The 2nd Postdoctoral Research Conference of Southern Africa

Beyond the pandemic: Research now and in the future

The aim of the conference is to bring together young researchers from diverse fields of research to create an interdisciplinary forum, placing an emphasis on the importance of postdoctoral fellows in driving research under the theme:

Wednesday 10 November 2021

08:00 – 08:30

Registration and Welcoming


08:30 – 09:00

Welcoming Address

Prof Eugene Cloete

DVC: Research, Innovation and Postgraduate Studies


09:00 - 09:30

Presentation of the DRD: Postdoctoral Research Support

Dr Palesa Natasha Mothapo
Head: Postdoctoral Research Support


09:30 – 10:15

Keynote speaker Prof Sehaam Khan

Chair: Dr Maaike Eken

10:15 – 10:30

Coffee Break

Session 1


10:30 – 12:00

Oral Presentations

Symposium 1: Water Research

Invited speaker: Dr Inga Jacobs-Mata

Chair: Dr Jeanine Vonkeman

Oral Presentations

Symposium 2: Business & Economics

Invited speaker: Dr Tinashe Kapuya

Chair: Dr Hannah Muzee

12:00 - 12:30

Lunch Break

12:30 – 13:00

Industry Sponsor Presentations: DIAMOND sponsor - CLARIVATE
Showcasing your research to advance your career:
A “How to” guide for researchers
Dr Klementyna Karlińska-Batres

13:00 – 13:30

Poster presentations 

(Session 1)

Industry tables

Visit sponsor lounges

13:30 – 15:00

Workshop 1: Design Thinking

 By Alvira Fisher of Launch Lab

15:00 – 15:30

Coffee Break

Session 2



15:30 – 17:00

Oral Presentations

Symposium 3: Law amidst the pandemic

Invited speaker: Dr Bradley Slade

Chair: Dr Callixte Kavuro

Oral Presentations

Symposium 4: Land, Agriculture & Food security

Invited speaker: Dr Lameck Mwewa

Chair: Dr Maaike Eken

Close of day

Thursday 11 November 2021


08:30 – 09:15


Invited speaker:  Prof Joel Chigada

Chair: Dr Tando Maduna

09:15 – 09:30

Coffee Break


09:30 - 11:00

Workshop 2: Personal Brand for Scientists

Dr Martyna Scibiorek Science Bridge

Session 3



11:00 – 12:30

Oral Presentations

Symposium 5: Education,

Communication and Science

Oral Presentations

Symposium 6: Innovation leading the


Invited speaker: Dr Marina Joubert

Chair: Dr Mel Deist

Invited speaker: Dr Maluta Stephen Mufamadi

Chair: Dr Madhu Pahar

12:30 – 12:45

Lunch Break

12:45 – 13:00

Prof Wim Delva

Wimmy (Winning Insights and Models for Marvellous Yields)

13:00 – 13:30

Poster Presentations

Industry tables

Visit sponsor lounges

(Session 2)


13:30 – 14:30

Oral Presentations 

Symposium 7: Arts and Culture

Chair: Dr Maaike Eken


14:30 – 15:45

Workshop 3: Beyond the pandemic as a postdoc

By Cheryl Benadie of WholePersonAcademy

15:45 – 16:00

Coffee Break

Session 4



16:00 – 17:30

Oral Presentations

Oral Presentations

Symposium 8: Viruses & Bacteria

Symposium 9: Humanity Amidst the


Invited speaker: Prof Mareli Claassens

Chair: Dr Taime Sylvester

Invited speaker: Prof Ebenezer Durojaye

Chair: Dr Gera de Villiers

Close of day

Friday 12 November 2021


08:00 – 09:30

Oral Presentations

Symposium 10: Exercise, Health & Well-being

Invited speaker: Prof Christa Janse

van Rensburg

Chair: Dr Lovemore Kunorozva

Oral Presentations

Symposium 11: General Science

Invited speaker: Dr Tando Maduna

Chair: Dr Maaike Eken

09:30 – 09:40

Short break


African University Day Celebrations

09:40 – 11:30

09h40 - 09:45: Opening & Message from President: Association of African Universities

09:45 - 10:10: The Postdoc Career Path Among South African Phd Graduates, 2000–2018
Prof Heidi Prozesky


Panel session: 

10:10-11:30: Higher Education Policy, Partnerships and Strategies for development of Emerging Researchers in Africa

Moderators: Dr Nico Elema and Dr Palesa N. Mothapo


  • Prof Sarah Howie, Director: Africa Centre for Scholarship, Stellenbosch University 
  • Mr Bheki Hadebe- Director High-end skills, Department of Science and Technology
  • Prof Davis Mumbengegwi, Head of Multidisciplinary Research, University of Namibia
  • Prof Eric Osei-Assibey, Dean: International Programmes Office, University of Ghana
  • Dr Ethel Phiri, Lecturer: Department of Agronomy, Stellenbosch University

11:30 – 12:30

Keynote Address

Dr Richard Munang

United Nations Environment Program, Africa Office

Africa’s Research predicament – a pity-party or a rare opportunity for legacy

under the changing climate.
Chair: Dr Palesa N. Mothapo

12:30 – 12:40

Coffee Break

Session 5

12:40 – 13:45

Oral Presentations

Symposium 12: Research models

Invited speaker: Prof Igor Miranda

Chair: Dr Patricia Swart

Oral Presentations

Symposium 13: Non-communicable diseases

Invited speaker: Dr Mari van der Vyver

Chair: Dr Matsepo Ramaboli

13:45 – 14:00

Whitehead Scientific presentation

Empowering you with so much more 


13:45– 14:15

Lunch Break

13:45 – 14:15

Poster Presentations

(Session 3)

Industry tables

14:15 – 15:00

Prof. Stephanie Burton

Future Africa, University of Pretoria & Research Fellow at USAf

New programmes to support early career researchers through coordinated mentorship and training resources. 

15:00 – 16:20

Think Tank: Beyond the pandemic Moderator: Prof Eugene Cloete

16:20 – 16:30

Coffee Break

16:30– 17:45

Gala Ceremony


16:30 – 17:15: Plenary Lecture by Prof Tulio de Oliveira

17:15 – 17:45: Presentation of awards and closing

Best Presentation Awards

Awarding of Top20 Awards

Thank you from Postdoc Society Chair

Event closing remarks


We invite you to engage with us at our virtual conference to share your research, network and build a future for postdoctoral research fellow in Southern Africa.

Contact details

+27 82 414 4378

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Postdoctoral Research Support Office, Division for Research Development, Stellenbosch University, Private Bag X1, Matieland, 7602

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