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15 May 2020
Open Up Your Thinking: Join the SADC Research Challenge And Help Defeat COVID-19

(Published - 15 May 2020)

Are you a postgrad at UWC? Looking for something exciting to do during lockdown? Hoping to work with top researchers, and put your research skills to good use fighting COVID-19? Then don’t delay - join the #OpenupYourThinking: SADC* Researchers Challenge today!

JET Education Services, the UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa (ROSA) and partners from the Global Challenge Research Fund’s Transforming Education for Sustainable Futures Project (South African node), as well as the Open Society Foundations (OSF), are contributing to the generation of evidence of how education and training systems in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) are affected by – and can respond to – COVID-19.

The SADC Researchers Challenge project will take place online (free data can be provided) from 19 May to 19 June 2020. It involves a wide range of universities in SADC countries, and will be overseen by experienced researchers of all ages (including several from UWC).

Why should you join?

  • The SADC Researchers Challenge provides an opportunity to:
  • Contribute meaningfully to shaping solutions to pressures being placed on education systems using an evidence-based approach;
  • Allow for real time inputs to be made into other national education processes led by organisations in the SADC; and,
  • Ensure that a wider group of younger researchers (below 35 years) is collectively engaged during the lockdown period while giving them an opportunity to grow, as they will be working under the guidance of experienced researchers.
  • A data stipend of USD 20-30 can be provided (terms and conditions apply).
What is it about?
The SADC Researchers Challenge covers six thematic areas:
Theme 1: Education for sustainable development: COVID-19 education response intersections with the food, water and economic (livelihoods) crisis
Theme 2: Teacher preparation for distance learning during major disruptions
Theme 3: Exploring Lives of the Excluded Youth amidst COVID-19
Theme 4: Exercising global citizenship amidst COVID 19
Theme 5: Green skills for sustainable livelihoods in a post-COVID-19 context
Theme 6: Curbing the spread of fake news in Southern Africa - what we can and cannot do

10 researchers are needed for each of the six thematic areas.

Who should join up?

  • The Challenge calls for a special kind of researcher - those who:
  • Are Honours, Master’s and PhD students;
  • Have the mind of a researcher, the heart of an activist, and the soul of a social change agent;
  • Have some research experience; and,
  • Have a thematic area of interest in Education.

A balanced weighting across SADC countries will apply.

The Bottom Line:
The SADC #OpenupYourThinking Researchers Challenge is an opportunity to contribute meaningfully to shaping solutions to pressures being placed on education systems, using an evidence-based approach.

So…are you keen to #OpenupYourThinking and get involved in an ambitious research challenge – and help make a difference?

Sign up now at:

Applications close at 16:00 on 17 May 2020, and late applications will not be accepted.
(And yes, we know that’s a Sunday - but there’s no time to waste.)

For more information, visit: