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 :
  • The outputs
  • The practical application/implementation/impact and commercial or economic impact
  • 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 Nomination Forms below.
  1. Awards for individuals for contributions to science, engineering and technology (SET):
  • 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

2. Awards for engineering research capacity development

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

4. NSTF-SAMRC Scientist-clinician award

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

1O. Innovation awards: for innovations and their research and/or development

  • Through a Corporate organisation, or
  • Small, medium and micro enterprise (SMME)

11. Communication award: for outreach and creating awareness of SET and innovation

12. NGO Award

Additional Criteria

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

Individual Research Awards

Awards for individuals for research and related activities

There are four sub-categories for individuals only, in research and its outputs and related fields. Contributions over a lifetime, research and its outputs for researchers and emerging researchers, as well as for management of SET and Innovation and related activities over defined periods. The South African Young  Academy of Science (SAYAS) is sponsoring prize money for the  emerging researcher awards 

Engineering Research Capacity Development Awards

NSTF has partnered with Eskom in recognising  individuals who have, over the past 5 to 10 years, demonstrated outstanding leadership in increasing the participation of engineers and technologists in further research in their chosen SET fields.

NSTF-Water Research Commission Award

The NSTF partnered with the Water Research Commission (WRC)  on this  award that acknowledges outstanding contributions towards sustainable water management, knowledge generation and solutions, made over the last 5 to 10 years

NSTF-SAMRC Clinician-Scientist Award

The NSTF is partnering with the SA Medical Research Council on this new award which is being made to a clinician-scientist, The  award is modelled on the individual emerging researcher sub-category, i.e. a contribution through research and its outputs over a period of up to 6 years of research work from the commencement 

of the research career, predominantly in South Africa focussed on work to enhance life and to improve the health of the community

Green Economy

This Award is made for an outstanding contribution to SET and innovation in SA towards achieving biodiversity conservation, environmental sustainability and a greener economy.

Data for Research Award

NSTF Award for an
outstanding contribution
to SET and innovation to an individual or a team for
advancing the availability, management and re-use
of research data

Awards for Innovation and their Research and/or Development

The NSTF partnered with the National Intellectual Property Management Office (NIPMO) on the award for an SMME. The Innovation Awards are made to teams,  individuals or SMMEs(through a corporate organisation and an SMME) or working independently, who have made outstanding contributions to SET through innovations and their impacts, over the last 5 to 10 years. For assessment of these awards, underlying research and/or development is taken into account where applicable.

Science Communi-cation Award

The award recognises a communicator who has made an outstanding contribution to
SET through a substantial
impact in terms of
public awareness of

Non-Govermental Organisation (NGO) Award

The NSTF NGO Award is for any non-governmental organisation (NGO) which has made an outstanding contribution to SET and innovation in South Africa, including technology transfer and education/training activities

Special Annual Theme Award: Ocean Sciences for Sustainable Development

For 2023 this Award is made for an outstanding contribution to
science, engineering and technology (SET) and
Innovation from research
and development in the
Ocean Sciences for
 Sustainable Development.

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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