Social Responsiveness Award – call for nominations

12 October 2021 | Emer Prof Martin Hall, Acting DVC: Transformation, Student Affairs and Social Responsiveness

Dear colleagues and students

Applications and nominations are open and encouraged for the 2021 Social Responsiveness Awards. Recipients will be announced in December and will be celebrated as part of the April 2022 graduation ceremonies.

Social responsiveness is core to the work of UCT as an engaged institution. It is achieved through our core work of teaching, research, and service to society. Our annual awards recognise the ways in which our staff and students play an active development role in our cultural, economic, political, scientific and social environment.

Recipients can be academic, or professional, administrative support and service (PASS) departments, and can be individuals or groups. All staff and students are eligible to apply or be nominated.

Recipients of the award will be selected on the basis of the following criteria:

  • activities that have resulted in demonstrable mutual benefit to the university enterprise and an external constituency, showing demonstrable impact in the community
  • evidence of shared planning and decision-making practices
  • evidence of the way in which the initiative has enhanced teaching and learning, research processes and outcomes or the quality of life of communities outside the university
  • evidence of knowledge co-production and application by both the university and external community partners
  • evidence of commitment to social justice and transformation.

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

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


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

Nomination procedures

Nominations and applications should include the following:

  • a narrative (no more than 1 000 words) describing how the nominee or applicant fulfils the stated criteria, with a brief outline of the history, aims, scope and outcomes of the social responsiveness initiative, its methodology and the nature of partnerships involved
  • a letter of support from an external constituency commenting on the nature of the social responsiveness activity in which the candidate has excelled, the developmental and reciprocal nature of the initiative, the nature of the partnership, and the impact of the activities
  • a letter of commendation from a university referee commenting on the way in which the initiative has enhanced knowledge production, knowledge dissemination or knowledge application
  • for socially responsive teaching, commentary 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
  • the committee may invite those unsuccessful candidates whom it considers to be at the appropriate level to remain on the list for two years after the year of nomination; any nominee whom the committee considers as being at the appropriate level will receive feedback related to areas to be reworked for an updated application
  • the award can be awarded posthumously.

All documentation is to be submitted as a single pdf.

Selection committee

A selection committee will consider nominations and make recommendations to the university Social Responsiveness Committee in relation to granting the award.

The value of the award is R35 000, and 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 Distinguished Social Responsiveness Award should be submitted to Sonwabo Ngcelwane no later than Friday, 12 November 2021.

The recipient of the award will be announced in December 2021 and awarded at a graduation ceremony in April 2022.


Emeritus Professor Martin Hall
Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Transformation, Student Affairs and Social Responsiveness

Read previous communications:

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Please view the republishing articles page for more information.