Staff Members

Home » Prof Penny Govender

Director of the Research Capacity Development Unit
Name: Penny Govender
Location: Office 101, Akanya Building Auckland Park Kingsway Campus
Postgraduate School, Postgraduate School Staff, Research Capacity Development Staff  Staff Members

Contact Details:
Tel: 011 559 6555


About Prof Penny Govender

Professor Penny Govender is currently the Director of the Research Capacity Development (RCD) unit in the Postgraduate School from January 2022 to date and acting Senior Director of the Postgraduate School from 1 August 2023.

Professor Govender has been at UJ since 2002 as an academic from the Faculty of Science until 2021.  During her time in the department, she served as an acting Deputy Head of Department (HOD) and then in 2016 to 2019 as the HOD.  She is a professor of computational chemistry working in the areas of energy, water, materials science and dreaded diseases.

While Professor Govender continues to lead the RCD unit at the PGS, she is still an active researcher with more than 100 publications appearing in high-impact peer-reviewed journals like Scientific Reports, Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces to name but a few.  Professor Govender has also written a book entitled: Molecular Modelling of Vitamin B12 and its analogues, 11 book chapters, supervised eight postdoctoral research fellows, and graduated as a supervisor more than 20 postgraduate students (both Master’s and PhD) at UJ.  She ensures she contributes to the scientific community by serving as a reviewer for many journals, as a guest editor by invite for special edition journals, reviewer of proposals for the European Science Foundation (ESF), L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Regional Fellowships for Sub-Saharan Africa and the South African National Research Foundation (NRF).  For her commitment towards science, she was recently inducted as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC) in June 2023 and was a recipient in 2018 of the Vice-Chancellor’s Distinguished Award for Most Promising Young Researcher of the Year and winner of the Faculty of Science award in the senior lecturer/lecturer category for the highest research 2016 output.

Professor Govender has presented her research at both local and international conferences as a plenary and keynote speaker, secured research funds of more than 7 million zar over the years, examines MSc and PhD dissertations and theses, respectively, from national and international universities and serves as an external moderator for computational chemistry honors module(s) for University of Kwa-Zulu Natal (UKZN) and in the past for Rhodes university (RU).

Professor Govender has a Scopus and Google Scholar H-index of 22 and 27, respectively.



ORCID ID 0000-0002-3011-6675