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SARChI Chairs​

The South African Research Chairs Initiative (SARChI) was established in 2006 by the then Department of Science and Technology (now Department of Science and Innovation) under the custodianship of the National Research Foundation (NRF). The programme was "designed to attract and retain excellence in research and innovation at South African public universities…", and have a strong focus on the production of "high quality postgraduate students and research and innovation outputs" ( This initiative targets researchers with an established track record and regarded as experts in their respective fields. Since the launch of the initiative, the NRF has awarded around more than 200 SARChI Chairs located at the majority of South Africa's public universities.

The University of Johannesburg (UJ) was awarded its first SARChI Chair in 2009 and  now hosts a total seventeen (17) SARChI Chairs spread across all its Faculties and College.

UJ hosted SARChI Chairs

Chair holderName of ChairFaculty/CollegeDepartment/Centre
Prof Fiona TregennaIndustrial DevelopmentCollege of Business and EconomicsEconomics and Econometrics
Prof Cecile NieuwenhuizenDHET/DST/NRF Chair in Entrepreneurship Education
College of Business and EconomicsBusiness Management
Prof Erika Kraemer-MbulaDST/ NRF/ Newton Fund Trilateral Research Chair in Transformative Innovation, the 4th Industrial Revolution and Sustainable Development. College of Business and EconomicsEconomics and Econometrics
Prof Brenda Schmahmann South African Art and Visual Culture
Faculty of Art, Design and ArchitectureVisual Art
Prof  Elizabeth (Elbie) Henning Integrated studies of  learning  language  mathematics and science in the primary schoolFaculty of EducationChildhood Education

Prof Shireen Motala
Teaching and Learning in PSETFaculty of EducationTeaching and Learning
Prof Jace Pillay  Education and Care in ChildhoodFaculty of EducationEducational Psychology
Prof Salim VallyDHET /DST/ NRF Chair in Community and Worker Education Faculty of EducationCentre for Education Rights and Transformation
Prof Wellington (Didi) ThwalaSustainable Construction Management and Leadership in the Built EnvironmentFaculty of Engineering and the Built EnvironmentConstruction Management and Quantity Surveying
Prof Heidi Abrahamse Laser Applications in HealthFaculty of Health SciencesCentre for Laser Research
Prof Kate Alexander  Social ChangeFaculty of HumanitiesSociology
Prof Chris Landsberg African Diplomacy and Foreign PolicyFaculty of HumanitiesPolitics and International Relations
Prof Leila Patel  Welfare and Social Development Faculty of HumanitiesAnthropology and Development Studies
Prof Hennie Strydom International LawFaculty of LawPublic Law
Prof Philiswa Nomngongo 
Nanotechnology for waterFaculty of ScienceApplied Chemistry
Prof Ben-Erik Van Wyk Indigenous Plant UseFaculty of ScienceBotany and Plant Biotechnology
Prof Karel (Fanus) Viljoen GeoMetallurgyFaculty of ScienceGeology