Synchroton Capacity Building Fund

Overview

The Synchrotron Capacity Building Fund is a strategically focused intervention that aims to develop capacity in South Africa for the use of the synchrotron as a radiation source and its applications.  The two year memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between the NRF and France clearly stipulate the main objective of the partnership, which is to develop capacity in South Africa for the use of synchrotron light and their applications.  NRF will cover the costs for accommodation, daily allowance and transport, whereas France/Soleil will conduct peer review process on scientific merit and communicate the outcomes in details to NRF.  The details of the process are illustrated in the Figure below.

 

Objectives

The primary objective is to provide South African researchers with relevant and detailed information on the characteristics and potentialities of the SOLEIL beam-lines in terms of human capacity development. Soleil will allow South-African scientists free access to the SOLEIL beam-lines, if the submitted research applications for beam-time are successful following a peer review process. The NRF shall make travel grants available to those researchers that have been successful in their application to Soleil.

Other objectives of synchrotron capacity building are as follows:

  • Develop human capacity by providing South African researchers with the opportunity to access beam time from international synchrotron facilities;
  • Provide researchers with the opportunity to interact with the international synchrotron community; and
  • Provide feedback on the dynamics of these facilities to the task team.
 

Eligibility Criteria

The SCBF is a strategically focused intervention that aims to develop capacity in South Africa for the use of the synchrotron as a radiation source and its applications. The funds support costs related to the use of synchrotron facilities globally. Support was focused mainly on travel and instrument time, within the limits of the budget made available for this purpose. As a general guide, costs for a typical international visit of two weeks could not exceed R30 000, unless strongly motivated.

South African researchers who hold a PhD and who are employed by South African higher education institutions are eligible to apply.
All publicly funded research institutions that have strong links to postgraduate awarding institutions were eligible to apply for these grants. Thirty percent of funds were earmarked for non-South African researchers and students. 
Excluded from participating in this programme were:

  • Established researchers who already have received funding for the use of a synchrotron facility internationally, from other sources. 
  • Honours and undergraduate students.
  • The purchase of equipment or consumables.
  • For hosting international speakers or for private enterprise.
  • Research that is aimed at supporting private enterprise.