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To fund and connect excellent individuals to rebuild and sustain South Africa's academic excellence, and to influence and lead in South African society and beyond

Higher Education

South Africa’s future is under threat, in the face of sharp cuts in R&D funding

South Africa’s current economic trajectory, characterised by low growth and rising unemployment is unsustainable. While there are several factors that contribute to economic prosperity and social well being, innovation, through research and development, is a critical factor in driving the economic renewal, growth and transformation that South Africa so desperately needs.

There has been a steady decline in public funding for research and development. Accessing public funding is restrictive due to needs-based criteria, and is administratively intensive.

At the same time, there are major gaps in funding and support for outstanding early to mid-career researchers, with increasingly scarce public funds reserved for established and internationally acclaimed researchers. While the private sector generally only funds applied research and is often short-term and project or solution-focused.

We also know that quality research thrives in a setting that provides exceptional scholars with considerable individual and institutional autonomy to pursue bold ideas and push the boundaries of knowledge in their areas of study.

The big opportunity

Supporting our next and current generation of stars to become leaders in their fields

How we plan to build and strengthen the local academy

Supporting scholarships for Masters, PhD, Postdoctoral studies and Sabbatical research. And Honours in partnership with one of South Africa’s new public universities
Building a pipeline of exceptional talent both within and beyond academia.

Foster research excellence through the New Frontiers Research Award
Identifying talented early-to-mid-career researchers with the ambition to build high-performance research teams in South Africa. And give them the freedom to pursue bold ideas and push the boundaries of knowledge.

Advance the frontiers of knowledge through the Harry Oppenheimer 
Fellowship Award

Recognising the endeavours of world-class researchers by funding cutting edge and internationally significant research that has far-reaching impact.

Provide a platform where OMT alumni can engage
Creating a space where alumni can network and share ideas, skills and experience while providing opportunities to showcase student success and role models to inspire potential researchers.

The change we hope to see

OMT alumni enjoy exposure to globally-renowned experts at world-class local and international institutions 

OMT alumni in academia build promising and credible careers in research.

Other alumni assume leadership roles in society, becoming inspiring role models in South Africa and abroad.

New Frontiers Research Award teams produce ground-breaking research and generate new knowledge, establishing international reputations
Recipients build and lead successful teams who are recognised for their ground-breaking research and innovative solutions to pressing global or local socio-economic challenges.

Harry Oppenheimer Fellows pursue cutting-edge research that has long-lasting effects of global significance
World-class researchers are freed from financial and bureaucratic constraints and are afforded an opportunity to advance scientific knowledge through their cutting-edge research.

OMT alumni become active participants in OMT’s advisory networks and collaborative projects
Alumni are connected with a diverse network and opportunities to advance their knowledge and careers, as well as opportunities to give back.


Research Report

Download Our Research Report