CALL FOR NOMINATIONS: 2017 SOUTH AFRICAN WOMEN IN SCIENCE AWARDS

THEME: WOMEN’S ECONOMIC EMPOWERNMENT IN THE CHANGING WORLD OF WORK

 The Department of Science and Technology (DST) calls for nominations for the 2017 South African Women in Science Awards (WISA).  The awards recognise and reward excellence by women scientists and researchers, and profile them as role models for younger women.  The awards will be made to women who are South African citizens or permanent residents.

The theme for the 2017 WISA is Women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work, which is the 2017 priority theme for the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW).

Awards in the distinguished woman and distinguished young woman researcher categories will be made for research that responds to the theme in the fields of Natural (Life and Physical) and Engineering Sciences, and Humanities and Social Sciences.  However, the DST Fellowships and TATA Scholarships are not restricted to the theme.

Awards will also be made to a special category within the theme which will award research and innovation (R&I) leading to demonstrable contribution in advancing women’s economic empowerment in the world of work.

The 2017 WISA will be presented on 17 August 2017 as part of the Department's celebration of Women's Month.  The awards will be made in the following categories: 

AWARD CATEGORIES

1.    Awards for Distinguished Woman Researchers

·         Natural (Life and Physical) and Engineering Sciences

·         Humanities and Social Sciences

 

2.    Awards for Distinguished Young Woman Researchers

·         Natural (Life and Physical) and Engineering Sciences

·         Humanities and Social Sciences

 

3.    Awards for Research and Innovation

·         Distinguished Woman Researcher

·         Distinguished Young Woman Researcher

 

4.    DST Fellowships

·         Four current master's students: 2 in natural and engineering sciences, 1 in human and social sciences (HSS), and 1 in indigenous knowledge systems (IKS).

·         Four current doctoral students: 2 in natural sciences, 1 in HSS, and 1 in IKS.

 

5.    TATA Africa Scholarships for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology

·         Three master's students in disciplines where the participation of women is low.

·         Three doctoral students in disciplines where the participation of women is low.

 

NOTE:

1.    Winners may be requested to participate in public awareness initiatives led by the DST.

2.    Finalists will be required to submit a short profile and three high-resolution photographs to be used for publicity.

 

NOMINATIONS/ APPLICATIONS

Nominations and applications on the attached form should reach the Department of Science and Technology by Friday, 26 May 2017.  No late submissions will be accepted.

Nominations and applications should clearly indicate the category and should be accompanied by the documentation specified for each category.

 To ensure that you have met all the requirements, please complete and submit the attached checklist.

Nominations and applications should be submitted electronically (using the attached form) to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For more information contact Mr Thembinkosi Magasela at 012 843 6338 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

   NOMINATION/ APPLICATION PROCEDURE

1.  AWARDS FOR DISTINGUISHED WOMAN RESEARCHERS

These awards will be made to women scientists or researchers for their outstanding scientific contribution to advancing science and building the knowledge base in the theme of the awards.  Awards will be made in each of the following fields:

1.1    Natural (Life and Physical) and Engineering Sciences; and

1.2    Humanities and Social Sciences.

Nomination criteria

Nominations are requested for established woman scientists or researchers who have at least five-year postdoctoral experience, and are actively involved in research in their respective fields.

Who may make a nomination?

Any person who knows the nominee and her work well can make a nomination.  The nominator should provide the motivation as required in the nomination form.

Adjudication criteria

Nominees will be judged on their research publication record, their international stature (as evidenced by their presentation of keynote addresses or papers at international conferences), their experience in supervising postgraduate students and researchers, national and/or international acclaim of their research, the contribution of their research to social or economic development, and exploitability of their research outputs (i.e. the possibility of using the research results to develop or improve products, processes and services).

Amount of each award

Winner: R80 000; first runner-up: R45 000; and second runner-up: R35 000.

Use of the award

No restrictions will be imposed on the use of the award by the recipient.

 

Documents required

(i)     A completed and signed nomination form

(ii)    A completed CV template

(iii)   Proof of scientific/ research publications

First page of each of your 10 best articles, and the title pages of your books or book chapters

(iv)   Proof of innovation or applied knowledge outputs (if applicable)

List of Intellectual Property (IP) outputs with relevant registration numbers, or list of output with socio-economic impact. 

(v)    Letters of reference

Letters of reference from three people discussing the candidate's professional competence and other personal or professional qualities or interests that make the candidate qualify for the award.

