The HSRC-USAf Research Medals D-Day is 24 hours away

Published On: 9 April 2022|

Up to 60 guests are expected to grace the 2021/2022 HSRC-USAf Medal for the Social Sciences and Humanities ceremony on Tuesday, 12 April 2022, at the Protea Hotel Fire & Ice (221 Garsfontein Road) in Menlyn, Pretoria. The event is being hosted by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), in partnership with Universities South Africa (USAf), under the theme ‘Engaged Scholarship’.

The 44 scholars nominated in all three categories of this award, namely Established ResearchersEmerging Researchers and Research Teams are among the guests invited to attend the event physically.

Alongside them, chief executive officers of the National Research Foundation, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and senior leadership of the Department of Science and Innovation will also be in attendance, as will vice-chancellors and/or senior leadership of the University of Johannesburg, North-West University, University of Pretoria, University of South Africa and the University of Venda. Senior representatives of ABSA, African Bank and Nedbank will also grace the occasion.

The chief executive officers of the HSRC and USAf will play leading roles at the ceremony, with Professor Heidi van Rooyen, Acting CEO of the HSRC, set to welcome guests, ahead of Professor Ahmed Bawa, CEO of USAf, explaining the purpose of the HSRC-USAf Medal for the Social Sciences and Humanities.

Dr Tade Akin Aina, Head of Research at MasterCard Foundation, will deliver the evening’s keynote address on Engaged Scholarship, following which Professor Ahmed Bawa will announce the winning scholars and deliver the congratulatory message.

This is the seventh HSRC-USAf Medal for the Social Sciences and Humanities ceremony to be hosted since the inception of this project in 2016. The HSRC Medal is awarded annually to scholars who have made outstanding contributions to scholarship in the social sciences and humanities through their research. The awards aim to anchor and celebrate the social sciences’ role in understanding societal issues and informing policy and programmes to improve people’s lives.

The Award is particularly significant as South Africa’s national system of innovation – of which the HSRC and USAf are integral parts — places increasing emphasis on impactful research that addresses pressing societal challenges. During the CoVID-19 era, the need for credible science informing decision-making has been proven to be more critical.

Emphasis is also being placed on collaborative research in partnership with key constituencies. Engaged Scholarship helps to democratise knowledge by closing the gap between knowledge production and societal impact and allowing the public to contribute to shaping the discourse around public policy.

In 2021, several academics and researchers demonstrated key characteristics of engaged scholarship in their work through participatory, engaged and action research approaches, by supporting the co-production of knowledge and by facilitating inclusive public engagement with science.

Tomorrow’s ceremony will be a hybrid event allowing other guests to witness it online. To observe CoVID-19 precautions, physical attendance has been limited to a controlled number of invited guests.

Date: 12 April 2022
Time: 17:00–​20:00

Registration remains open here to link to the webinar.