National Science Week (NSW), an initiative of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), is a countrywide celebration of STEMI involving various stakeholders and/or role players conducting STEMI activities during the declared week.  NSW takes place simultaneously in multiple sites in all the nine provinces.  

NRF/SAASTA has been appointed by the DST as the implementing agency and to play the role of coordinating and managing activities pertaining to the project.

Each year a different theme is chosen and activities are offered around these themes to the target participants. The NSW is a mass participation initiative within the context of the Science Engagement Strategy and its objectives are the following:

  • to popularise science to the broader South African society,
  • to serve as a vehicle for showcasing local innovations in science and technology, and the leadership role of the DST and other government departments in enabling research, development and innovation,
  • to make Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Innovation (STEMI) appealing to learners, such that they consider STEMI as preferable career options, and
  • to familiarise targeted participants with the science linked to areas in which South Africa has knowledge and/or geographic advantage so as to contribute in making them informed and critically engaged citizens.


To contribute to the development of a society that is knowledgeable about science, critically engaged and scientifically literate which is the primary goal of the Science Engagement Strategy.


In order to maximise citizens’ participation in the NSW, sections of the population and entities in the society that will be targeted for participation have been identified as follows:
  • learners and educators (in the schooling system),
  • higher education institutions (students, academics, community engagement),
  • science centres, natural history museums and interpretation centres,
  • science councils (including National Research Facilities),
  • media (including journalists),
  • general public,
  • politicians or decision-makers,
  • government departments involved in scientific and technological activities (STAs), and  industry.


In order to facilitate service delivery, South Africa is demarcated into municipal boundaries, which are service delivery boundaries. In an attempt to achieve an even geographic spread of the NSW activities, proposals should indicate the district municipalities and/or metros under which the area in which the NSW activities will be held.

Districts being covered are rated by geographic position in terms of accessibility and previous coverage. NRF/SAASTA has provided a rating on each district that will form part of the evaluation process.


  • Selected educational resource materials that must be distributed during NSW will be provided by NRF/SAASTA
  • Please note that any resources or materials developed by the potential grant holders with NSW funding will be the product of NRF/SAASTA.
  • Materials that potential grant holders print should include correct branding and be sent to NRF/SAASTA for approval prior to distribution.