Monitoring & Evaluation
Enhancing the quality of research in South Africa
Evaluation and rating
Reviewer Information
Online submission of reviews
Guidelines and instructions to reviewers

Reviewers are approached to assist the NRF to assess an applicant's research by considering his/her submission and by appraising the quality of the research outputs generated by him/her over the past eight years. Reviewers are requested to write a concise appraisal by giving their opinion on the applicant's standing as a researcher, since the NRF attempts to establish that standing both broadly in the discipline and specifically in the research field. Applicants are evaluated as researchers in their own right, independent of research proposals. Evaluations should based on critical comments (both positive and negative) of applicants' research achievements and outputs.

Online submission of reviews

Reviewers are contacted by email and are requested to submit their appraisals via the NRF's online submission system.

Should reviewers not have access to the Internet they are also welcome to submit their reports via email. The NRF, however, encourages reviewers to make use of the online submissions system wherever possible.

Guidelines and instructions to reviewers on the completion of a rating evaluation
When completing your review, kindly devote the better part of your evaluation to the issues addressed in the second item "Appraisal of past research outputs" and the third item "Estimation of research standing". Your report should ideally be between 400 and 800 words in length (i.e. between one and one and a half A4 pages).

1. Knowledge of applicant
Please indicate whether:
  you know the applicant personally;
  you have previously encountered the applicant’s work, for example by having heard aspects of the work presented at a conference;
  you have read any of the applicant's work before being asked to undertake this appraisal, or subsequently;
  you have cited any of the applicant's work.

2. Appraisal of past research outputs
  Please focus your critique specifically on the quality of the research outputs over the past eight years. Discuss the impact, if any, you feel that the applicant's work has had on its specific research field, and whether it has impacted on other fields.
  Evaluative judgements which are related to specific aspects of the applicant's work are of particular value to us.
  It is not necessary to provide a quantitative summary of outputs (for example, a count of publications in refereed journals, published conference proceedings, etc.) nor a detailed exposition of the content of the research.
  Your opinion on the standing and appropriateness of the journals, books, conference proceedings and other forms of research outputs which the applicant may have listed would be very useful.
  If the research outputs are those of a group, kindly assess the applicant's contribution to the group's work if you are able to.
  If you are able to, please describe any impact the research outputs may have had on industry or society.

3. Estimation of research standing
Estimation of the applicant's current standing as a researcher: Please indicate how you would rate the applicant relative to peers in the field. If possible, comment on both national (usually South African, though some of our applicants may have conducted their recent research in another country) and international standing. We are evaluating the applicant's current standing, so please base your judgement primarily on the research outputs of the last eight years.

Assessment Panels would appreciate comments on the size of the applicant's research field (for example, by the number of researchers working in it), and on the current importance of the field of the applicant's research within the discipline.

4. Feedback to applicant
Most applicants indicate that they would appreciate receiving feedback from the evaluation process. We may therefore wish to provide edited abstracts from your report. The feedback will always be anonymous, as it is the NRF’s policy to keep the source of appraisals confidential. However, we will respect your position if you do not wish any feedback to be given. 


Page last updated: 16 October 2009