Applications for social responsiveness award

20 October 2022 | Professor Elelwani Ramugondo

Dear colleagues and students

I am pleased to announce that applications and nominations are open for the 2022 Distinguished Social Responsiveness Award. I invite and encourage you to apply for this award.

Social responsiveness, which is central to the work of the University of Cape Town (UCT) as an engaged institution, is achieved through our core work of teaching, research and service to society.

Through this award, we recognise the ways through which our staff and students play an active development role in our cultural, economic, political, scientific and social environment.

UCT staff – academic or professional, administrative and support services (PASS) – and students are eligible to apply or be nominated. Recipients can be individuals or groups.

Applications and nominations will be assessed based on 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 members must be employed either on a permanent basis or under a limited term contract of at least two years and must have been at UCT for not less than 12 months prior to the date of nomination. Students must be currently registered for a qualification at the university.

Nomination procedures

Nominations and applications should include the following:

  1. A narrative (no more than 1 000 words) describing how the nominee or applicant fulfils the stated criteria. The narrative should include a brief 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 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 activity.
  3. 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, comment will be invited on structure according to sound educational principles in order to supplement and complement the theoretical components of the curriculum; demonstration of adequate supervision of participants; thorough training/preparation of participants for the project or programme and the regular and adequate assessment of the initiative.

The selection committee may invite unsuccessful candidates it considers to be at an 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 conferred posthumously.

All items are to be submitted as a single PDF document.

Selection committee

A selection committee will consider applications and nominations and make recommendations to the University Social Responsiveness Committee.

The value of award is R35 000. The award may be used to further social responsiveness or for any legitimate project expenses, including equipment, running expenses, travel or a combination of these.

Nominations and applications should be submitted to Sonwabo Ngcelwane by no later than Monday, 21 November 2022.

The recipient of the award will be announced in December 2022 and awarded at one of the university’s graduation ceremonies in April 2023.


Professor Elelwani Ramugondo
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.