On Thursday, 11 November 2021, the Directorate of Research and Innovation hosted a successful virtual and physical workshop in preparation for the 2022 submission of applications for the NRF Evaluation and Rating. UNIVEN has started considering creative ways to operate physically again in pursuing academic activities. Initially, NRF Evaluation and Rating preparation workshop is organised annually in order to prepare applicants through the process of applying for consideration which will close on the 28 February 2022.
In his opening remarks addressing 16 prospective applicants for 2022 submission, Senior Professor Georges Ekosse, Director of Research and Innovation, alluded to the fact that being rated would be a benefit which would give an added advantage of joy and self-actualisation to researchers at UNIVEN.
More than 60% of UNIVEN research output is generated by the rated researchers through their significant research contributions.
The University of Venda is continuing to experience numerical growth of NRF rated researchers from 01 in 2008 to 32 in 2021. The rated researchers contribute quantifiably to the Research Publications Outputs of the university.
The facilitation of the 2021 was organised in a way that it was both virtual and physical workshop. Mrs. Joyce Olivier, Director of Reviews and Evaluation, National Research Foundation (NRF) started her facilitation virtually from 09:00 to 13:00 and Senior Professor GE Ekosse, Director of Research and Innovation who conducted his facilitation physically from 14:00 to 17:00.
Mrs. Joyce Olivier, Director: Reviews and Evaluation, National Research Foundation (NRF).
According to Mrs. Olivier, all people affiliated with NRF recognised institutions, whether permanently employed researchers or academics or fixed term contract researchers are eligible to apply for evaluation and rating. There are seven (7) steps in preparation for rating that applicants should take into consideration, which are as follows:
Step 1: Update CV (Your Details and Your CV);
Step 2: Create Application and complete Rating Application Specific Fields (Pay special attention to select your fields of specialization as they appear in the invitation to the reviewer);
Step 3: Add “Own Contribution” for multi-authored Research Outputs (This field will only become available after you have created a rating application. The system will not allow anyone to submit unless this field is completed for every research output);
Step 4: Complete Narrative Fields;
Step 5: Select “Best Five” Research Outputs (Be circumspect in your choices, do not select keynotes PowerPoints);
Step 6: Attach copies of the “Best Five” (Be sure to select the correct attachments for those selected in step 5 above – if the attachment and the entry do not correspond GMSA will reject your application); and
Step 7: Select Primary Panel and Reviewers (Do not select close collaborators or reviewers not working in your field, motivate well why you have chosen them).
The NRF Evaluation and Rating applicants play a very crucial role to get the best possible outcome by giving special attention to these steps.
Senior Professor Ekosse, Director of Research and Innovation and Dr Tendai Chari, Senior Lecturer, Department of English, Media Studies and Linguistics, sharing their personal experiences of being rated researchers in guiding the new applicants.
In selecting the “Best Five” Research Outputs according to step 5 above, Dr. Chari believes that “it is advisable to select outputs that speaks to researchers’ area of their specialisation or niche area. Hence, the selection of peer reviewers should be sufficiently familiar with the field of study (field of specialisation(s)) of the applicant is also important.
In conclusion, several South African universities use the outcomes of the NRF evaluation and rating process to position themselves as research-intensive institutions, while others like UNIVEN provide incentives for their staff members to acquire and maintain a rating and give special recognition to the current 32 rated researchers.
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University of Venda
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Date: 23 November 2021