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SA-Japan (JSPS) Joint Research Mobility Call (2025 – 2026)

Background

On 28 August 2003, South Africa signed an agreement on cooperation in science and technology with Japan, followed two years later by a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the National Research Foundation (NRF) and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). The implementation of the NRF/JSPS MoU led to annual cycles of joint research funding between the two countries. Following eighteen successful joint calls for proposals, between 2005 and 2023 the NRF is pleased to announce the 20th call in 2024, and herewith invite all interested parties to submit their applications, by a date no later than that indicated.

Aims of the programme

  • Contribute to scientific advancement in both countries through the funding of joint research activities in specified research fields;
  • Provide an opportunity for young researchers in the two countries to meet and interact;
  • Support the advancement of basic research; and
  • Contribute meaningfully to research capacity development.
Areas of Cooperation

This call will only support Joint research proposals within the Social Sciences, Natural Sciences and the Humanities. Please note that for South Africa, joint projects by historically disadvantaged institutions and individuals (HDIs) that involve young scientists and pay attention to a balanced involvement of female and male researchers (gender equality), will be positively considered and will receive a higher rating.

Eligibility criteria

An application must designate two principal investigators, one in South Africa and one in Japan, who will bear the main responsibility for the project, including its technical and administrative coordination as well as scientific and financial reporting. Commercial institutions and private education institutions are not eligible to apply under this programme.

South Africa:

  • This call is open to working researchers residing in South Africa and affiliated with a recognised higher education or research institution such as a university, university of technology, or science council. The South African applicant must have a PhD.
  • Proposals submitted by an applicant based at a historically advantaged institution without a research partner from an HDI will be ineligible and will not be submitted for review. The research partner from an HDI, in this case, can serve as a co-applicant in the proposal. Please note that co applicants are also required to have a PhD.
  • Applicants based at an HDI, science council (including any of the NRF research facilities), and South
  • Africa’s two new universities (i.e. Sol Plaatje and Mpumalanga) can act as PIs and submit proposals without the involvement of and/or partnering with researchers based at historically advantaged and disadvantaged institutions if they so wish.
  • Only the following eight universities will be recognised as HDI in line with the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) Ministerial Statement on university funding: University of Limpopo (UL), University of Fort Hare (UFH), University of Venda (Univen), Walter Sisulu University (WSU), University of the Western Cape (UWC), University of Zululand (UniZulu), Mangosuthu University of Technology (MUT), and Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (SMU).
  • Joint projects involving young researchers (through reciprocal research visits and mini sabbaticals), postdoctoral fellows, and paying attention to government equity targets by ensuring a balanced involvement of female and black researchers will be positively considered and receive a higher rating.
  • Each PI is allowed to submit only one proposal, under penalty of exclusion.
  • Former PIs are welcome to participate in the call however, the project should not be a continuation of the current/past project.
Funding regulations

Funding will be available for a maximum of two years for activities within collaborative research projects jointly developed and completed by researchers on both sides. In both countries, all the approved projects will obtain funding support from the two parties in terms of the cost of activities mentioned above. Apart from the financial support from the two parties, institutions and universities in both countries are encouraged to solicit other funding resources.

South Africa:

The total amount of funding requested from the NRF should not exceed R900 000 (R450 000 per annum). Funding will be made available for a maximum of two years, to be paid in annual installments and exclusively for research activities commencing in 2025.

Application procedure

The onus is on the applicant to find their research partner. Proposals must be received in both Japan and South Africa. Proposals that have only been received in either South Africa or Japan, but not both countries, will not be considered for funding. The call process is highly competitive therefore application does not guarantee funding. The evaluation of applications from both countries should have positive ratings before consideration for funding. Neither the NRF nor JSPS will be held responsible for the non-submission of the application in the partner country.

South Africa:

Applications must be submitted through an online application process to the NRF through the link: https://nrfconnect.nrf.ac.za

?Please make use of the ‘General Application Guide 2024’ for assistance on the steps to follow when applying for international research grants. The link to the guide is available on this webpage: https://www.nrf.ac.za/nrf-call-for-proposals-for-funding-in-2024-and-2025/.

Institutional Closing Date: 09 September 2024

(Guidelines)

Date created: 2024-06-2711:57:38