(vi)      Certified copy of ID


2.    AWARDS FOR DISTINGUISHED YOUNG WOMAN RESEARCHERS

These awards will be made to emerging woman scientists or researchers, under the age of 40 or turning 41 during the year of the awards, for their outstanding contribution to advancing science and building the knowledge base in the theme.  Awards will be made in each of the following fields:

2.1    Natural (Life and Physical) and Engineering Sciences; and

2.2    Humanities and Social Sciences.

 

Nomination criteria

Nominations are requested for emerging woman scientists or researchers under the age of 40 or turning 41 during the year of the awards who have doctoral degrees, and whose research projects have contributed to advancing science and building the knowledge base.

 Who may make a nomination?

Any person who knows the nominee and her work well can make a nomination.  The nominator should provide the motivation as required in the nomination form.

 Adjudication criteria

In the context of being early career scientists, nominees will be judged on their research publication record, their national and/or international stature (as evidenced by their presentation of keynote addresses or papers at international conferences), their experience in supporting younger students, national and/or international acclaim for their research, the potential contribution of their research to social and economic development, and/or the potential exploitability of their research outputs (i.e. the possibility of using research results to develop or improve products, processes and services).

Amount of each award

Winner: R65 000; first runner-up: R35 000; and second runner-up: R25 000.

Use of the award

No restrictions will be imposed on the use of the award by the recipient.

Documents required

(i)    A completed and signed nomination form

(ii)   A completed CV template

(iii)  Proof of research publications

First page of each of your 10 best articles, and the title pages of your books or book chapters

(iv)      Proof of innovation outputs (if applicable)

List of IP outputs with relevant registration numbers 

(v)   Letters of reference

Letters of reference from three people discussing the candidate's professional competence and other personal or professional qualities or interests that make the candidate qualify for the award.

(vi)  Certified copy of ID

3.    AWARDS FOR RESEARCH AND INNOVATION LEADING TO ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN

These awards will be made to two women whose innovation (emanating from research) has led to demonstrable economic impact and/or the empowerment of women, especially in the workplace.  Awards will be made to:

3.1.    Distinguished researcher; and

3.2.    Distinguished young researcher

Nomination criteria

(i) Distinguished researcher:

Nominations are requested from established women scientists or researchers who have at least five-year postdoctoral experience, whose innovation (emanating from research) has led to demonstrable contribution in advancing women’s economic empowerment in the world of work.  The researchers must be actively involved in their fields.

(ii) Distinguished young researcher

Nominations are requested from emerging women scientists or researchers, under the age of 40 or turning 41 during the year of the awards, who have doctoral degrees; whose innovation (emanating from research) has led to demonstrable contribution in advancing women’s economic empowerment in the world of work.  The researchers must be actively involved in their fields. 

Who may make a nomination?

Any person who knows the nominee and her work well can make a nomination.  The nominator should provide the motivation as required in the nomination form.

Adjudication criteria

In the context of being a Distinguished and a Distinguished young researchers, nominees will be judged on their research publication record, innovation outputs (use of the research results to develop or improve products, processes and services), and the socio-economic and/or women empowerment impact of innovations. 

Amount of each award

Distinguished Woman: R80 000

Distinguished Young Woman: R65 000

Use of the award

No restrictions will be imposed on the use of the award by the recipient.

Documents required

(i)    A completed and signed nomination form

(ii)        A completed CV template

(iii)      Proof of innovation outputs (where possible)

List of IP outputs with relevant registration numbers and motivation of how the outputs were applied in empowering and uplifting women

(iv)      Proof of research outputs

First page of each of your 10 best articles, and the title pages of your books or book chapters

(v)       Letters of reference

Letters of reference from three people discussing the candidate's professional competence and other personal or professional qualities or interests that make the candidate qualify for the award.

(vi)  Certified copy of ID


4.    DST FELLOWSHIPS FOR POSTGRADUATE STUDENTS

These awards will be made to eight women who are currently involved in full-time study or research leading to master’s or doctoral degrees. The said awards recognise outstanding ability and potential in research, to enhance the women’s research experience and output, and encourage more young women to complete research degrees. Postgraduate fellowships will be awarded to:

4.1.    Four master’s students: 2 in natural and engineering sciences; 1 in humanities and social sciences (HSS) and (1) indigenous knowledge systems (IKS)

4.2.    Four doctoral students: 2 in natural and engineering sciences; 1 in HSS and 1 in IKS.

 Application criteria

The fellowships are open to women who are involved in full-time study towards master’s or doctoral degrees, and are registered at South African universities.  Applicants should be women who:

·               are South African citizens or permanent residents; 

·               are under the age of 35;

·               have been high performers in their previous degrees; and

·               are excelling in their current studies.

 Adjudication criteria

Applicants will be judged on the quality and performance in their studies; relevance of their research (potential to provide solutions to immediate problems and scarcity of researchers in the field pursued); past and present achievements; and their career plans as per the application criteria given. 

