College of Agriculture & Environmental Sciences

Two Unisans to 'walk' the red carpet at the Science Oscars

Unisa is proud to announce that Dr Vhahangwele Masindi, a Research Fellow at the university, and Prof Leslie Brown, Head of the Applied Behavioural Ecology and Ecosystem Research Unit (ABEERU) have made it through to the finals of the 2019/2020 NSTF-South32 awards. A special word of congratulation must go to Masindi, who is a finalist in four categories. It’s also a feather in the cap of the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences (CAES), as both scientists are based there.

Dr Vhahangwele Masindi

Prof Leslie Brown

According to the National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF), it is an extraordinary honour to be an award finalist given the quality of the nominations received, the fierce competition that nominees face and continued growing interest from the community every year.

TW Kambule-NSTF Award: Emerging Researcher

Prize sponsor: proSET (Professionals in SET), a sector of the NSTF representing professional bodies and learned societies
Dr Vhahangwele Masindi

NSTF-Lewis Foundation Green Economy Award

Sponsored by The Lewis Foundation since 2019

Prof Leslie Brown

Dr Vhahangwele Masindi

NSTF-Water Research Commission (WRC) Award

Sponsored by the WRC since 2017

Dr Vhahangwele Masindi

Innovation Award: Corporate Organisation

Dr Vhahangwele Masindi

You can see all the finalists here.

Attending the 2020 'Science Oscars'

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the announcement of the winners will take place through a live-streamed gala event on 30 July 2020. The patron of the NSTF Awards, the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology, Dr Blade Nzimande, will deliver the keynote address. For the first time, the virtual event can be watched by anyone in the world.

Stringent adjudication

The accreditation and selection process for the NSTF-South32 Awards is made by an adjudication panel of independent judges. They represent six different sectors of the NSTF membership. This adjudication panel, in conjunction with the award partners, review the nominations to select the finalists and winners each year. A panel of experts, appointed by the NSTF Executive Committee, also assists the panel by reviewing and validating the final selections.

NSTF’s 25th anniversary

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the founding of the NSTF, a milestone that the virtual awards gala event will celebrate.

The beginning of the NSTF goes as far back as 1993, when the SET community united behind the drive of the pre-cursor of the NSTF, the National Science and Technology Initiative (NSTI) that participated in South Africa’s landmark Convention for a Democratic South Africa (CODESA).

The NSTF was launched as a result as a national broadly representative stakeholder body to ensure a democratic and inclusive science system in South Africa (later known as the national system of innovation—a broader concept).

* Compiled by Sharon Farrell, Editor, Department of Institutional Advancement

Publish date: 2020/06/04