Dr Priscilla Mensah

Position: Director

Prior to joining Mandela University, she was Director in the Human and Infrastructure Capacity Development Directorate of the National Research Foundation (NRF). She held several positions at the University of the Free State including Deputy-Director: International Academic Programmes and Deputy Director of the Postgraduate School. She served as Director for the three consecutive summer schools of the Southern African Young Scientist Summer Programme (SA-YSSP) in Applied Systems Analysis hosted at the University of the Free State from 2012-2015. A key research output from this programme was the book Systems Analysis Approach for Complex Global Challenges, published by Springer in 2018 and for which she was managing editor. She has extensive knowledge of South Africa’s Higher Education and Training landscape and the National System of Innovation. She is a specialist in systems analysis with specific emphasis on science and policy within South Africa and beyond. She holds Masters and Doctoral degrees in Chemistry from the University of Cape Town.


Imtiaz Khan

Position: Manager

Prior to joining the Office of Research Development (ORD) in September 2011, Imtiaz was employed as the Faculty of Health Science's Research, Technology and Innovation administrator for a period of one and a half years.

The initial position held at ORD was that of an External Scholarship liaison; in October 2016, he was promoted to Manager. Imtiaz has received numerous institutional, national and international awards in recognition for his excellent work ethic and for his persistence, resilience and the seamless way he does over and beyond what is expected of him.

The core focus of his job is to provide support and management of Emerging Researchers, Research Ethics and External Masters and Doctoral Postgraduate Scholarships. Imtiaz’s portfolio interfaces with the internally funded postgraduate scholarships portfolio, the International office as well as the Office for Research Support and Management, with the aim to support early career academics and postgraduate students. It also provides project management support in relation to externally funded projects.

Imtiaz’s motto is to “Work hard, be inspiring and competitive, and always try and make a positive impact in people’s lives". He firmly believes that happiness is increased when success is shared.


Delene Gerber

Position: Administrative Co-ordinator

Having worked in the Office of Research Development (and all its previous iterations) for approximately 32 years, Delene brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the team. Prior to this, she worked in an administrative capacity at the then University of Port Elizabeth with another department for 4 years. 

Delene primarily deals with the processing of internal scholarships at Nelson Mandela University, and the Postgraduate Research Scholarship (PGRS) in particular.


Tozama Mnonopi

Position: Postgraduate Admin Officer

Tozama has worked in the Office of Research Development since late 2013. Her prime role is the administration of postgraduate research scholarships, internal and external bursaries for Honours students.

Tozama completed both her undergraduate and postgraduate studies at Nelson Mandela University and holds a Masters in Sociology, her research focus being postgraduate funding. She has completed a number of other short courses including Leadership and Team-Building Skills, Coaching as well as Competence and Understanding of HIV/AIDs. Tozama plans to continue and complete her doctorate in the future. 

Tozama has a fundamental belief in respect and this underpins her interactions with Nelson Mandela University students.


Annette Denakie

Position: Secretary

Annette provides secretarial function to the Office of Research Development. She manages the refund administration for Masters and Doctoral students as well as the financial administration for the office. In her supporting role to the Director: Research Development, Annette strives to perform her duties with utmost proficiency. Her strong interpersonal skills allow her to be adaptable; She is assertive and possesses excellent facilitation and problem-solving skills which helps her to run and maintain a smooth-running office.


Jadine Januarie

Position: Research Development Administrator

Jadine has been with the Office of Research Development for over 5 years. Her main responsibility within the team is the co-ordination of the training and workshop schedules as well as assisting with the administration of internal grants. 

Jadine studied at Nelson Mandela University and has a Masters in Counselling Psychology with her specific research interest being Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. She would love to complete her doctorate in this field in the future.


Jolindon Petersen

Position: Administrative Research Assistant

Jolindon started in the Office of Research Development as an intern in 2014; prior to this he worked in the Centre for Access Assessment and Research (CAAR) for 4 years after completing his BA (Honours) in Social Science at Nelson Mandela University.

Jolindon is responsible for the Research Development Facebook page, as well as assisting with bursary administrative matters, workshops and capacity development for Honours students.

He is passionate about student development and engagement and loves applying himself to diverse situations to foster a dynamic working environment, bringing positivity to each situation and keeping in mind that the goal is always to render a vibrant work atmosphere as well as provide a service to our stakeholders, the staff and students of Nelson Mandela University.

Jolindon always has a willingness to assist and go the extra mile in servicing both our staff and students with their different needs and concerns related to research- and funding- related opportunities in order to further their research and academic careers.


Carmen Stindt

Position: Statistical Consultant

Carmen has been with the Unit for Statistical Consultation (USC) in a full-time, permanent capacity since 2019. She is a Nelson Mandela University alumni, having completed a BCom in Economics and Statistics (Cum Laude), a BCom Honours in Mathematical Statistics (Cum Laude) and a MCom in Statistics Research (Cum Laude). Currently, she is busy with her PhD in Mathematical Statistics specialising in structural equation modelling and aiming to complete this in 2022.

