"The National Research and Development Strategy identifies the need to create "centres and networks of excellence" in science and technology, including in the social sciences, as a key component of the human capital and transformation dimensions of government policy. It is envisaged that such centres will stimulate sustained distinction in research while simultaneously generating highly qualified human resource capacity in order to impact meaningfully on key national and global areas of knowledge." (NRF Website)
The University currently hosts two NRF/DST Centres of Excellence, in Strong Materials and Biomedical Tuberculosis Research (the latter jointly with the University of Stellenbosch). Further, University staff are active partners in the Centres of Excellence for Catalysis and for Birds as Keys to Biodiversity Conservation (both based at the University of Cape Town). All of these Centres (there are currently six in South Africa) enjoy a ten year recognition period, expiring in 2014.
The Director of the DST/NRF Centre of Excellence in Strong Materials is Professor L.A. Cornish.
The Co-Director of the Tuberculosis Centre is Professor V Mizrahi.