Researchers applauded for outstanding achievements

At the UFS’s research celebrations were from left, NRF P-rated researcher, Dr Daniel Spence; directorate research development’s Eleanor van der Westhuizen; vice-chancellor and rector Prof Francis Petersen; dean of the faculty of theology, Prof Fanie Snyman; and vice-rector: research, Prof Corli Witthuhn. PHOTO: JOHAN ROUX

“Research has the ability to play an active role in transformative action that leads to change. The University of the Free State is striving to be a leader in research output.”
These were the words of the newly appointed vice-chancellor and rector of the University of the Free State (UFS), Prof Francis Petersen, at a research celebration event hosted by Prof Corli Witthuhn, vice-rector: research, of the UFS.
The new National Research Foundation (NRF) ratings, presentation of the UFS Book Prize, and the research support award were announced during the celebrations.
Presenting the opening remarks, Prof Petersen congratulated all researchers and prize recipients on behalf of the rectorate. He applauded all researchers who had put their best foot forward and were acknowledged by the NRF.
Prof Fanie Snyman, dean of the faculty of theology, walked away with the most sought-after award of the day, the UFS Book Prize for Distinguished Scholarship, for his book Malachi, on the last book of the Old Testament. The book was published in Germany and can be used by theology scholars and academics.
“I have no words, I am sincerely grateful for this award, but I must also thank the university. I am grateful for the support that has enabled me to complete the book and achieve this award,” said Prof Snyman. He is the third academic to receive this prize.
The university’s new NRF-ratings were also celebrated. The UFS has 27 new rated researchers and seven researchers’ ratings were renewed. Prof Jonathan Jansen received a NRF A-rating and Dr Daniel Spence a P-rating.
Eleanor van der Westhuizen from the directorate of research development was awarded the Research Support Award, which acknowledges those who accelerate and propel research and/or researchers.