National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF)

Criteria of Assessment

The criteria for evaluation of nominees are clearly laid out in the relevant nomination forms.

Forms should be completed between Stage 1 and Stage 2 of the process. Examples of the nomination forms can be viewed and downloaded here below, in order for nominators to see what information is required. These are examples only and should not to be filled in. The relevant nomination form will be made available to the nominator in Word format, once Stage 1 (registration) has been completed. For information purposes, the following criteria broadly apply.

All categories

The following criteria broadly apply to assessing all categories of the awards:

Section 1

Background and contribution to the advancement of science/technological innovation/new knowledge generated:

  • The inputs to this contribution
  • The research process (where applicable)
  • The development process (where applicable)

Section 2

Outputs – What has been done with this contribution:

Outputs – What has been done with this contribution:

  • The outputs (as a summary which does not need to include the detail given under subsequent bullets)
  • The practical application/ implementation/impact and commercial or economic impact where there has been such.
  • Relevance to South Africa and its people and resultant contribution to science, engineering and technology (SET) policy
  • Publications (in the Innovation category this information is regarded as incidental)
  • Promotion of public understanding of SET or science engagement

Section 3

Students, education and development of human capital, sustainability and recognition

  • Supervision of students where applicable and promotion of education in this field as a contribution to the public understanding of SET (this is more for incidental information in the Innovation categories and the Communication category and less critical to the assessment)
  • Social and economic sustainability
  • National and international impact and recognition

Examples of nomination forms

The interpretation of criteria in relation to each of the awards is clarified in the examples of the nomination forms below.

1.  Awards for individuals for contributions to SET and innovation:

  • Lifetime Award: contribution over a lifetime
  • TW Kambule-NSTF Awards: Researchers for research and its outputs
  • TW Kambule-NSTF Awards: Emerging Researchers for research and its outputs
  • Management Award: contribution through management of SET and innovation and related activities

3. NSTF-Water Research Commission (WRC) Award: towards sustainable water management, knowledge generation and solutions

6. Science Diplomacy for Africa Award 

7. Data for research Award: for advancing the availability, management and re-use of research data

8. Innovation Awards: for innovations and their research and/or development

  • Through a Corporate organisation, or
  • A small, medium or micro enterprise (SMME)

9. Communication Award: for outreach and creating awareness of SET and innovation

10. NGO Award

11. Special Annual Theme Award

Additional Criteria

Certain additional criteria apply to specific awards categories. This can be viewed on the relevant award category pages.

Individual Researchers  and Related Activities Awards

Engineering Research Capacity Development Awards

NSTF-Water Research Commission Award

NSTF-SAMRC Clinician-Scientist Award

Green Economy

Science Diplomacy

Data for Research Award

Awards for Innovation and their Research and/or Development

Science Communication Award

Non-Govermental Organisation (NGO) Award

Special Annual Theme Award: RDI for 4IR technologies

NSTF-South32 Awards


The NSTF welcomes collaboration with other organisations, such as those they have been in partnerships with for many years:

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