Page 174 - UCT Research Report 2011

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UCT Research Report '11
ways of generating new knowledge is through the
creation of forums for debate and discussion.
Three grants were awarded in 2011, for research on
mineral law for Africa, mapping of weaver bird distribution
in Africa (see previous page), and exploring the practice
of child-carrying in Africa.
A distinguishing characteristic of PERC is that it is
responsive to initiatives that emerge from academics,
departments, and faculties; and is also proactive in
stimulating new transformative research. The PERC
co-ordinator helps applicants to develop proposals and
supports them in the research process, through individual
or small group discussions, seminars, and workshops.
The Mellon Visiting and Retired
Scholars Mentorship Project
The Research Office also provides a sound framework
of support for the donor-funded Mellon Visiting and
Retired Scholars Mentorship Project. This project dovetails
with the ERP and PERC to build and strengthen a new
generation of researchers.
In contrast to the other programmes, a one-on-one,
discipline-specific mentorship relationship is brokered
between developing researchers and a visiting or retired
scholar who commits up to one year of their time. Initially
launched in 2006 as a three-year project, the AW Mellon
Foundation has extended its support until the end of 2013.
Since its inception, 34 mentors have participated in
the project, the majority of whom were from outside
South Africa: the United States of America, United
Kingdom, The Netherlands, Israel, Germany, Canada,
Nigeria, and Australia. Approximately 240 researchers
have benefitted from mentoring interventions, which have
resulted in a wide range of outputs, for example, peer-
reviewed articles, book chapters, conference papers,
grant applications, and doctoral graduates.
“Since its inception in 2009, 15 PERC
grants have been awarded, ranging
in value from R150,000 to R165,000.
The grants are designed to promote
collaborative, inter-disciplinary, Africa-
oriented research. One of the major
ways of generating new knowledge
is through the creation of forums for
debate and discussion.”