This award is the vice-chancellor’s annual prize in recognition of outstanding welfare-related research. It highlights UCT's strategic goal of promoting socially responsive research, and honours a UCT researcher whose outreach work has contributed to the advancement and welfare of South Africa’s disadvantaged people.
The prize was established to honour Alan Pifer, philanthropist and former president of the Carnegie Corporation, a long-term UCT benefactor. He died in 2005.
Throughout Pifer’s career, his focus was on social justice and strengthening the rights of historically disadvantaged groups, including women. Pifer also established the UCT Fund, which raises funds in the United States to support black students and to promote the advancement and welfare of disadvantaged groups.