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Call for Nominations: SAMRC Scientific Merit Awards 2022

Scientific AwardsCape Town | The South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) has issued a call for nominations for the annual 2022 SAMRC Scientific Merit Awards. The awards seek to honor the best scientific minds and contributions within health research whose work reflect innovative methods and novel approaches to public health concerns, to potentially impact on policy and subsequently to the betterment of the lives of South Africans.

Qualifying candidates are individual researchers who have, through published work, made groundbreaking contributions to impactful world-class science and health research aimed at advancing the lives of South Africans. The Awards, which are among the most prestigious in the country, are a set of medals including: Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze and the special President’s Awards.

Platinum medals for a Lifetime Achievement Award are awarded to scientists who have achieved a lifetime of outstanding endeavours in the field of health. Past recipients include the late Professor Bongani Mayosi, Professors Valerie Mizrahi, Salim Abdool Karim, Dan Stein, Gregory Hussey, Robin Wood, Shabir Madhi, Eric Bateman, Maureen Coetzee, Charles Feldman, Keertan Dheda, Heather Zar and Linda-Gail Bekker. In the last installment, this award was received by Professor Andre Kengne, a specialist physician with research interest in chronic non-communicable diseases, epidemiology, and prevention.

Gold medals are awarded to established senior scientists who have made seminal scientific contributions that have impacted on the health of people, especially those living in developing countries. Previous recipients of this award include Professors Graeme Meintjes, Janusz T. Paweska, Karen Sliwa, Michele Ramsay, Ambroise Wonkam, Grant Theron, Ntobeko Ntusi and Tulio de Oliveira.

Silver medals are awarded to scientists who have made important scientific contributions in the country with an emphasis on capacity development. In 2021, this award was conferred to Professors Diane Gray, Rabia Johnson, Marlo Möller and Dr Nasheeta Peer.

President’s awards are conferred to scientists who have made an exceptional life-long contribution to medical research, these are conferred at the discretion of the presiding SAMRC President.

Recipients of this sought-after award include Professors Zena Stein, Carl Lombard, Linda Richter, Anthony Fauci, Hoosen Jerry Coovadia, Paul Van Helden, Lucille Blumberg, Ephraim Mokgokong, Debbie Bradshaw, former SAMRC President Professor, Malegapuru William Makgoba, James “Jimmy” Volmink, Mike Sathekge and more recently, Koleka Mlisana, the country’s first black microbiologist with over 40 years’ experience in health sciences.

According to the SAMRC President and CEO, Prof Glenda Gray, the Awards recognize research that reflects innovative methods and employs a novel approach to public health concerns to potentially impact on policy and subsequently for the betterment of the lives of South Africans.

“In public health, the value of scholarly research and innovation cannot be overstated,” said Gray, adding that since the advent of the COVID-19, science has been in the forefront of the country’s response – once again proving the importance of science and public health research in tackling infectious disease threats, both current and emerging. “As we look ahead, science will provide the path to establish a system that is responsive to the health needs of our country, looking to develop manufacturing capability to bring vaccines, drugs and diagnostics to our continent”


Eligible candidates for all categories of the SAMRC Scientific Merit Awards will be identified through an open, public nomination process, as well as an SAMRC Awards Nominations Committee. Nominations will close on 30 September 2022. (extended to 14 October 2022)

For more information on the nomination process, visit:

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Tendani Tsedu
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