Prior to joining the unit, Carmen worked in the corporate world in supply chain analysis. Currently, her role is to assist postgraduate students and staff with the statistical analysis required for their research degrees. 

For more information on the services provided by our statistical consultants, visit the Unit for Statistical Consultation website. 


Terry Adams

Position: Student Assistant

Terry has been a member of the Research Development team since her NRF internship in 2019. She has been a student at Nelson Mandela University since 2014, having completed both a BA and MA in Anthropology and now in the second year of her PhD in the same field. Terry's doctoral study focusses on the practices and conceptualizationof organ donation amongst parishioners of the Catholic Church, whilst her MA investigated the challenges and their impacts as experienced by experts at two of the Forensic Pathology Services in Port Elizabeth.

Terry's prime responsbility within the Office of Research Development is to assist with the administration of Masters and Doctoral external scholarships, and to a lesser extent with the administration of the ethics process.

Terry is organised, flexible and supportive. This with her youthful energy and point-of-view is an asset to the team as a whole. Terry interests outside of her work and PhD, include family, outdoor activities, documentaries and reading books that are not related to her studies. 


Olayide Olajuyin

Position: Assistant Administrator (Postgraduate Scholarships)

Olayide is one of the newer members of the team, having joined Research Development in early 2021. Prior to this, Olayide worked as a  facilitator for the Social Consciousness and Sustainable Futures Course and as a research assistant, both positions at Nelson Mandela University.

Currently, her responsibilities include assisting students with their applications for postgraduate scholarship programmes, as well as the processing of Internal Research Bursary disbursements and stipend refunds for all National Research Foundation (NRF) and other bursary students. She also supports the Office of Research Development with research grant and record-keeping activities.

Olayide has a BSc in Mass Communication from Benson Idahosa University in Nigeria. She followed this up with an MA in International Relations: Oil and Gas Security from Coventry University in the United Kingdom and then an MA in Development Studies at Nelson Mandela University, where she is presently engaged in her PhD in Development Studies. 

Her scholarly publications which highlight her passion and interest in humanitarianism and entrepreneurship include The Performance of the Press under the Civilian Democratic Dispensation in Nigeria and Nigeria and the Problem of Corruption: Case Study of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to her more recent interest in the Effects of load shedding on the performance of Small Medium And Micro Enterprises in Gqeberha.

Olayide's experience of interacting with her fellow students as well as her workplace communication and teamwork skills enable her to engage with both students and team members. Add to this her own extensive participation in and understanding of the research process, Olayide is able to contribute meaningfully to the aims and objectives of the Research Development Office.


Silindile Malangeni

Position: Assistant Graduate Scholarship Administrator

Silindile recently joined the Research Development team, having studied for a Bachelor of Social Work, BA Honours and Master of Development Studies, all at the Nelson Mandela University.

Silindile is currently completing her PhD studies in Education at Nelson Mandela University. Her PhD thesis is titled: A Community School Model to Reconceptualize Basic School Functionality and Quality Education in Low-income South African Communities. Her study seeks to advance a multi-stakeholder co-constructed theoretical conceptualization of the community school.

Prior to joining Research Development, she was a Social Work intern at the Centre for Community Schools (CCS), as well as a project coordinator for the Mott Foundation and Mnayano schools at CCS in the Department of Education at Nelson Mandela University's Missionvale Campus. She has worked as a registered social worker in the Psychology Clinic, Missionvale Campus and has supervised honours graduate students in the Development Studies department.

Silindile has extensive research experience, working with diverse communities and populations, collaborating with other professionals, facilitating special events, managing relationships and developing culturally competent and data-driven projects and interventions.

She is passionate about promoting quality education, conducting critical research, becoming an excellent researcher, and further enhancing human capital and promoting social justice in education.

Silindile brings her desire to learn, her experience, knowledge and research skills to the Research Development team. Additionally, her ability to work well in a team combined with her problem-solving skills enables her to work well under pressure.


Sibongiseni Ntobongwana

Position: Intern Research Coordinator

Sibongiseni joined the Research Development team late in 2021 and assists with administrative issues and the coordination of workshops organised by the Office.

Sibongiseni completed his Bachelor of Social Science degree at the University of Fort Hare. He had the opportunity to be an exchange student at the Windenshiem University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands. The topic of his research in the Netherlands was "The Impact of Social Media among Adolescents Behavior".

Subsequently, he studied for his Masters at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, where his focus was the "Living Arrangements of the Elderly People in Rural Areas of the Eastern Cape". Sibongiseni plans to start his PhD in 2023. His passion is the development of society and the promotion of education.

He looks forward to using his knowledge gained to assist the team in Research Development to make 'research more fashionable and practical'.


Michelle Barnett

Position: Ethics administrator

Michelle has been assisting the Office of Research Development in an administrative role since early 2020. Her main role is to assist with the implementation of an online ethics system to streamline and facilitate the research ethics process from initial application to study closure, although she is involved in other facets of the ethics process.