South African Young Academy of Science



Find out what these young South African scientists have to say about meeting their Nobel Laureate heroes at the Lindau Nobel Laureates Meeting in Germany. Video Below:

Over the years, young scientists have been nominated by the Academy of South Africa (ASSAf) to participate in various events, symposia and conferences, both within South Africa and internationally, and have also been nominated for prestigious awards. This is part of ASSAf’s capacity building initiatives and its responsibility to foster the next generation of leading scholars and to involve young scientists in finding solutions to national and global challenges through science.

ASSAf started engaging with the Lindau Laureate Foundation in 2013. The academy worked with the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the National Research Foundation (NRF) to nominate over 24 young scientists to attend the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings. The involvement with the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings comes as a result of the recognition of the importance of the uniqueness of these meetings and their impact on tomorrow’s academic elite from all over the world. The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings align with the mandate of ASSAf to honour distinguished scholars in all fields of scientific enquiry, including women and young scientists, and to generate evidence-based solutions to national and global challenges.

In July 2015, ASSAf signed of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Lindau Foundation and the DST, which has led to the academy being recognised as the nominating partner of the Lindau Nobel Laureates Meetings. This implies that ASSAf can nominate leading young scientists in the disciplines of physics, chemistry, and medicine/physiology; and recommend them for final selection by the Lindau Foundation. The academy also provides them with travel support and raises awareness of the Lindau Nobel Laureates Meetings among young scientists in South Africa.

In this regard, ASSAf has created a network of Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings in South Africa (and Africa) so that they engage with other young scientist opportunities including what the South African Young Academy of Science (SAYAS) is doing. The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings also link young scientists with science journalist. Each year a science journalist is nominated to accompany the young scientist to Lindau Germany A send-off event is also organised annually where senior officials of the Department of Science and Technology and ASSAf as well as various representatives from organisations in the National System of Innovation and former attendees of the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings address the new selected participants.

ASSAf as an Academic Partner

  • Academic partners to the Lindau Nobel Lareate Meetings are worldwide network of excellence
  • ASSAf is one of the world wide academic partners of the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings since 2015
  • Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings cooperates with more than 200 of the most renowned science and research institutions in about 65 countries that they call academic partners
  • The role is to identify the most qualified participants- young scientists below 35 years of age
  • There are advantages to be nominated by an academic partners than applying directly
  • Promoting and inspiring young scientists is important to the academic partners and to Lindau Foundation
  • Nomination does not guarantee participation as the final word is with the Lindau Foundation
  • The network of academic partners is expanding and this is governed through Memorandum of Understanding
  • Academic partners advance the internationalisation process of the Lindau Meetings
  • Requirements: Masters, PhD, Post Doc: Top 5% of class, below 35 years, CV and publication history- recommendation
  • Application has two processes:
    (1) Regular: Apply when the call comes out in September or October. Nomination by the Academic partner that organizes an internal selection committee that involves SAYAS, the Department of Science and Technology and ASSAf members. The Lindau Nobel Laureate Council and Foundation then conduct a further vetting process.
    (2) Exceptional: Apply directly to Lindau Foundation where the Academic partner is not involved.

Involvement of the candidate in other extra mural activities makes a different. The candidate should prove beyond doubt that they are the best of the best and will engage on equal footing with counterparts from all over the world as well as interact with Nobel Laureates.

The 68th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting in Physiology/Medicine


The nominations are now closed and the selection process is currently underway 

The Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology (DST), is seeking candidates to participate in the 2018 Lindau Nobel Laureates Meeting to be held from 24 to 29 June 2018 in Lindau, Germany. The 68th Meeting of Nobel Laureates will be dedicated to Physiology or Medicine.

The meeting will be attended by 40 Nobel Laureates in Physiology or Medicine and about 600 highly-talented young scientists from across the world.


Eligible applicants should demonstrate a strong commitment to the fields of Physiology or Medicine, closely related disciplines or interdisciplinary work. All nominated participants should meet the following criteria in order to participate:

  1. Applications are open to early-career South African citizens or permanent resident students and researchers comprising a mix of (5) Masters and doctoral students; and (5) postdoctoral students.

