Fitz CoE extended until 2019!
The Fitz is the only ornithological research institute in the southern hemisphere, and one of only a handful in the world. In 1989 ornithology was identified as the most internationally competitive scientific discipline in South Africa, ranking third equal in the world. In 2004 the Fitz was awarded the prestigious status of one of only six ‘Centres of Excellence in Science and Technology’ by the Department of Science and Technology and the National Research Foundation. In 2009 a 5-year international NRF review rated the Fitz at least equal to the world’s two other major ornithological institutes (Cornell and Oxford). Following this, the Fitz CoE was granted a second five-year term for the period 2011-2014. We have now just heard from the NRF that “the Honourable Minister of Science and Technology, Mrs Naledi Pandor has directed that the DST continue to provide funding through the NRF in support of the first cohort of centres of excellence. The plan is to fund these CoEs at the same levels, with annual increases as may be determined for an additional five years” (i.e. 2015 – 2019)! We are extremely grateful for this extended commitment from the DST and the NRF and look forward to continued high quality outputs and excellence in science.