Student Research Proposal Competition Intiative

Download the ASOCSA SRPCI Research Proposal Template - 1st Call June2018

Which institution is organising the competition, when and where is it taking place?

The competition is organised by the Association of Schools of Construction of the Southern Africa (ASOCSA) which, from time to time initiates conferences known as the Built Environment Conference where construction practitioners and academia meet to disseminate research findings and discuss issues affecting the construction industry. Selected research proposals will be presented during the 12th Built Environment conference taking place from the 5-7 August 2018 in Durban.

What is the purpose of the competition initiative?

The purpose of the competition is to cultivate and encourage a research culture among students as emerging researchers and also provide them a platform to present their research ideas to a wider audience, with a view to eliciting useful feedback for taking the study forward and ultimately publishing the findings upon completion.

How often and when is the competition run?

The competition is run concurrently with ASOCSA conferences which are organised on an annual basis.

What are the required conditions to enter the competition?

All bachelor degree and bachelor honours degree students registered in the built environment (construction) studies in Southern African Universities are eligible to enter the competition by submitting a research proposal not exceeding 12 pages, and which they will have to present during ASOCSA conference. The presentation should be on PowerPoint, maximum 5 slides.

If I did research methodology last year, can I present my research proposal for competition this year?

No, only research proposals done this academic year qualify to enter the competition.

All my classmates are so eager to enter the completion, will they be allowed to enter the competition?

The pre-selection is done at institutional level, afterwards, only up to 4 selected proposals per institution will be sent to ASOCSA Student Research Proposal Competition Initiative Committee for further evaluation. This pre-selection exercise is the responsibility of each institution. Along the process, each institution will nominate a contact person who will submit selected proposals to the SRPCI co-ordinating office.

I definitely want to win the competition, what should I include in my research proposal?

There is a template (download template) which has been designed for the purpose of the competition and you should strictly adhere to its guidelines.

Can my best friend and I send one proposal for both of us, so we can come together?

It depends on each institution. If your institution allows you to work in pairs or groups on your research, then you may submit your proposal as such. The only requirement will be that all names of students working on the specific proposal must be reflected on the proposal but only one person will be allowed to present and answer questions during the presentation. Your institution will have to forward the name of the presenter to the SRPCI co-ordinator.

What is the evaluation process once the proposal has reached the selection committee?

The evaluation is done in two stages. The first stage consists of a review by the selection committee members who will evaluate your submitted research proposal and allocate marks. The second stage is the evaluation of the oral presentation during the ASOCSA conference (6th and 7th August 2018). This means you must attend the conference and present your proposal. The research proposal is evaluated at 50% for the written submission, and 50% presentation.

What will happen if I submit my research proposal but I don’t attend the conference for presentation?

Your absence at the conference means your withdrawal from the competition; only on-site presenters will be evaluated.

Can my supervisor present on my behalf if I am absent at conference?

The competition is for students not supervisors, hence your supervisor will not be allowed to present on your behalf. However, the supervisor is encouraged to be present when his/her students are presenting. No third party presentations will be accepted.

Will there be any prizes to be won and what are the categories and value?

Of course, winners will get different monetary prizes depending on the categories: Overall Best Proposal, Best institutional proposal.

Is there anything that participants who did not win prizes will get?

All participants in the competition will get participation certificates, although participants who win prizes will get additional certificates reflecting their winning categories.

If I win, how is the prize going to reach to me and how long will it take?

ASOCSA conference administration will take your relevant personal details to keep you updated and the prize will be paid within the current year the competition was entered.

I am excited about the competition, I can’t wait; when is the due date for submitting my proposal?

Each institution will set its own internal deadlines for pre-selection. Participating institutions will submit up to four selected proposals by no later than Thursday, 28th June 2018. The selected proposals must be submitted via the email address shown at the bottom in order to go through the evaluation process.

Will I get feedback on my submission from the first stage evaluation?

The evaluation of your proposal is the first stage of the process. And no you will only know the outcome or get feedback on the evaluation after presenting your proposal. At which stage you will receive aggregated feedback on the written proposal evaluation and the oral presentation.

How long will my oral presentation be and when will I have to present?

The length of the oral presentation will be 10 minutes and the actual programme showing time slots will be communicated to you after you have submitted your proposal for evaluation.

Apart from getting the prize and certificate, is there any other benefit that a bachelor students will get from entering the competition?

Yes, there are many benefits that will accrue to you from your participation. To name a few; you will meet your peers, you will interact with renowned academic, government official, and potential employers. It is time to network and also relax and have some have fun.

The conference is held out of my home town, how am I going to get funding (transport, conference registration fee, accommodation, and food) for attending the conference?

While ASOCSA facilitates the competition process, it does not contribute funding towards supporting student attendance. The cost is to each participating institution.

How much is the conference registration fee and by when must it be paid?

Conference registration fee categories are found on the ASOCSA website (see fees page).

By when must I register for the conference and how can I do that?

You must register as soon as get the confirmation that your research proposal has been selected as provided on the ASOCSA website. And of course also once you are assured by your institution of the availability of funding of your attendance to the conference.

Which are the potential participating universities and expected number of proposals?

No. of expected proposals

Besides ASOCSA conference administration, who is co-ordinating the competition initiative evaluation process and receiving proposals?

Call for proposals are made by the conference administration, but all proposals will be sent directly to Dr Ruben Ndihokubwayo.


Tel. 021 959 6845

Mobile: 0737215859