Monash South Africa recently hosted the latest winner of the Monash-AFSAAP postgraduate essay competition prize.

Monash, through Global Engagement, sponsors the annual postgraduate prize awarded by the African Studies Association of Australasia and the Pacific(AFSAAP). The competition is run as part of the annual AFSAAP conference and attracts papers of high quality from postgraduate students. It is open to all students enrolled at a tertiary education institution in Australia, including Monash. Past winners have included several Monash postgraduate students.

The papers are sent out to judges who subject them to a stringent peer-review process and make a decision based on the merit of the research, argument and quality of writing. The prize, worth $3000, includes return airfares from Melbourne to Johannesburg, airport transfers, and accommodation at Monash South Africa.

The winning postgraduate will spend time at the Monash South Africa campus, and deliver a paper to an interested audience of academics and students. This opportunity allows the postgraduate student to establish their academic and collaborative links, and provides a forum for Monash South Africa to play a pivotal role in showcasing upcoming academic talent from Australia in South Africa.

Dr Eugene Sebastian, Director of Global Engagement at Monash, said the prize was important for enhancing emerging researcher links with Africa and the international research community.

“It’s an honour to host these brilliant minds and support early career researchers, as well as to maintain the University’s connections with important academic work around the world,” Dr Sebastian said.

The 2012 Monash-AFSAAP postgraduate prize was awarded to Stephen O’Brien from the University of Queensland. His essay, ‘A qualitative study of impressions and experiences of HIV in Zimbabwe’, was based on field work in Zimbabwe and demonstrated an excellent standard of academic research and writing.

Stephen was hosted by the School of Health Sciences at Monash South Africa.