Research and Development Chairs

Background

The Research and Development Chairs comprise of two initiatives: the FirstRand Foundation South African Mathematics Education Chairs Initiative and the South African Numeracy and Literacy Chairs Initiative. The FirstRand Foundation South African Mathematics Education Chairs Initiative – jointly funded by FirstRand Foundation, Rand Merchant Bank and the Department of Science and Technology – mainly focuses on improving the quality of mathematics teaching in public secondary schools especially in previously disadvantaged areas. The South African Numeracy and Literacy Chairs, also sponsored by FirstRand Foundation, Rand Merchant Bank and the Department of Science and Technology in partnership with Anglo American Corporation focuses on improving the quality of teaching of in-service teachers and learning of numeracy and literacy at primary education level. In contrast to SARChI, in addition to the research focus, these initiatives also have a developmental focus.  

The initiatives are underpinned by the following objectives:

  • To improve mathematics, numeracy and literacy learner performance (pass rates and quality of passes) in public schools especially in previously disadvantaged areas;
  • To research sustainable and practical solutions to the challenges of improving mathematics, numeracy and literacy education in schools; and
  • To provide leadership in mathematics, numeracy and literacy education and increase the dialogue around solutions for the crisis in South Africa.

 

Allocation of Chairs

The FirstRand Foundation South African Mathematics Education and South African Numeracy and Literacy Chairs will be awarded to individuals. However, there will be a pre-proposal process to select the South African universities that will host the Chairs. The successful candidates will hold the Research Chairs at one of the selected universities.

A maximum of two Research Chairs may be awarded to individuals located at a single university. However, if two Chairs are located at the same university, then each Chair must agree to focus on different aspects of mathematics education or numeracy and literacy.

  

Duration and Funding levels of Chairs

The Chairs will last for a period of five years. The Initiatives propose to make an award of up to R2,000,000 per annum per Chair. This award will need to cover salaries and operating costs relevant to the Chair.