Knowledge, Interchange & Collaboration (KIC) Scientific Events / Travel Grants 2015 - First Call

Closing Date: 3 April 2015


In a globalised world, the internationalisation of research is imperative for the competitiveness of any country. While international collaboration has always been an intrinsic part of the research and innovation (R&I) endeavour, the forces of competitiveness and globalisation are accelerating the scope, pace and importance of cross-border R&I, strengthened by directed partnerships both within and outside of South Africa. Stakeholders around the world are working to internationalise their R&I efforts, driven by the need to establish a global reputation, to access global knowledge and expertise, and to mobilise new resources. 

Striving towards an internationally competitive science, technology and innovation system is one of the strategic performance goals of the National Research Foundation’s (NRF) Vision. The essential purpose of this intervention is to build and maintain excellence in South African research, rather than to only facilitate international collaboration. The promotion of international collaboration through the support of travel opportunities and participation in scientific events, enriched by national learning opportunities and engagements, are important mechanisms towards this goal.  

The Knowledge, Interchange and Collaboration (KIC) instrument was therefore established to contribute to the following objectives:

  • internationalising South Africa’s research platform;
  • enhancing networking within the global science system; 
  • fostering collaboration in order to improve the quality of research outputs by researchers.

Within the NRF funding context, the internationalisation of research is an intrinsic part of the current funding instruments, built into research grants awarded through programmes such as Competitive Funding for Rated Researchers, the South African Research Chairs Initiatives (SARChI), and the Centres of Excellence (CoE) Programme. Therefore, funding for KIC support are prioritised for those researchers who have not already been allocated travel support through any other current NRF grant awards. 


The investment in support for travel and participation in scientific events are focused in four categories:

Travel Grants for Individual Researchers: The applicants in this category are the individual South Africa-based researchers (young or established researchers) travelling either locally or internationally. The funding requested will be to support local and international travel related to research activities such as presentations of keynote lectures or papers and/or posters at conferences, seminars, symposia, workshops, etc. Advanced PhD students can apply (through their supervisors), and be recognised as young researchers. 

Visiting Foreign Researcher: The applicants in this category are South Africa-based researchers requesting funding to host research leaders from abroad for a short period (up to three weeks) in South Africa in order to enrich local expertise in their field.

Africa Interaction: The applicants in this category are South Africa-based researchers intending to visit universities or research organisations in African countries in order to build capacity and to promote future collaboration, and/or to strengthen existing collaborations.

Support for Local Scientific Events: The applicants in this category are South Africa-based researchers requesting financial support to organise or host small scientific events.


Advanced PhD students (through their supervisors) registered at South African public universities, and all researchers who are full-time employees or on a fixed-term contract at any of the following institutions are eligible to apply: 

  • South African universities /universities of technology;
  • Recognised national research institutions such as the national facilities;
  • Museums; 
  • Science councils. 

The applicants must be in possession of at least a Master’s degree.  Advanced PhD students can only apply for travel grants for individuals.  Students and researchers from private/commercial institutions are not eligible to apply. Student involvement in local events is highly encouraged.


Travel Grants for Individual Researchers
  • Flights
  • Visa costs
  • Accommodation
  • Ground transport
  • Conference registration fees
Visiting Foreign Researcher
  • Flights
  • Accommodation
  • Ground transport
Africa Interaction
  • Flights
  • Visa costs
  • Accommodation
  • Ground transport
Local Events
  • Flights
  • Accommodation
  • Ground transport
  • Publication of conference proceedings, abstract or books


Applications must be submitted through an online application process to the National Research Foundation (NRF): KIC Call for 2015

Call opens: 09 March 2015
Call closes: 03 April 2015

Note: DAs have until 10 April 2015 to validate applications.

Please note that applications submitted outside the NRF Submission system will not be accepted.


Motsakwe Rakgoale
Professional Officer
International Relations and Cooperation
Tel: +27 12 481 4297

Jan Phalane
Liaison Officer
Tel: +27 12 481 4157