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