Call for applications/nominations for UCT’s Social Responsiveness Award (2018)

08 October 2018 | Acting DVC Prof Michael Kyobe

Dear colleagues

As the third pillar of the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) academic performance criteria alongside teaching and learning, and research, it is appropriate that social responsiveness receives institutional support and recognition to encourage staff to play an active development role in our cultural, economic, political, scientific and social environment.

UCT has accordingly established a distinguished Social Responsiveness Award alongside the similar awards for teaching and research. This provides a clear institutional signal to members of the university that social responsiveness is an important institutional activity.

The recipient(s) of the award will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • activities that have resulted in demonstrable mutual benefit to the academic enterprise and an external non-academic constituency
  • evidence of shared planning and decision-making practices
  • evidence of the way in which the initiative has enhanced teaching/learning or research processes
  • documented excellence in extending knowledge production (including indigenous and traditional knowledge systems), dissemination, integration and application of knowledge through social responsiveness
  • commitment to social justice and transformation.

Depending on the nature of the activity the following criteria may be considered:

  • contribution to brokering and facilitating relationships which have enhanced the university’s engagement with local, regional, national or continental development challenges
  • contribution to new notions of professional practice designed to meet the needs of the South African context
  • evidence of sustainability of the initiative.


The award is open to individual staff and formal or informal groupings within the university. Staff must be employed either on a permanent basis or under a limited term contract of at least two years and must have been employed for a period of not less than 12 months prior to the date of nomination.

Nomination procedures

The nominations/applications should include the following:

  1. A narrative (no more than 1 000 words) describing how the nominee/applicant fulfils the stated criteria. The narrative should include a detailed outline of the history, aims, scope and outcomes of the social responsiveness initiative, its methodology and the nature of partnerships involved.
  2. A letter of commendation/reference from an external constituency commenting on the nature of the social responsiveness activity in which the candidate(s) has/have excelled, the developmental and reciprocal nature of the initiative, the nature of partnership, and the impact of the activities.
  3. A letter of commendation from a university referee commenting on the way in which the initiative has enhanced knowledge production, the curriculum, knowledge dissemination or knowledge application.
  4. For service learning programmes, comment will be invited on their structure according to sound educational principles in order to supplement and complement the theoretical components of the curriculum; demonstration of adequate supervision of participants; their thorough training/preparation for the project or programme and the regular and adequate assessment of the initiative.
  5. As from 2015 the Social Responsiveness Committee may invite those unsuccessful candidates who it considers to be at the appropriate level to remain on the list for two years after the year of nomination. Any nominee who the committee considers as being at the appropriate level will receive feedback related to areas to be reworked on the application and then invite them to resubmit an updated application.

Selection committee

The Social Responsiveness Committee will consider nominations and make recommendations to the Vice-Chancellor in relation to granting the award.

Value of award

R35 000

Use of award

The award may be used to further social responsiveness or can be used for any legitimate project expenses, including equipment, running expenses, travel or a combination of these.

Nominations and applications for the Social Responsiveness Award should be submitted to Sonwabo Ngcelwane, Room 204, Research Office, 2 Rhodes Avenue (corner of Main Road), Allan Cormack House, Mowbray, 7700 or no later than 2 November 2018.

The recipient of the award will be announced in December 2018 and awarded at a university graduation ceremony.


Professor Michael Kyobe
Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Internationalisation

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