Showcasing Graduate Research at Wits

Tuesday 28 to Wednesday 29 October 2014

Please continue to register for the Symposium; however, abstracts are no longer being accepted. The final closing date for abstracts was 4 August 2014.

The Graduate Support Division takes pleasure in announcing the date of the 6th Wits Cross Faculty Graduate Symposium which will take place on Tuesday 28 and Wednesday 29 October 2014.

We invite registered Masters and PhD students from all five Faculties to attend the Symposium, submit their research for presentation and compete for the cash prizes available. Presentations can be in the form of an oral presentation or a poster. In addition, the top oral presenters and poster displays from each Faculty will be selected to give an oral presentation to judges at a single plenary session, vying for a top prize. We also welcome volunteer session chairpersons and registration officials.

This first announcement is to alert you the graduate students to the forthcoming Symposium and give you ample time to complete that extra bit of work to allow you to submit an abstract. Remember, to participate your research need not be complete.

We also welcome the academic community at large to register to attend and support their students.

There is no cost involved in presenting or registering for the Symposium.

We invite you to finish your research, submit your abstract, volunteer for duties and experience why “Wits has the Edge.”

Professor Mary Scholes
Ms Hildegard Chapman


The Graduate Support Division is happy to announce that the online registration site is now up and running. 

The Symposium welcomes Master’s and Doctoral students to:

  • present their research
  • be rewarded for excellence
  • be stimulated by the range of postgraduate research at Wits
  • meet students in other disciplines
  • explore research synergies across disciplines
  • hone their presentation skills
  • acquaint themselves with conference procedures

Please read carefully before you register


  • All Wits registered Master’s and PhD postgraduates may submit current or completed research towards their higher degree for consideration.
  • Due to space and time constraints abstract submissions may be limited.

Submission of Abstracts closed on 4 August 2014

Presentation Structures

  • There are five Faculty strands.
  • Delegates will present in Faculty specific venues to a panel of adjudicators from their Faculty.
  • Delegates will display their posters on the Senate House Concourse where they will be judged.
  • Delegates will be competing for a prize within their own Faculty.
  • First prize oral and poster winners in each Faculty will also compete in the Cross-Faculty presentations.
  • The challenge is for presenters to make their work understandable to a diverse audience, who will be viewing the posters and attending the oral presentations, without compromising the quality of the research.

There are two presentation formats

  • Oral presentations and
  • Poster displays

Oral presentations

  • Oral presenters will be selected by Faculty reviewers according to the quality of the abstract they submit.
  • Not all abstracts are selected for presentation.
  • If not selected for oral presentation, some abstract submissions will be given the option of displaying a poster.
  • Oral presenters are selected to participate in one of five Faculty specific sessions.
  • All oral presentations take place on 28 October.
  • Timing for oral presentations is 20 minutes with 15 minutes for presentation and 5 minutes for Q & A.


  • Posters will be selected for display according to the quality of the abstract submitted.
  • Not all poster abstracts are selected for display.
  • Posters will be judged on 28 October.
  • Poster delegates should be available for Q & A by judges on 28 October.
  • Posters will be selected to participate in one of five Faculty specific sessions.

Cross-faculty Oral and Poster Presentations

  • The first prize winner in each Faculty in the oral presentations will vie for a top prize in the cross-faculty oral presentations on 29 October. Each delegate will have 15 minutes to present their work followed by 5 minutes Q and A
  • The first prize winner in each Faculty in the poster category will vie for a top prize in the cross-faculty poster category on 29 October. This will be the only time that students in this category will be required to present their posters. Each delegate will have 15 minutes to present followed by 5 minutes of Q and A.

Selection process  

  • Each Faculty will convene a review panel to select the presenters from their Faculty based on the quality of the written abstracts.
  • Each Faculty will convene a panel of judges who will judge the oral presentations and posters for the prizes.


Prizes are awarded in the following categories:

Cross-faculty oral presentations (top achievers form Faculty oral presentation):

  • 1st place – R7 000
  • 2nd place– R6 000
  • 3rd place – R5 000

Cross-faculty poster presentations (top achievers form Faculty poster presentation):

  • 1st place – R7 000
  • 2nd  place– R6 000
  • 3rd  place – R5 000

Oral presentations (Faculty specific):

  • 1st place in Faculty –R5 000
  • 2nd place in Faculty – R4 000
  • 3rd place in Faculty – R3 000 

Posters (Faculty specific):

  • 1st place in Faculty –R5 000
  • 2nd place in Faculty – R4 000
  • 3rd place in Faculty – R3 000 

Staff Attendance

 It is important for the presenters to have a knowledgeable audience to see and hear their work. Staff members are encouraged to attend the oral presentations and to examine the poster displays which will be judged on 28 October. They are also encouraged to attend the Cross-Faculty oral and poster presentations in 29 October.


 Candidates will be asked in the registration form to volunteer as

  • Chairpersons and
  • Registration assistants

Lectures and Workshops

How to Lunchtime Lectures
Professor Mary Scholes will present the following lunch time lectures that will help prepare participants.
Venue and time for all lectures: SHB 4 between 13.15 till 14.00

  • Writing a Symposium Abstract (2 lectures):  25 June,  21 July
  • Making a Poster (2 lectures):  23 September, 29 September
  • How to put together and present an Oral Paper (2 lectures):  1 October, 9 October

All the above lectures will be made available on the Symposium website.

  • How to be a Chairperson: Website only

Please also attend the workshop by Professor David Mycock on tips and formats for making a successful presentation at a Conference:
4th Floor Conference Room, Wartenweiler Library between 9.00 and 13.00

  • Thursday 7 August

Symposium Workshops will be held shortly before the Symposium. Details and booking forms will be available on the Symposium webpages.

You are most welcome to contact us should you have any queries

Professor Mary Scholes
Hildegard Chapman
Graduate Support Division, Research Office

Rechelle Tsunke
Functions and Events

Hildegard Chapman
Graduate Support Division
Tel: +27 11 7171156