SAEF Academic attends Research Panel Discussion
Assessing grant applications for aspiring researchers was on the agenda at the Economic Management and Actuarial Sciences (EMAS) Advisory Panel Meeting attended by Applied Economics Lecturer Dr Gerry Bokana recently.
The aim of the meeting, hosted by the National Research Foundation (NRF) in Pretoria, was to unite scholars from different South African universities, who can use their expertise to assist the NRF in reviewing, assessing, evaluating and recommending applicants for funding.
Having been part of the forum in 2016, Bokana was able to execute his role as the Chairperson with ease as he was able to ensure a healthy and active discussion regarding each and every application while allocating adequate time for each one.
Bokana emphasised the importance of such discussions and explained that the NRF has three highly competitive discipline based funding instruments which support both basic and applied research as the foundation of knowledge production.
‘The three funding instruments that govern this assessment process are Competitive Programme for Rated Researchers (CPRR), Competitive Support for Unrated Researchers (CSUR) and the Research Development Grant for Y-rated Researchers which all achieve the mandate of the NRF which is to support and promote research through funding and human resource development,’ said Bokana.
‘These NRF funding instruments encourage transformation and equity as all applications have student financial support. Therefore, these funding instruments benefit students as they will participate in their research whether as fieldworkers, data capturers, data analysts or become formal researchers as honours, masters, doctoral students or postdoctoral fellowship’ he added.
When asked about how he finds time to balance being a lecturer and attending events such as the panel meeting, Bokana acknowledges that it is within an academic’s responsibility to be involved in community engagement initiatives and that the NRF was effective in communicating with the panel members enabling him to plan out his day to day activities.
‘My aspirations are mainly to improve my research profile and my supervision capacities and skills, specifically for the masters, doctoral and postdoctoral levels, with the view of becoming an NRF rated researcher. Being involved with the NRF encourages knowledge transfer and creates opportunity for research collaboration,’ said Bokana.
Words by: Sibonelo Shinga