Science Faculty Office Online

In response to the COVID-19 situation, the Science Faculty Office is currently closed, but staff are working remotely. Please forward your query to the relevant e-mail listed below and we will respond to your email in due course. 

Please refer to the information below:

Undergraduate queries

  • Applications for 2021 open in April 2020.

  • Online applications for 2021 will be available around 6th April 2020, the link will be available via the UCT website.

  • All undergraduate queries to the Science Faculty should be directed to Tasneem Mohamed by email to Tasneem.mohamed@uct.ac.za

Postgraduate queries

  • Refer to our website and that of the relevant department if you are interested in making an application.

  • Examination and submission related queries should be sent to sci-pgexams@uct.ac.za

  • Queries regarding postgraduate admissions should be sent to sci-postgrad@uct.ac.za

  • All other postgraduate queries can be directed to Amy Rooks-Smith by email to amy.rooks-smith@uct.ac.za 

Please feel free to post questions related to the COVID-19 on the Science 2020 VULA site.  You are also welcome to contact the Assistant Dean Associate Professor David Gammon if you have any queries/ concerns.


Science Faculty Office: Academic Administration

Email: sci-science@uct.ac.za 



Dear Colleagues

Working from home has become the “new normal” since the reality of the lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus.  Some of you may be experiencing the “freedom” of working from home, and not having to sit in traffic to work daily, while others may be experiencing anxiety sparked by no longer working in your team, not having clarity on direction and limited supervision, having to adapt to the challenges of managing technology, staying productive and juggling family and work responsibilities.  Staying home to “flatten the curve” presents challenges for all of us practically and psychologically. Coping with being cooped-up with children, families and partners can pose further challenges that require you to be an expert at adaptability and resilience overnight!

Working from home successfully requires self-sufficiency (such as time-management skills, self-discipline and motivation), communication skills, adaptability and technological skills.  As a result of the sudden shift from working at UCT to working from home, it is easy to fall into the trap of less discipline – ditching your daily routine, eating junk food, taking "power naps" or tackling those DIY projects that there’s never time for.  However, while still being kind to ourselves under these extraordinary circumstances, it can be helpful to put some strategies in place to assist us – here are a few recommendations suggested by experts:

Operate in a business-like manner. Set aside a separate, dedicated workspace, free from distractions, and customise it with the equipment and connectivity you need to be productive;

Limit and manage disruptions and interruptions. Set down clear boundaries for family and friends and establish a routine.

Keep to your daily routine. Get ready for work as you would on a normal day (don’t work in your pajamas!) and don’t be too comfortable and laid back – this will negatively impact your motivation and productivity. Make a to-do list at the beginning of the day, prioritise the tasks you need to accomplish, and plan your time accordingly.

Stay "in the loop". Working from home, it is easy to miss out on the informal exchange of "passage information" and to feel isolated. Keep up the corridor chat and tea-break conversations with colleagues in a virtual way – by phone, online chat or social media – and make the effort for daily check-ins with teams and co-workers using online work platforms or just a WhatsApp group. Technology makes it possible to stay connected as though we were sitting in our office, rather than at home.

Stay professional and be connected. Use Zoom/ WhatsApp or Teams video-conferencing (set reminders to "show up" on time and remember to mute yourself when not talking), and make sure to be reachable and responsive during working hours.

Maintain your physical and emotional health. Diligent workers are at risk for burnout as the boundaries between work and home blur, and employees may also feel the need to "prove" that they are being trustworthy and productive. Set boundaries for when your workday starts and ends.

Stay healthy. Eat well, exercise regularly, keep to your sleeping routine, limit non-work-related screen time and connect with your family and friends, even if via phone, online chat or social media.

And all that being said – there will be days when things don’t go according to plan – so be flexible and adjust your schedules/ planning to meet your plans accordingly.

We value your part in the team that keeps the Science Faculty going and encourage you to stay connected with each other and us about any concerns or ideas you may have.

Herewith a link to a useful article on the UCT website, Lockdown, how to survive working from home, with input from the Psychology department.

Best Wishes

Maano Ramutsindela

Dean of Science




Sunday, 31 May 2020
Harnessing plant power to curb COVID-19

Here’s a different reason for tobacco to be in the news. Cape Bio Pharms, a biotech company with its origins in the Biopharming Research Unit (BRU) at the University of Cape Town (UCT), has joined the global effort to create a fast and affordable antibody test for COVID-19, using a relative of the tobacco plant.

Publication Date:
Thu, 28 May 2020 - 17:00
UCT’s two 2020 WEF Young Scientists

Every year, the World Economic Forum (WEF) selects an elite group of researchers under the age of 40 to participate in their Young Scientists programme. This year, the University of Cape Town (UCT) is represented by two brilliant women scientists. Dr Sarah Fawcett, from the Department of Oceanography is one of them...

Publication Date:
Wed, 27 May 2020 - 13:00
Siberians and First Americans go way back

A team of international researchers has assessed the population history of prehistoric humans that lived in the region around Lake Baikal, Russia, and found the deepest connection to date between the peoples of Siberia and the Americas. The research – which combines the fields of human population genetics, the study of ancient pathogen’s genomes and isotope analysis – also demonstrates human mobility, and hence connectivity, across Eurasia during the Early Bronze Age (around 3000 to 2100 BC). Dr Petrus Le Roux, a chief research officer in the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Cape Town (UCT), who is a co-author on the paper.  

Publication Date:
Thu, 21 May 2020 - 15:30
Red algae alert! Rhodoliths discovered in SA waters

Scientists have discovered a bed of rhodoliths – free-living, coral-like structures that offer food, shelter and nursery space for marine animals – in the newly proclaimed Amathole Offshore Marine Protected Area off South Africa’s east coast. This underwater environment is the first of its kind found in South Africa’s ocean.




Publication Date:
Mon, 18 May 2020 - 14:00