Researchers recognised at the National Research Foundation (NRF) Awards

18 Sep 2017 - 10:00

Professors Anusuya Chinsamy Turan, Peter Ryan and George Janelidze

The annual NRF Awards are seen as a benchmark for research excellence in South Africa and are a key driver in the NRF’s aim to build a globally competitive science system in the country. At the 2017 ceremony yesterday, UCT researchers received two special recognition awards and four UCT academics were recognised for receiving an A rating, placing them as leaders in their fields nationally and internationally.

This year's NRF Awards carried the theme ‘sustainable development through knowledge creation’ to put a spotlight on the role of knowledge creation in supporting and enabling South Africa’s sustainable development.

“The creation of new knowledge and its application are critical in South Africa’s pursuit of sustainable and inclusive development,” said the Chief Executive Officer of the NRF, Dr Molapo Qhobela. “The recipients of the NRF Awards are leading researches who, through their work, are helping shape a South Africa that derives enduring benefit from science and technology.”

In her keynote speech, Minister of Science and Technology, Mrs Naledi Pandor, emphasised the important role that a representative cohort of senior researchers has to play in transforming South Africa into a knowledge intensive economy.

Science Faculty researchers received the following awards:

A ratings

An A rating identifies a researcher recognised among their peers as a leading international scholar in their field. Two UCT researchers were acknowledged for the first time as A rated and two additional UCT researchers were recognised for a third and fourth time. They are part of a group of 41 A-rated researchers  at UCT – about one-third of the total in South Africa.

A-rated for the first time

Professor Anusuya Chinsamy-Turan, Department of Biological Sciences, was recognised for her influential work driven by the biology of extinct animals, particularly dinosaurs and early birds.

Professor Peter Ryan, also with the Department of Biological Sciences, is an internationally renowned ornithologist with an extensive body of work. UCT was recently ranked third in the world in ornithology

A-rated for the third time

Professor George Janelidze, Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics, has focused his research career on various areas of pure mathematics, especially category theory and its applications in algebra and topology.