Discipline of Occupational Therapy

Pragashnie Govender

Pragashnie Govender


BOT, MOT, PhD PGAP®, ErgoScience®, CAMAG

Associate Professor: Occupational Therapy

Former Academic Leader of Research: School of Health Sciences) 2018-2020

Tel: +27 (0) 31 2608258

E-mail: naidoopg@ukzn.ac.za

Campus: Westville


Qualitative and Mixed Methods Research

Paediatric Neurodevelopment

Health Professions Education

Physical Rehabilitation


Professor Pragashnie Govender grew up in Merebank, Durban. Starting as a Tutor at UKZN, she worked her way up to the level of Associate Professor in 2018. After exiting her undergraduate degree as the top student, she worked in both the public and private health and education sectors of KwaZulu-Natal. Following her PhD in 2016, she completed a SAFRI-FAIMER Fellowship in 2018 and is currently completing a postgraduate diploma in Health Professions Education. She has additionally completed a number of international certifications.

As a first generation graduate of her family,she is invested in contributing to the next generation of students and researchers, as well as aims to increase research productivity and knowledge that can transform current health practices.

She has supervised, almost 100 students’ research to completion (70 Honours level, and 30 Masters/PhD candidates).
Prof Govender is a South African National Research Foundation (NRF) Y-rated researcher. She won the NRF Research Excellence Award for Next Generation Researchers in the female category in 2016, was first runner up in the Department of Science and Innovation South African Women in Science Awards (distinguished young female) in 2018, and was a finalist in the TW Kambule- Emerging Researcher category in the National Science and Technology (NSTF)-South-32 Awards in 2020.

She is one of the country’s first 13 recipients of the National Health Scholars Programme (NHSP) (now named the Bongani Mayosi NHSP). Prof Govender currently serves as assistant editor on a national journal and is an
editorial board member of one international journal. She has been invited to serve as external examiner both nationally and internationally.

Prof Govender has served in a leadership role both professionally and academically. She was the regional chairperson for her professional society for two years and currently serves on the professions national research committee. She is the former Academic Leader of Research in the School of Health Sciences (2018-2020).


2018    Completed the Sub-Saharan Africa-FAIMER Regional Institute (SAFRI) 2-year Fellowship in Medical Education and Research


2020    Finalist – NSTF-South32 Awards TW Kambule-NSTF Award: Emerging Researcher Category.

2019    Winner – Venus International Foundation. OT Research Excellence Award

2018    1st Runner Up – South African Women in Science Awards (distinguished young female category)

2016    Winner – National Research Foundation Research Excellence Award for Next Generation Researcher


ResearchGate Profile https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Pragashnie_Govender_nee_Naidoo

Google Scholar Profile