NRF Evaluation & Rating - North

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Transcript NRF Evaluation & Rating - North

Prof. Robert Morrell, UCT Research Office
Presentation to North West University
28 February 2014
What is an NRF rating?
• Assessment of your recent research track
• Based on the quality of your research
• International peer-review system.
Why be rated?
• Access to NRF funding for 6 years.
• Benchmarking. Assist NWU to
improve its research profile.
• Maintain publishing record.
NRF rating categories
Y, P
Researchers who show
to become established.
C, B, A
Established researchers.
NRF rating categories: Definitions
Researchers who are
unequivocally recognised by their
peers as leading international
scholars in their field for the high
quality and impact of their recent
research outputs.
Researchers who enjoy
considerable international
recognition … for the high quality
and impact of their recent
NRF rating categories: Definitions
Established researchers with a
sustained recent record of
productivity in the field.
NRF rating categories: Definitions
Young researchers (normally younger than 35 years of
age; doctorate or equivalent less than five years)
who…are considered likely to become future leaders in
their field.
NRF rating categories: Definitions
Young researchers (40 years or
younger; doctorate or equivalent
less than five years) who are
recognised as having the potential
to establish themselves as
researchers within a five-year
period after evaluation.
Rating unsuccessful (a dreaded
outcome!). If you are not successful
with your rating application, you will
receive this verdict and will have to
wait for THREE years before you can
apply again.
Timing your Rating application
• For a Y/P rating eligibility to apply is not altogether clear.
Postdoctoral fellows were NOT eligible this year but might be
in the next cycle.
• There is no absolute number of research outputs that will
determine when you are ready to apply and you need to make
a calculation of quality vs quantity in answering the Question:
Does my research work indicate that I have the potential to be
an established researcher?
Timing your rating application (2)
• To apply for a ‘senior’ NRF rating (C,B,A) you need to ask
yourself whether you’re established or internationally
recognised or an international leader.
• You can answer this by looking at your research outputs in the
last 8 years. Have you published in high-impact, international
journals? Have you led research projects and raised research
funding as a PI? Have you been invited to international
conferences, given plenary or keynote addresses? Has your
research work had impact (what are your bibliometrics)?
Planning for Rating
Do you have a research and publishing strategy?
What and where are you publishing?
Are you developing a coherent research niche?
Do you have research partners and international
• What are you doing to develop a research profile?
Research Strategy
• Balance between conference presentations, local journal
articles, international journal articles, review articles, book
chapters, edited books, monographs.
• Research output and the creative arts? Engineering? ICT?
Policy research?
• Impact Factors and citations.
How is your application processed?
Submission of scholarly achievements
Specialist Committee
Not accepted
Selection of 6 peers/reviewers
Reviewers’ reports
Specialist Committee
Joint meeting
How is your application processed? [2]
Joint meeting
B, C, Y
Inform Applicant
No Consensus
A, P recommendation
Appeals Committee
• Applicants are given the opportunity to nominate their own
• They are also given the opportunity to indicate who should not be
• A mix of national and international reviewers is appropriate in most
• Ideological differences within disciplines in the social sciences and
humanities could confound the selection of suitable peers.
However, reports by peers in such instances should be identifiable
and treated appropriately by wise panel members.
What do reviewers comment on?
• Quality of research outputs over the
review period (last eight years).
• Impact of research outputs on the field.
• Standing as a researcher, nationally and
• Coherence of researcher’s work.
Information required by NRF
• Personal details
• Biographical sketch (1 page)
• Career profile
• Description of completed
research (2 pages)
• Self-assessment (1 page)
• Qualifications obtained
• Research expertise
• Ongoing and planned future
research (1 page)
• Six nominated reviewers
Research outputs of last eight
years (2006-2013)
• Five best recent research
outputs (in the review period)
• Ten best research outputs prior
to review period
• Assessment panel(s)
• Publications in peer-reviewed
• Technical reports
• Books/chapters in books
• Patents, artefacts and products
• Peer-reviewed published
conference proceedings
• Keynote/Plenary addresses
• Other significant conference
• Other recognised research
• Best outputs from students
supervised in last 8 years
Emphasis on peer-review and
accessibility of outputs to reviewers
Definition of research
• For purposes of the NRF, research is original investigation undertaken to gain
knowledge and/or enhance understanding.
• Research specifically includes:
• the creation and development of the intellectual infrastructure of subjects and
(e.g. through dictionaries, scholarly editions, catalogues and contributions to
major research databases);
• the invention or generation of ideas, images, performances and artefacts where
these manifestly embody new or substantially developed insights;
• building on existing knowledge to produce new or substantially improved
materials, devices, products, policies or processes.
• It specifically excludes:
• routine testing and analysis of materials, components, instruments and
processes, as distinct from the development of new analytical techniques.
• the development of teaching materials and teaching practices that do not
embody substantial original enquiry.