 

Amount of the award

R35 000 for master’s (X4)

R45 000 for doctoral students (X4)

 

Use of the award

The fellowship is meant to be additional to a postgraduate scholarship awarded by the National Research Foundation or other agencies.  It may be used for attending or presenting a paper in a local or international conference, publishing a research paper, registering a patent, or obtaining personal equipment to conduct research such as a laptop.


 

Documents required

(i)         An application form

(ii)        Proof of research publications

Copies of not more than five relevant research publications (potential to provide solutions to immediate problems and scarcity of researchers in the field pursued), and title pages of your books or book chapters

(iii)      Letter of reference

A letter of reference must be written by a person other than the nominator. The letter must reflect the relationship of the referee with the candidate, the contact details of the referee, and also the following about the candidate:

a.         The referee’s relationship to the candidate,

b.         evidence of excellence in current studies,

c.         technical accomplishments and relative standing of the candidate among her peers (publications, conferences, mentoring etc.),

d.         relevance of research being pursued (potential to provide solutions to immediate problems and scarcity of researchers in the field pursued),

e.         the role in encouraging and supporting young women,

f.          personal or professional qualities or interests that make the candidate specially qualified to receive a fellowship, and

g.         any other indicators of outstanding ability.

 

(iv)      A letter of support 

The applicant should submit a letter of support from a relevant referee (preferably a supervisor) who knows the applicant and her work well.  This letter should outline the candidate’s suitability to receive the award, and the quality and performance in their studies.

(v)    Letter of intent and candidate statement

The letter must indicate:

a.         The candidate's desire to be considered for the fellowship,

b.         how the candidate qualifies for the fellowship, and

c.         a demonstrable need for the specialised knowledge and skills that she plans to acquire.

(vi)   Full academic record

(vii)  Certified copies of qualifications

(viii) Certified copy of ID  

  1. TATA AFRICA SCHOLARSHIPS IN SCIENCE, ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY

 Six awards will be made to women who are currently involved in full-time postgraduate study or research leading to master’s or doctoral degrees in areas where participation by women is traditionally low.  These awards will recognise outstanding ability and potential in research.

 Application criteria

Scholarships will be awarded to young women who have registered for degrees in one of the following areas:

·         Agriculture,

·         Architecture,

·         Astronomy,

·         Astrophysics,

·         Computer/Information Sciences,

·         Engineering,

·         Mathematics,

·         Statistics, or

·         Physics.

 Adjudication criteria

·                Quality and feasibility of the proposed plan of study or research, and proposed time schedule.

·                A demonstrable need for the specialised knowledge and skills that she plans to acquire.

·         Academic and professional qualifications, including research publication record.

·                Candidate's commitment to the advancement of women and girls in South Africa/Africa as demonstrated by her previous work and her proposed study or research.

 Award content

Master’s R60 000 (X3)

Doctoral R60 000 (X3)

Use of the award

The award can be used for normal academic registration and tuition fees, and also to expand the experience of the successful candidate.  It can be used to purchase additional equipment required for the completion of the master's or doctoral degree, or to enable the recipients to spend three to six months at an international research facility to improve the outcome of their studies.

Documents required

(i)         An application form

(ii)        Proof of research publications

Copies of not more than five relevant research publications and title pages of your books or book chapters.

(iii)      Letter of reference

A letter of reference must be written by a person other than the applicant and must have the contact details of the referee.  The letter must reflect the following about the candidate’s proposed study:

a.         Quality and feasibility of the proposed research plan,

b.         demonstrable need for the specialised knowledge and skills to be acquired,

c.         the role in encouraging and supporting young women as evidenced in proposed and previous studies,

d.         technical accomplishments and relative standing of the candidate among her peers (publications, conferences, mentoring etc.),

e.         personal or professional qualities or interests that make the candidate specially qualified to receive a scholarship, and

f.          other indicators of outstanding ability.

(iv)      Certified copy of ID

(v)       A letter of support 

The applicant should submit a letter of support from a relevant referee (preferably a supervisor) who knows the applicant and her work well.  This letter should outline the candidate’s suitability to receive the award, and the quality and performance in their studies.

(vi)      Letter of intent and candidate statement

The letter must indicate:

a.         the candidate's desire to be considered for the scholarship.

b.         how the candidate qualifies for the scholarship,

c.         a demonstrable need for the specialised knowledge and skills that she plans to acquire,

d.         how the research advances science and builds the knowledge base,

e.         involvement with mentorship/coaching programmes, and

f.                 the exploitability of research outputs (i.e. the possibility of using research results to develop or improve products, processes and services).

(vii)        Full academic record

(viii)       Certified copies of qualifications 

To ensure that you have met all the compliance requirements, please complete and submit the attached forms and checklist.