Postgraduate Centre and Funding Office

The 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 studentinitiated events, of which 20 were for seminars based on the research being carried out by postgraduate students.

Director: Postgraduate Centre and Funding Office