Awards Selection for the Southern African Young Scientists Summer Program 2014-15

Following the Southern African Young Scientists Summer Program (SA-YSSP) 2014-15, the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and the National Research Foundation (NRF) of South Africa are pleased to announce four awards, including three IIASA-NRF Systems Analysis Scholarships. We congratulate the winners!

    • A six-month Systems Analysis Scholarship is awarded to Mr. Martin Flatø for his research on Women, Weather, and Woes: The Triangular Dynamics of Female‐Headed Households, Economic Vulnerability, and Climate Variability in South Africa. A citizen of Norway, Martin Flatø is completing his PhD degree at the Department of Economics of the University of Oslo, Norway. The SA-YSSP Steering Committee commends the innovative and integrative nature of Martin Flatø’s research, which, in the spirit of systems analysis, analyses the economic disadvantages of female-headed households in South Africa in conjunction with their vulnerability to changing climate conditions.
    • A three-month Systems Analysis Scholarship is awarded to Mr. Elvis M. Nkoana for his research on Impacts of Environmental Education on Perceptions of Climate Change Risks in Rural and Township Communities in Limpopo Province, South Africa. A citizen of South Africa, Elvis Nkoana is completing his PhD degree at the Institute of Environment and Sustainable Development of the University of Antwerp, Belgium. The SA-YSSP Steering Committee appreciates Elvis Nkoana’s methodologically diverse approach to studying the efficiency of public education programs to raise South African communities’ awareness of the risks associated with natural hazards.
    • A three-month Systems Analysis Scholarship is awarded to Ms. Aleksandra Falkiewicz for her research on Asymptotic Behaviour of Generalized Transport Models on Networks. A citizen of Poland, Aleksandra Falkiewicz is completing her PhD degree at the Institute of Mathematics of the Łódź University of Technology, Poland. The SA-YSSP Steering Committee recognizes Aleksandra Falkiewicz’s mathematically advanced derivation of links between micro-level and macro-level desriptions of network dynamics.
  • An Honorable Mention is awarded to Ms. Linlin Xia for her research on Analyzing the Spatial Pattern of Ecological Relations for Beijing’s Carbon Metabolism. A citizen of China, Linlin Xia is completing her PhD degree at the School of Environment of Beijing Normal University, China. The SA-YSSP Steering Committee values Linlin Xia’s application of network-analyses techniques to identify trends in carbon flows between natural, agricultural, and urban land use in the course of Beijing’s metropolitan expansion.

On behalf of all SA-YSSP partners, the SA-YSSP Steering Committee extends their cordial congratulations to all four award winners!


The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and the National Research Foundation (NRF) of South Africa have jointly established awards to recognize the highest standards of achievement among the young scientists participating in the Southern African Young Scientists Summer Program (SA-YSSP).
The SA-YSSP was an annual three-month collaborative research-training and capacity-building program hosted at the University of the Free State, South Africa, in 2012-13, 2013-14, and 2014-15. Each participant worked on a research project that was aligned with his/her doctoral research, and was designed and developed together with a team of 2-3 senior scientists from South Africa and IIASA. The SA-YSSP has contributed to the establishment, growth, and enhancement of high-level strategic research networks internationally, whilst at the same time developing capacity in systems analysis at the PhD, postdoctoral, and supervisory levels through research conducted in the areas of the South African Department of Science and Technology’s grand challenges. The SA-YSSP targeted advanced doctoral candidates from South Africa, Southern Africa, and IIASA member countries to ensure a rich international mix of participants. Since its inception, the SA-YSSP has developed applied systems analysis skills among over 80 doctoral students from 30 countries including 35 young scholars from South Africa. 
As part of the program, systems analysis scholarships are granted to young scientists whose research achievements and reports are considered superior in terms of the quality and originality of their research, the effectiveness of their approach, and the broader relevance of their findings. These scholarships enable the selected young scientists to advance and deepen their research through another intensive collaborative research period, this time at IIASA. For the SA-YSSP 2014-15 awards, eight young scientists were nominated by their supervisors. To evaluate these nominations, 38 external reviews were secured – the SA-YSSP Steering Committee gratefully acknowledges all reviewers, whose assessments were of great value in the selection process. Finally, based on all received reports, nominations, and reviews, three scholarships were selected by the SA-YSSP Steering Committee.

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Last edited: 18 December 2015


Ulf Dieckmann

Principal Research Scholar

Exploratory Modeling of Human-natural Systems Research Group

Advancing Systems Analysis Program

Principal Research Scholar

Systemic Risk and Resilience Research Group

Principal Research Scholar

Cooperation and Transformative Governance Research Group

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