Page 19 - UCT Research Report 2011

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Postgraduate Centre and
Funding Office
Postgraduate Centre and
Funding Office is accountable
to the university’s Postgraduate Studies
Funding Committee (PSFC) as part of
the cluster of research-related committees
accountable to Senate. The office and
centre are situated adjacent to each other
and located in a heritage site – the Otto Beit
Building – on Upper Campus.
The office is responsible for the
management and administration of
postgraduate and postdoctoral awards,
as well as for monitoring the postgraduate
and postdoctoral sectors. It also takes
responsibility for the development of
policies and procedures for financial
and other types of support. Funds are
sourced from central university funds,
from individual academic departments,
donations and investments, as well as
from the National Research Foundation
and the Medical Research Council.
Postgraduate students
and research
Increasing the absolute numbers of both local and
international postgraduate students, and improving
retention rates, are two of UCT’s primary goals. The
success of these goals and objectives depends on a
strong cohort of postgraduate students. In order to ensure
that the professional sector of the country and continent
is adequately provided for through the emergence of
excellent graduates, broad-based support for these
students is an imperative.
A variety of support structures and resource mechanisms
that add quality to the lives and experience of these
individuals have been established for both postgraduate
students and postdoctoral research fellows, and are
constantly being monitored, reviewed and extended. The
office’s work supports the university to achieve targeted
recruitment, and through its policies and practices,
encourages students to complete their degrees and to
graduate in the minimum time frame.
Information and access to funding
The A to Z guides for postgraduate students and
postdoctoral research fellows were updated and reprinted
for the 2011 academic year. These comprehensive
publications provide information on nearly every aspect
of UCT affecting the postgraduate and postdoctoral
sectors, and are useful and popular aids to both new and
continuing students at UCT.
The office has increased access to funding opportunities
by establishing a programme of regular road shows to
students in individual academic departments and faculties.
Each road show includes comprehensive information
on funding and other opportunities, as well as in-depth
guidance to the NRF application processes, including
personal assistance, and the provision of computers and
scanning facilities to assist with online applications.
The Postgraduate Centre
The Postgraduate Centre is a dedicated space for
master’s and doctoral students, as well as postdoctoral
research fellows, in which they can meet,
use the computer and internet stations
provided, read journals, magazines
and newspapers, and hold seminars.
The equipment provided, including the
12 available computers, is regularly
upgraded. Two additional computers and
a scanner are available for NRF applicants
who need to apply for funding using the
NRF online application process. Through
its activities and available facilities, the
Postgraduate Centre aims to promote the
interests of postgraduate students and
postdoctoral research fellows, in synergy
with faculty and departmental facilities
and services.
The TB Davie Seminar Room forms part of the centre
and provides a popular venue for a range of activities,
specifically seminars, meetings and workshops arranged
by postgraduate students and academics. Such activity
takes place throughout the year, and in 2011 the seminar
room was reserved for more than 70 separate student-
initiated events, of which 20 were for seminars based on
the research being carried out by postgraduate students.
Director: Postgraduate Centre and
Funding Office