South Africa’s National Research Foundation will slash funding for top researchers as it re-envisions its programs for “rated” researchers
Currently, the foundation uses a rating system for researchers—those who earn high marks earn multi-year funding
Starting in January, there will be no more multi-year grants, and the amount that top-rated scientists can earn will be cut dramatically with no further funding
Why the sudden change? According to an article on Business Live, National Research Foundation CEO Molapo Qhobela said that the foundation just didn’t have enough money
Between 2008 and 2017, the number of rated researchers increased from 1,684 to 3,689. The Foundation was going to increase funding for those researchers who earned a “Y” (promising young researcher) or “P” (prestigious award) rating
In the article, DA higher education spokeswoman Belinda Bozzoli, a former A-rated researcher and former chair of the board of the National Research Foundation said, “I know scientists who are absolutely gobsmacked. I am asking them [National Research Foundation] to rethink this plan in the light of the hundreds of the best researchers who are going to be deprived of funding and left disillusioned with the National Research Foundation. I am confident they can come up with a less drastic and punitive plan.
The foundation’s deputy CEO for research and innovation, Gansen Pillay said, “We are doing the responsible thing and mitigating the financial risk going into the future.”
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