Top accolade for UWC health science professor

Professor Jose Frantz, the 2016 NRF Champion of Research Capacity Development and Transformation.

University of the Western Cape (UWC) health science professor and researcher, Professor Jose Frantz, received one of the top awards at this year’s National Research Foundation (NRF) awards ceremony in Limpopo.

Professor Frantz, dean of the faculty of community and health sciences at UWC, received the Champion of Research Capacity Development and Transformation Award for tertiary institutions – for being “an important advocate for increased transformation of South Africa’s science community and landscape”.

Professor Frantz said: “My life is all about developing others, and I enjoy seeing others thrive. The most rewarding part of my job is when others thrive and succeed. Being honoured and recognised through this reward is a humbling experience.”

She spent her formative years in District Six, where she attended Zonnebloem Girls’ Primary School and Harold Cressy High School. She joined UWC in 1996 as a lecturer, obtained her doctoral degree in 2005 from UWC’s department of physiotherapy – the first black female researcher to obtain a PhD from this department – and headed the department for three years before becoming the deputy dean of research in the faculty and then the dean of the faculty.

“I believe I received this reward for the work I have done with my postgraduate students and young academics at higher education institutions in South Africa. Besides helping them to obtain higher degrees, I have also assisted them in taking the academic journey further in terms of publication, promotion and rating.”

She is also involved in her church in Hazendal, Athlone, where she helps young people develop their acting abilities.

“I love spiritual dancing, and until about three years ago, I used to write Christian plays for young people to perform in church – though this has taken a back seat for now,” she said.