NRF Community Engagement Program, South Africa

NRF Community Engagement Program, South Africa

The Community Engagement Programme is a competitive programme, which provides the space for research that contributes both to knowledge production within the ambit of community engagement (here community is defined in its broadest sense); as well as research on the processes and dynamics of engagement from the perspective of the higher education sector. To further elaborate, the programme is aimed at supporting and providing the enabling conditions for higher education institutions to come to grips with some of the philosophical and conceptual challenges associated with the dynamics of community engagement and social responsiveness, as a field of research enquiry

Objectives of the programme:

To sharpen and mainstream the higher education sector’s response to community engagement as a third pillar of academic activity (Hall: 2009).
To facilitate the development of robust theoretical and conceptual positions on community engagement in the South African context; and thereby stimulate and contribute to contemporary debates on the issue.
To create new forms of knowledge in this area.
Key features of the programme:

Research, which contributes to deeper theoretical, philosophical and conceptual orientations of community engagement from a higher education perspective.
Research which interrogates the complex interplay and processes of engagement; that is, the various ways in which knowledge is produced, assimilated and utilized through interactions and relationships with communities.
Case studies, typologies, appreciative inquiry about community engagement and community assessments.
Key assumptions underpinning the programme:

The conception, definition or meaning ascribed to the notion of “community” is not universal or pre-determined in the programme; it may be the focus of the project; and will depend on how each project defines it.
An exploration of community engagement implies that communities (however defined) have roles and agency in a reciprocal set of relations.

Rated and unrated researchers are eligible for funding in this programme, in accordance with the strategy and eligibility criteria, as set out in the call guide, for funding commencing in 2011, for a period up to 3 years.

Applicants are invited to submit proposals on the NRF interim system ( Please select the Community Engagement Programme under “Create New Application”.

Scholarship Application Deadline: 29 October 2010

AWARD NOTIFICATION: December 2010 for commencement of funding in 2011.

Please direct all enquiries to:

Mr Martin Tjatji
Grant Officer
GMSA: Strategic Knowledge Fields
Tel: +27 (0) 12 481 4126
Fax: +27 (0) 86 562 9590
Ms Mpho More
Liaison Officer GMSA: Strategic Knowledge Fields
Tel: +27 (0) 12 481 4269
Fax: +27 (0) 86 647 7742
For more details go to:

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