas, attract enhanced funding and the best research and innovation staff, and take advantage of commercialisation opportunities. Our research and innovation model requires the NWU to focus on specific themes, which we develop as areas of research excellence for the university. This method is likely to result in the delivery of research and innovation projects with greater impact. Research and innovation foci of excellence are reviewed regularly to realise opportunities emanating from new areas identified as priorities.



Around the world

"In the rankings, the research influence of a university is measured by the number of times that work by an academic at that university is cited by another scholar. The effect of research influence on your university experience is similar to the effect of research quality.Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings explained.

See how the NWU ranks globally.

On the home front

"Research is to see what everybody else has seen, and to think what nobody else has thought...Albert Szent-Györgyi

The NWU is home to some of the best research powerhouses in Africa. Nestled within our faculties are research chairs, centres of excellence and more.

Read about our faculty-based entities.

Our NRF-rated researchers

"The National Research Foundation (NRF) promotes South African research and innovation interests across the country and internationally..." NRF

The NWU aims to foster the perfect environment to help our researchers transition into globally recognised researchers.

Meet our NRF-rated researchers.

Ask our experts

Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.” Booker T. Washington 

Our experts are specialists in their fields. Demonstrated experience and success are why media outlets frequently trust our experts to provide opinion pieces or to comment on current events.

Meet our experts.

Research news

Meet NWU researchers