The HSRC and USAf jointly celebrate South Africa's outstanding academics and researchers in Social Sciences and Humanities

After a rigorous adjudication process, the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) and Universities South Africa (USAf) will later today announce the awardees in the 2020 HSRC-USAf Medal in Social Sciences and Humanities.

Outstanding scholars will be recognised in three categories: Established Researchers, Emerging Researchers and, for the first time in the history of the annual HSRC Medal for Social Sciences and Humanities, a category of Team Awards for outstanding collaborative research teams has been added. The winners will be announced in a virtual ceremony from 16:00 to 18:00, today.

Professor Crain Soudien

The Chief Executive Officers of the HSRC and USAf, Professor Crain Sodien (left) and Professor Ahmed Bawa (right), respectively, will preside over the awards ceremony. Professor Soudien will announce the winning Established Researcher, whereas Professor Bawa will announce the first Team Award winner.

Professor Ahmed Bawa

Professor Heidi van Rooyen

The Group Executive at the HSRC's Impact Centre, Professor Heidi van Rooyen (left), together with a Member of the HSRC Board and JL Dube Chair in Rural Education at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Professor Relebohile Moletsane (right) will co-direct the proceedings at this event.

Professor Relebohile Moletsane

Professor Puleng LenkaBula

Another prominent role player will be the University of South Africa's first female Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Puleng LenkaBula (left), who will announce the Emerging Researcher Award winner, as well as the winner of the second Team Award.

Registration remains open to attend this ceremony:

Media requests for interviews or to speak to any of the nominees may be directed at Manusha Pillai (Ms) on 082 389 3587 or

About the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

The HSRC was established in 1968 as South Africa's statutory research agency and has grown to become the largest dedicated research institute in the social sciences and humanities on the African continent, doing cutting-edge public research in areas that are crucial to development.

Our mandate is to inform the effective formulation and monitoring of government policy; to evaluate policy implementation; to stimulate public debate through the effective dissemination of research-based data and fact-based research results; to foster research collaboration; and to help build research capacity and infrastructure for the human sciences.

The Council conducts large-scale, policy-relevant, social-scientific research for public sector users, non-governmental organizations and international development agencies. Research activities and structures are closely aligned with South Africa's national development priorities.

About Universities South Africa (USAf)

Universities SA is a membership organisation of the 26 public universities and provides for a sector-wide facility to strengthen the institutions in performing teaching/learning and research/innovation. It does this mainly through policy interventions, advocacy, leadership and management development, entrepreneurship development, and research. It works primarily through five strategy groups: the Funding Strategy Group that focuses on the sustainability of the higher education institutions and system; the Teaching and Learning Strategy Group that zooms in on student access and success; the Transformation Strategy Group that seeks to address institutional culture change through the redesign of universities to optimise their role in student growth and development and on the idea of the engaged university; the Research and Innovation Strategy Group that seeks to strengthen the knowledge building capacity of the universities; and finally, the World of Work Strategy Group that builds linkages between the functioning of higher education institutions and the world of work. When it is necessary Universities SA represents the sector.