The NRF rating is a system introduced by the National Research Foundation (NRF) with the aim of building “a globally competitive science system in South Africa” (https://www.nrf.ac.za/rating). Although the system in its form is unique to South Africa, it serves as a benchmarking tool to compare the quality of South African researchers to the best in the world across various research fields and/or disciplines. Researchers submit an application for a Rating, through their university, to the NRF. Following a review process conducted by fellow experts in the field, the successful applicant is awarded a Rating which “is based primarily on the quality and impact of their research outputs over the past eight years, taking into consideration the evaluation made by local and international peers”
A-rated researchers are those who are unequivocally recognised by their peers as being leading international scholars in their field for the high quality and impact of their recent research outputs.