Emerging Researchers' Network

What is the Emerging Researchers Network?

The Emerging Researcher Network (ERN) is primarily an online researcher community platform that provides emerging researchers with online resources about funding and job opportunities, toolkits and structured collaboration environment. It is also a portal pointing South African researchers to various online resources internationally. The ERN is administered and supported by the National Research Foundation (NRF). The activities of the ERN orbit around a number of research networks organised along government's Cluster Department arrangement.

Main aims and objectives

The network aims to be the premiere portal for the emerging research community in South Africa by:

  • Creating a platform for community driven discussion and interaction. The platform will host a number of discussion forms and blogs where members can freely engage in discourse on research funding, challenges and opportunities;
  • Providing emerging researchers with and pointing to online resources supporting improved proposal writing, research project management and reporting;
  • Providing emerging researchers with opportunities for collaboration through containerised research networks structured along government's Cluster Department arrangements;
  • Acting as a facilitator for collaborative fundraising through the research networks;
  • Fostering collaboration to encourage intra/inter and multidisciplinary research across various public sector research institutions, private sector and non-governmental organisations;
  • Creating opportunities for networking, bringing together researchers, funding agencies and research institutions;
  • Disseminating the findings of research and highlighting their contribution to policy and practice in South Africa.



The ERN is hosted by the NRF and is maintained and supported by its Human and Institutional Capacity Development (HICD) directorate. Although the ERN is not a funding or granting programme of the NRF, the directorate undertakes to facilitate the funding of research network activities, either through direct seed funding or by sourcing funding externally.

Institutional Capacity Programme