Interdisciplinary Summer School 2017


The College of Graduate Studies at the University of South Africa is hosting the 5th interdisciplinary Summer School from the 6th to 10 November 2017 at the Unisa Science Campus in Florida, Johannesburg. The Summer School is primarily focused at postgraduate students and postdoctoral fellows.

The 2017 Summer School will concentrate on pressing scientific, socioeconomic and political issues related to latest Water Treatment Technologies, Men in the ex-Colonies, Cancer Drug Discovery, Particle Physics, Sustainable Energies and Social Protest and Violence.

The 2017 Unisa Summer School is organized in six streams addressing the above mentioned issues.

The first stream “Men in ex-Colonies” aims at thinking and developing research on men and masculinities that takes the history of colonisation and modern global coloniality into account. Professor Kopano Ratele leads the stream.

The second stream “Social Protest and Violence” is led by Professor Kitty Dumont. Professor Dumont’s stream will engage with why, when and how do people decide to engage in social protest; and why, when and how do social protests turn violent.

The third stream, “Drosophila as a Model Organism in Drug Discovery and Development”, will introduce Drosophila as a drug discovery tool and provide expert knowledge of this model organism and related experimental techniques. The stream leader is Professor Monde Ntwasa.

The fourth stream “The Intersection of Cosmology and Particle Physicswill explore the intersection of Cosmology and Particle Physics in a series of lectures on (a) the large-scale astronomical surveys to elucidate dark matter and dark energy and (b) the search for dark interactions with interpretation for dark matter. The stream leader is Professor Lerothodi Leeuw.

Professor Bhekie Mamba leads Stream 5, “New and Emerging Water Treatment Technologies”, whose focus will be on advances in technologies for water treatment and water resources management.

The sixth stream, under the leadership of Professor Diane Hildebrandt, is “Sustainable Energy”. The stream will address cheaper, more efficient and sustainable energy from the perspective of chemistry and chemical engineering.

The Unisa Postgraduate Summer School aims not only to address different scientific, socioeconomic, and politically urgent issues but also bring them together in an interdisciplinary environment raising the potential for cross-fertilisation and innovation. Thus, plenary lectures will be delivered daily to all attendees of the Summer School while specific, disciplinary-focused lectures will be offered within the respective streams.

The ultimate task for each stream is to think and discuss potential research projects which will be presented to the whole Summer School on the last day of the programme. The leaders of each stream have been able to secure the participation of recognised international and national experts, who will constitute the faculty of the Summer School and who will not only offer thought-provoking lectures, but will also assist the Summer School participants in the development of research projects.

The Summer School will be held at the Unisa Science Campus in Florida, Johannesburg; and can accommodate a maximum of 120 participants. Successful applicants will be provided with an exciting programme within a state-of-the-art environment; reading material in preparation for the Summer School; as well as daily lunch and refreshments.

The following groups (in order of preference) may apply to attend the Postgraduate Summer School:

Unisa registered students/staff:

  • Master’s students who intend to pursue a PhD at Unisa within the areas of the Summer School streams;
  • PhD students registered at Unisa;
  • Unisa Post-doctoral fellows; and
  • Honours students who intend to pursue a Master’s Degree at Unisa within the areas of the Summer School streams.

Students/staff from other universities

  • Master’s students at any university; and
  • PhD students at any university

We look forward to receiving your applications.

Closing date for applications: 25 September 2017.

Response date to applicants: 29 September 2017