UCT researchers acknowledged at NRF Awards

05 September 2016 | Story by Newsroom

The University of Cape Town congratulates all the researchers who were honoured at the 2016 National Research Foundation (NRF) Awards.

Professor Mark Engel, from the Department of Medicine, accepted the Research Excellence Award for Early Career or Emerging Researcher, shared with Professor Nosipho Moloto of the University of the Witwatersrand. This award recognise exception research performance by NRF Thuthuka grant holders. Engel's research focus is on rheumatic heart disease, which still has a high mortality rate in the developing world.

Two other young researchers were recognised: Drs Katye Altieri and Robyn Pickering were awarded P ratings, assigned to researchers under 35 who are considered likely to become future international leaders in their respective fields.

These awards, which focus on early-career researchers, are testament to the success of UCT's efforts to bring more top-rated researchers up through the career pipeline.

Five researchers were awarded A ratings for the first time, based on the quality and impact of their research outputs in the recent past – according to the NRF, A-rated researchers are "unequivocally recognised by their peers as leading international scholars in their field":

  • Professor Anusuya Chinsamy-Turan, Department of Biological Sciences
  • Professor Bruce Hewitson, Department of Environmental and Geographical Science
  • Professor Bongani Mayosi, Department of Medicine
  • Professor Gerald Nurick, Department of Mechanical Engineering
  • Professor Chris Reason, Department of Oceanography

A further four researchers retained their A ratings in the current cycle:

  • Professor David Chidester, Department of Religious Studies 
  • Professor Michael Feast, Department of Astronomy and the South African Astronomical Observatory
  • Professor Valerie Mizrahi, Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine 
  • Professor Timothy Noakes, Department of Human Biology.

UCT is exceptionally proud of the high number of NRF-rated researchers at the institution. Nationally, we have more NRF-rated researchers than any other university; of the total number of A-rated researchers in South Africa, roughly a third are based at UCT.

These ratings are significant, as they offer a national indicator of research excellence and are an important tool for benchmarking. Researchers are rated by their peers, in their specific disciplines and based on their impact on global scholarship.

The high number of rated researchers, not only at UCT but nationally, thus reflects very well on research excellence in South Africa as a whole, showing that as a country we punch above our weight and can hold our own on the global stage.

See a list of all our A-rated researchers...

Dr Robyn Pickering, NRF P-rated Researcher 2016

Dr Katye Altieri, NRF P-rated Researcher 2016

Story Natalie Simon.

UCT Research and Innovation

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