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Vice-Chancellor's Distinguished Research Award


To stimulate research and research related scholarly activities, and to recognise an exceptional young staff member engaged in research and more general scholarly activity.


Staff members who are under 40 years (i.e. 40 and below) of age on 31 December in the year in which they apply or are nominated. In exceptional strongly motivated cases, the selection committee may at its discretion consider candidates who are over 40 years of age, but who are under 43 years (i.e. 43 and below) of age on 31 December in the year in which they apply or are nominated, provided that they have been in possession of their PhD degree for 5 years or less and have made exceptional progress in their research careers during this period.

They shall be of exceptional quality in relation to peers at their stage of career, and proven achievement with standing records of scholarship.

Nominees or applicants should normally have been employed at Rhodes University for a continuous period of at least five years (in a permanent or contract capacity), and must be a currently serving member of staff at the time of nomination or application (i.e. past staff members will not be eligible).


Permanent staff members may nominate candidates. Such nominations should be confidential if possible. In addition, staff members may apply to be considered.

Nominations and applications must be accompanied by:

  • curriculum vitae of the nominee or applicant;
  • details of publications, reviews of publications (or cited references) and other evidence of distinction;
  • the names of three referees.

Considerations of nominations

The committee will:

  • Invite referees to comment on, inter alia, whether the candidate is exceptional and worthy of being considered, whether the candidate is recognised as being one of the most outstanding people in the age group and, in respect of publications, the quality and depth, the standing within the discipline concerned, and the international and/or national standing;
  • take into consideration not only the work on which candidates have established their reputations at Rhodes University, but also work done elsewhere;
  • regard "research" in the broader sense to mean all creative endeavours including the performing arts and the fine arts;
  • not be required to recommend an award if in its view the nominations and applications are not sufficiently outstanding to warrant an award.

Value of award

R40 000-00 or such other amount as may be determined by the University Council on the recommendation of the Research Committee.

The total amount awarded will be subject to income tax even if transferred into a special research account.

Closing date

Nominations for the 2023 awards will be announced later in the year.  

Dr Nomakwezi Mzilikazi


2022: Prof Iain Paterson, Centre for Biological Control, Department of Zoology & Entomology
2021: Prof P Mashazi, Department of Chemistry
2020: No Award
2019: Prof G Thondhlana, Department of Environmental Sciene
2018: Prof C Khene, Department of Information Systems
2017: Prof Ferdi Botha, Department of Economics and Economics History and Prof Sally Matthews, Department of Political and International Studies
2016: Prof Dion Nkomo, School of Languages and Literature and Professor Julie Coetzee, Department of Botany
2015: Professor Adrienne Lesley Edkins, Department of Biochemistry & Microbiology
2016: Professor Julie Coetzee, Department of Botany
2014: Professor Barry Irwin, Department of Computer Science
2013: Professor Jen Snowball, Department of Economics and Economic History
2012: No nominations
2011: Dr Samantha Vice, Department of Philosophy
2010: Professor Janice Limson, Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Biotechnology?
2009: Professor R Simbao, Department of Fine Art
2008: No award
2007: Dr J.Burgess, Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology, & Biotechnology
2006: Dr M. L. Chithambo, Department of Physics & Electronics
2005: Professor M. Hill, Department of Zoology and Entomology
2004: No award
2003: Professor T.Booth, Department of Ichthyology & Fisheries Science
2002: Professor W.Sauer, Department of Ichthyology & Fisheries Science
2001: Dr R. Meintjes-van der Walt, Department of Law
2000: Dr. N. Barker, Department of Botany
1999: Ms B. Clark, Department of Law
1999: Dr W. Froneman, Department of Zoology & Entomology
1998: Dr E. Nel, Department of Geography
1997: Dr E.A. Pakhomov, Department of Statistics
1996: Dr M. Davies-Coleman, Department of Chemistry
1995: No award
1994: Professor P. Clayton, Department of Computer Science
1993: Professor R. Midgley, Department of Law
1992: Professor R. Bernard, Department of Zoology & Entomology
1991: Professor C. McQuaid, Department of Zoology & Entomology

Last Modified: Thu, 13 Jul 2023 10:09:43 SAST