September 17, 2021

The 2nd Postdoctoral Research Conference 10-12 November 2021

Invitation of partners to the 2nd Postdoctoral Research Conference 10-12 November 2021

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 unique in their institutional identity and most academic institutions are 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 warrants the need to bring this group of
young researchers together, to establish collaborative networks to 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 1 st 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 this year’s conference, “Beyond The Pandemic: Research Now And In The Future” will strategically 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 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
( or send any queries to to engage with the executive
committee of the Postdoctoral Society of Stellenbosch University.