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) 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.

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 is now completing 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. 


Silindile Malangeni

Position: Postgraduate Scholarships Assistant

Silindile recently joined the Research Development team after studying at Nelson Mandela University for a Bachelor of Social Work, BA Honours, and MA in Development Studies.

She is completing her PhD in Education at the same institution. Her PhD thesis is titled A Community School Model to Reconceptualize Basic School Functionality in Low-income South African Communities. Prior to joining Research Development, she was a social work intern at the Centre for Community Schools (CCS) and a project coordinator for the Mott Foundation and Manyano schools in the Nelson Mandela University, Missionvale Campus Department of Education. She's also worked as a social worker at the Missionvale Psychology Clinic and supervised Honours graduate students in the Development Studies department.

Silindile has worked with diverse communities and populations and is passionate about promoting quality education, conducting critical research, becoming an excellent researcher, enhancing human capital, and promoting social justice in education.

Silindile's desire to learn, experience, knowledge, and research skills benefit Research Development. She works well under pressure due to her teamwork and problem-solving skills.

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'.

Tariro Phiri

Position: Intern Research Coordinator

Tariro is one of the newer members of the team having joined RD in early 2023. She has a wealth of experience in administrative roles, having served as a Residence Student Assistant/Coordinator in Student Housing and the Living and Learning Programmes for at least four years.

During her Honours year, Tariro majored in Advanced Strategic Management and International Marketing, focusing on customer satisfaction in the South African hospitality industry. She obtained her Masters (Cum Laude) which focused on online shopping purchasing intention factors that influence e-customer satisfaction. Tariro is currently enrolled for her Doctoral studies, and her research focuses on multi-sensory marketing in the retail industry in South Africa.

Other than being extremely passionate about customer satisfaction, Tariro nurtures and advocates for an environment that enables achieving organisational goals, success, growth, excellence, teamwork, and perseverance.

Welma van Heerden

Position: Postdoctoral Administrative Assistant

Welma joined the Research Development team in June 2022 and assists with the administration of postdoctoral fellowships managed by the Office of Research Development.

Prior to joining the team, Welma was employed in the private financial sector; this experience has assisted her to implement additional systems and controls to manage this funding and support programme efficiently.

Siyanda Mazibuko

Position: Student Assistant

Prior to joining the office of Research Development, Siyanda worked as a Mandela First Year Success student leader. In this role he assisted first year students in transitioning from high school to university, by giving them the tools, resources, and guidance to excel in the ever-evolving and dynamic environment of Nelson Mandela University.

Siyanda joined RD team in August 2022 as a student assistant, primarily providing administrative support to Imtiaz Khan and Terry Adams. In this role, Siyanda interacts with and assists researchers and students with their various queries related to emerging research, research ethics, as well as external Masters and Doctoral Postgraduate Scholarships

Having obtained a BSc degree in Biochemistry, Chemistry, and Microbiology at Nelson Mandela University in 2021, Siyanda is still a Mandela student and is currently pursuing a Biochemistry Honours degree. His project, in collaboration with the Water Research Commission, aims to establish baseline levels of antibiotic resistance in the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality. Through this project, it is hoped that awareness levels will be raised on the extent of antibiotic resistance in the Eastern Cape, which will ultimately impact wastewater treatment plant practices as well as clinical policies. After obtaining his Honours degree, Siyanda plans to further expand his project in pursuit of an MSc in Biochemistry from 2023, whilst continuing in his role providing administrative support to the office of Research and Development.

Lisakhanya Mhletywa

Position: Administrative Assistant

Lisakhanya is the newest addition to the RD team.  She completed her Bachelor of Arts majoring in Public Administration and Political Studies at Nelson Mandela University, after which she completed her Bachelor of Administration Honours in Public Administration at UNISA. 

She is energetic and passionate, and finds interest in both reading and outdoor activities. She hopes to find inspiration, innovation and a community within the Research Development Office, in which she will be assisting with administrative issues and the coordination of workshops organised by the Office.

Elizabeth Maqhubu

Position: Interim nGAP Manager

Elizabeth hails from Mafikeng in the Northwest Province. She started her career at Wits University working for Birth to Twenty, colloquially nicknamed Mandela’s children. Her research interest while there was on teenage pregnancy, young fathers and their roles as parents. She later moved away from academic research into market research. She worked for a Joburg/Cape Town based company called Submarine Depth Research, where she worked on creating concepts used to create advertisements for major South African brands. She then worked for ActionAid International where the work was geared towards freeing society from poverty and injustice.

In 2014 Elizabeth moved to PE to join her family. In 2017 she joined Mandela University as the FREC secretariat in the Faculty of Health Sciences. In 2019 she became part of the Missionvale Psychology Clinic as the office manager – ensuring that the clinic ran effectively and efficiently. Thereafter she joined the Research Support and Management Department in July 2020. She is responsible for the administrative duties including driving the creative outputs process from beginning to end. She is also involved with Research outputs, conference proceeding in particular. She is a self-starter, assertive, excellent communicator who is always willing to step in, to help.

Elizabeth is an experienced research professional with a social Anthropology background. She received her BA and Honours degree in Social Anthropology from the University of the Witwatersrand and is currently in the process of completing her MA Anthropology degree with Mandela University, hoping to graduate in April 2024.

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.