The South African Women in Science Awards (WISA) are presented annually by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) recognising emerging and distinguished women researchers and promoting women in the field of Science. This year, WISA was held at the Hilton hotel, Sandton, Johannesburg on 16th August. The theme of this year’s awards was “The scourge of violence against women: What is the role of science and research?” which is in line with the 2013 United Nations theme for women. The five categories at this year’s awards were 1) Distinguished women, 2) Distinguished young women, 3) Distinguished, emerging and postdoctoral researchers within the role of science and research against violence towards women, 4) Masters and Doctoral DST Fellowships and 5) Masters and Doctoral TATA Africa Scholarships for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology.
Nominations and applications for these categories opened from 8 April to 13 May 2013 for full-time students under the age of 35. The Fellowship is awarded based on the quality and performance in the applicants’ studies; relevance of their research; past and present achievements; and their future career plans. The fellowship may be used for attending or presenting a paper in a local or international conference, publishing a research paper, register a patent, or obtaining personal equipment to conduct research such as a laptop and meant to be in addition to a postgraduate scholarship.
Shameemah applied for the Masters DST Fellowship and was one of the three Masters students awarded the bursary along with another 2nd year Master’s student from UCT in the Engineering faculty.
">Shameemah majored in Biochemistry and Physiology for her BSc (2008 – 2010) at the University of Cape Town and was awarded a place on the Dean’s Merit list in 2008, 2009 and 2010. She completed a BSc (Med) Honours degree with distinction in Physiology, specialising in Neuroscience, in 2011 at UCT. She is currently in her second year of MSc (Medicine) study at the UCT/MRC Exercise Science and Sports Medicine research unit with supervision by Dr Michael Posthumus and Dr Alison September. Her research project involves both the non-genetic and genetic predisposing factors of concussion risk in South African adolescent rugby. As a consequence of the severity of concussion injury especially in the youth, her research is geared towards investigating the underlying physiological mechanism increasing susceptibility to concussion as well as the neurological changes that occur during recovery from injury. Shameemah has co-authored two manuscripts submitted recently for peer-review and has presented part of her Honour’s work at the 18th Annual Congress of the European College of Sports Science in Barcelona, Spain in June 2013.