Specific qualifications for the Masters and doctoral students are:

(i) Masters and doctoral students, who show excellent academic accomplishments and show evidence of very good research work and/or are in medical clinical training.

(ii) Postdoctoral scientists, who have 2-3 years of postdoctoral experience and have published their own scientific research in peer-reviewed journals, preferably as first author, and have presented their work at international scientific meetings.

  1. Applicants must be 35 years or younger at the time of the meeting.
  2. Applicants should demonstrate outstanding academic accomplishments.
  3. Applicants should be able to communicate in English, and have the desire to participate in discussions.
  4. Applicants should not hold a permanent position (scientists with permanent positions, in particular a professorship, will not be considered).
  5. Applicants should not have participated in previous Lindau meetings.
  6. Applicants should commit themselves to be present for the full duration of the meeting.

Applications should be sent to:

Applicants should submit the following documents:

  1. Completed application form (incomplete forms will not be considered). Access form here
  2. Curriculum vitae
  3. At least two letters of recommendation/reference from a head of department or supervisor (or a higher position). These letters of recommendation form the most important component during the evaluation stage and it is recommended to provide compelling references.


-Further communications and guidelines will be given to the shortlisted applicants.

-Nomination does not necessarily mean attendance, as the final selection of the participants will be done by the Lindau Nobel Laureate Council and Foundation.

-For more information on the Meetings of Nobel Laureates in Lindau please visit

– South African applicants should however direct all applications to the address listed below.

-The successful candidates will receive a travel grant to attend the Lindau Nobel Laureates Meeting from ASSAf which covers return air ticket, ground transport, visa costs, accommodation and meals for the participant only for the duration of the meeting.

Deadline for sending nominations is 1 November 2017.

For any queries please contact: Edith Shikumo: Tel: +27(0)12 349 6614 Email:

The 67th Lindau Nobel Laureates Meeting and 6th Lindau Meeting on Economic Sciences

Five South Africans were among 400 young scientists from 76 countries selected to participate in this year’s 67th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting in Lindau, Germany, from 25 – 30 June 2017. They were: Dr Hlamulo Makelane, University of the Western Cape; Frederick Malan, University of Pretoria; Funeka Nkosi, University of the Witwatersrand/CSIR; Retha Peach, North-West University, and Dr Mark Williams-Wynn, University of KwaZulu-Natal.

An especially proud moment during this meeting was at the closure when Dr Hlamulo Makelane was selected to make the closing remarks on the last of the meeting. Access her inspiring speech at:


One young South African economist will represent the country at the prestigious 6th Lindau Meeting on Economic Sciences later this year. Ms Rozanne Bester, MCom student in Economics at the University of Pretoria was nominated by the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf).

Bester will be among 350 international young economists from 66 countries who will take part in the 6th Lindau Meeting on Economic Sciences together with 18 Laureates of the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel from 22 to 26 August 2017 in Lindau, Germany.


Some of the South African participants at the 66th Meeting on Physics with one of the Nobel Laureates

Participants welcoming the Nobel Laureates at the 66th Meeting

The South African participants soaking up the experience with one of the Nobel Laureates

Prof Roseanne Diab, ASSAf Executive Officer addressing members of the Lindau Foundation

The South African delegation hosted Prof William Phillips, the 1997 Nobel Prize winner in Physics and his wife at a lunch

Mr Stanley Maphosa, ASSAf Liaison Manager at a Breakfast meeting with other African delegates

The Lindau Foundation banner as the town of Lindau welcomes the Young scientists

Related articles from the 67th Lindau Meeting are:

  1. Pre-Travel Meeting. Access here
  2. Five steps to winning a Nobel Prize. Access here
  3. African solutions to the malaria problem. Access here
  4. Knowledge, inspiration, connection: the legacy of Lindau 2017. Access here
  5. Climate change and the next generation of scientific endeavour at Lindau. Access here