Purpose of the awards

To give recognition for outstanding and/or influential books written by staff members of the university. The award may be made to one single or multiple authored books. Fiction books as well as publications in electronic form will be considered alongside academic books of whatever category, including manuals and works of popularisation. No restriction is placed on the language or codes in which the book is written. Generally, one award is made in any one year, and no award will be made if no book of sufficient merit is nominated.

Meritorious Book Prizes are supplementary to the Book Award and recognise the following:

  • books in specialised fields that merit recognition for their contribution
  • promising first-time books by authors who deserve special recognition and support.


The Book Award carries a purse of R 30 000; up to two Meritorious Book Prizes of R15 000 each may be awarded.


To be considered for the UCT Book Award and/ or the Meritorious Book Prize:

  • the book must have been written by (a) staff member(s)s of UCT
  • the book must have been published within the last five years
  • most of the work should have been done during the author(s) employ at UCT
  • in the case of multi-authored works, the UCT author(s) should have made the most significant contribution to the work; evidence of this should be supplied with the nomination.

Application and nomination procedure

Please complete the application form RI35 which can be downloaded here.

Nominators must be staff members of UCT and may nominate their own work. Nominations need not be endorsed by authors whose work is nominated. Books previously nominated (except winners) may be re-nominated.

Each nomination must be seconded and should include the following:

  • a letter of nomination stating why the nominator(s) feels that the book should be considered for the award
  • a copy of the book
  • at least three independent, substantive, published scholarly reviews. For works of fiction, reviews by literary critics and nominations for prestigious literary awards or prizes will be considered.

Completed nominations must be submitted to the Research Support Services Cluster, Research Office, 2 Rhodes Avenue, Mowbray or e-mailed to researchfunding@uct.ac.za on or before the deadline.  The Book Award is presented at the June graduation.

For a list of previous UCT Book Award winners, see UCT Research and Innovation


For more information about these awards, contact researchfunding@uct.ac.za.