Division for Research Development
Welcome to Stellenbosch University

 Postdoctoral Research Conference of Southern Africa


Beyond The Pandemic: Research Now And In The Future

10-12 November 2021


Postdoctoral Research Fellows (Postdocs) are emerging researchers who seek to establish themselves as global research leaders of the future, conduct cutting edge research and respond to fast-paced global developments and technological advancement. Postdocs, who are considered not skilled enough to be recognised as staff and too advanced for graduate students, are a are unique in their institutional identity and most academic institutions unable to provide them with the right mentorship, tools or skills development opportunities to develop their careers. The cutting edge and multi-faceted nature of the research conducted by Postdocs warrant the need to bring this group of young researchers together, to establish collaborative networks and contribute to the knowledge economy for global impact on the African continent and beyond. We believe that participating in a conference solely dedicated to highlight research conducted by postdocs based at sub-Saharan Africa universities, will provide the platform to showcase the innovative research and build future collaborations.

The 1st Southern Africa Postdoc conference was held in October 2018 at The Wallenberg Centre at STIAS, Stellenbosch University, South Africa. Due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the conference could not be held in 2020 and was moved to 2021. The theme of the conference, “Beyond The Pandemic: Research Now And In The Future" will strategicly enable discussions on the challenges, impacts and opportunities presented by the pandemic on research activities of emerging and early career researchers on the African continent. The conference will be a highly interdisciplinary forum intended to build collaborations and showcase postdoctoral research in the sub-Saharan region. Postdocs rarely have the opportunity to present their research to their peers or have special and dedicated conferences where they can share the outcomes of their cutting edge research. Our conference will be inclusive, affordable and accessible to all, ensuring that both well-off and historically disadvantaged institutions can share a platform to engage. Here, postdocs will have the opportunity to strengthen their presentation skills, working in collaborative groups and simulating the lives of established academics and researchers to whom they aspire. As such, we view this conference to have a significant impact on the research capacity development of postdoctoral fellows who will attend the conference, and also a potential opportunity to network and build the right kind of research networks across the continent. .In so doing, we hope to contribute to the development and transformation of research in sub-Saharan Africa and beyond.

Stellenbosch University's 2030 vision is to become one of Africa's leading research-intensive universities with global recognition for excellence, inclusivity and innovation.  This event highlights Stellenbosch University's research focus, its ability to attract highly talented and outstanding researchers and its nurtured and innovative research landscape that serves the wider community. Our key focus areas (as an institution) are to build research capacity and knowledge interchange and conduct research that can transform the political and knowledge economies on the continent, and across the globe.  The conference aligns with two institutional strategic themes: Research for Impact, and Purposeful Partnerships and Meaningful Networks

Throughout this conference we anticipate to redefine of the role of postdocs at African research institutions, improve knowledge around the postdoc experience and how the experience can be used for career building.  Postdocs and early career researchers (<5 years post PhD) conducting research at any university in Southern Africa are invited to submit abstracts for Oral or Poster presentations on https://www.postdocsa.co.za/ by 30 September 2021. Registration is open from 30 August 2021 and will close on 3 November 2021. Early bird registration will close on 15 October 2021. Participation in the conference is open to all, with a special invitation extended to postgraduate students, research management offices, representatives from funding bodies, suppliers and other stakeholders in Higher Education.

For more details, contact Dr Palesa Natasha Mothapo, Head: Postdoctoral Research Support (mothapo@sun.ac.za) or send any queries to postdocs@sun.ac.za to engage with the executive committee of the Postdoctoral Society of Stellenbosch University.​​

How to register?
What is the plan for the conference?
Venue & Accomodationhttp://www.sun.ac.za/english/research-innovation/Research-Development/PublishingImages/postdocs/postdoctoral-conference-southern-africa/venue.png
Where do I find affordable accommodation?
Frequently Asked Questions