Start main page content

PhD competition a showcase of vibrant scholarship

- Wits University

Wits’ first cross-faculty PhD competition promises to be a festival of invigorating and innovative ideas.

Twenty-two PhD candidates from different Faculties have been shortlisted to share their thinking around the pre-selected word ‘pandemic’. Over a period of two days, the candidates who are already into their second year of research will draw on their disciplines and apply their research and thinking to the keyword.

Winners will receive prizes from the Research & Postgraduate Affairs Office. The top three presenters will receive R35 000, R25 000 and R20 000 respectively. The abstracts were selected by a 16-member adjudicating panel. A panel of nine judges will adjudicate the final competition. The winner of The People’s Choice category to be nominated by audiences through an online, will be awarded R7000 in cash. The organising committee has also made provision for three consolation prizes amounting to 3000 each to those who came close to the top presentations.

The programme runs from 09:00 – 14:00 each day. Click here to view the programme and RSVP for 29 September and  here for 20 September.  

Speaking about this new initiative Professor Robert Muponde, Director of Postgraduate Affairs in the Research Office says: “The Wits PhD Seminar is a unique cross-faculty vehicle designed to aid the articulation and dissemination of novel ideas that seek to address experiences that have a strong impact on all of us.”

Muponde says the aim of the Seminar is to provide a space for PhD students to demonstrate thought leadership, and lead through engaged scholarship. It is intended as a platform to push boundaries, and plans are in place to turn it into an annual event.

The competition requires students to be agile and responsive and to be able to present their work to the public.

“PhD students should not be prisoners of their disciplines; they should seek to innovatively extend the horizons of knowledge production and creatively adapt their research interests to a fast-changing world,” says Muponde.

The call received a positive response as over 100 abstracts were submitted by Wits PhD students. The competition is open to Wits PhD students who are at least two years into their research.

It is going to be a busy two weeks for the Research Office which will host the 11th Cross-Faculty Symposium on 12-14 October 2020. More details will be posted on the Wits Events Calendar.