Top Rated Scholars

Prof Melanie Walker (A1)
Field: Higher Education and Human Development

Prof Maxim Finkelstein (A1)
Field: Probability, Statistics, and Operations Research

Prof Willem Boshoff (A2)
Field: Art

Dr Matteo Grilli (P)
Field: Political History

SARChI Research

SARChI Research Chair in City-Region Economies: Prof Ivan Turok
SARChI Research Chair in Pathogenic Yeasts: Prof Carolina Pohl-Albertyn
SARChI Research Chair in Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Pathogens: Prof Felicity Burt
SARChI Research Chair in Disease Resistance and Quality in Field Crops: Prof Maryke Labuschagne
SARChI Research Chair in Solid-State Luminescent and Advanced Materials: Prof Hendrik Swart
SARChI Research Chair in Higher Education and Human Development: Prof Melanie Walker

Areas of Excellence

Afromontane Research Unit
Vulnerable mountain communities are empowered with uplifting environmental, social, and economic knowledge.

Agriculture to Agro-Processing
Working towards improved food security in Africa through the genetic improvement of staple crops.

Cancer Research
Cancer patients are given new hope through innovative research into cancer detection and treatment.

Cardiology and Cardiothoracic Surgery
Taking the lead in cardiac simulation technology on the African continent, combining it with cutting-edge research in the field of heart biopsies, valve replacement, and pulmonary homografts.

Gender and Africa Studies
Understanding Africa – its people, politics, culture, relations, and knowledge systems. An inter-faculty approach to gender studies. 

Indigenous Knowledge Systems
The only South African university granted a permit to scientifically determine the healing properties of cannabis.

Institute for Groundwater Studies
The leading groundwater research group in Africa dedicated to the sustainable management of groundwater resources. 

International Studies Group
High-calibre postgraduate students and postdoctoral fellows from all over the world benefit from expert mentorship and peer review in order to publish manuscripts and access prestigious international research opportunities. 

Materials Sciences
Generating improved environmentally friendly low-energy lighting using phosphor materials for light-emitting diodes (LEDs). 

Next Generation Sequencing Unit
Understanding and counteracting harmful viruses through the latest technologies in DNA sequencing.

Arboviruses and Zoonotic Diseases Research Unit
Research into the cause and spread of locally prevalent diseases transferred from animals to humans contributes towards improved public health in South Africa.

Centre for Teaching and Learning
Academic excellence in teaching and learning is promoted through advanced data analytics and innovative interventions that benefit departments, staff, and students.

Centre for Universal Access for Disability Support
Using a universal design and accessibility approach, opportunities are created for students with disabilities to achieve academically.

Family Maths and Science Programme
Teachers and parents are equipped with skills to raise the standard of Maths and Science teaching in the lower grades at primary schools.

Free State Centre for Human Rights
Strengthening a human rights culture on our campuses, in our province, and in our country through research, advocacy, and litigation.

Make the First 1 000 Days Count Initiative
The optimal health of mothers and children – from conception to age two – is ensured, so that children can meet their full developmental potential. 

No Student Hungry Programme
Reciprocal giving is encouraged, as vulnerable students are given food allowances and daily access to balanced meals and are engaged in community service initiatives.

Programme for Innovation in Artform Development
Experimental arts are encouraged and harnessed to heal and enrich communities.

South African Doping Control Laboratory (SADoCoL)
The only accredited doping control laboratory in Africa, testing samples of athletes from all over the world and a variety of different sporting codes for forbidden substances.

National Control Laboratory for Biological Products
Among the only 12 laboratories worldwide contracted to perform vaccine testing for the World Health Organisation.

University Access Programme
Deserving school-leavers are given a second chance to enrol at tertiary institutions.


Delivering provincial, national, and international champions in 22 sporting codes.


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