Change the world


THE impact that research can have in benefitting society was effectively showcased during the successful hosting of Nelson Mandela University’s first Research for Change event this week.


The novel two-day event offered an exciting glimpse of the width and depth of the University’s research and engagement across research topics ranging from citizen science through to cyber space, ecological issues, educational challenges, and issues affecting both young and old.

“There is great work underway at Nelson Mandela University. Both our established and emerging researchers had the opportunity to share their work with those outside of their discipline. We all learnt a great deal about research that is having a positive impact on society,” says Prof Andrew Leitch the University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Engagement.

Apart from 15-minute presentations and discussions, the Research for Change programme included a new three-minute thesis contest for masters and doctoral students.

These emerging researchers had three minutes to showcase and share the benefits of their research to the audience who then selected a People’s Choice award in both the masters and doctoral categories.

Jamiellah Domingo, who is exploring new ways of writing for English second-language learners at Paterson, won the masters category, and Nehemiah Latolla the doctoral title for his presentation on this research around the indigenous Cissampelos Capensis or David’s Root. (see the full list of winners below their photogograph).

“Other benefits of this event included the networking, and the nurturing of relationships across disciplines. Nelson Mandela University believes a transdisciplinary approach to societal challenges is the way of the future, so we encourage such interaction,” says Dr Nolunkcwe Bomela from the Research Office, who with Prof Pretorius, was responsible for hosting the event.

“This was something of a pilot project towards introducing a fully-fledged Research Week going forward.”

The entire two days of sharing was live-streamed and will now be packaged into individual bite-sized talks to enable others to view some of the research that is underway. 



Contact information
Prof Blanche Pretorius
Associate Professor
Tel: 27 41 504 2687