The GenderJustice, Health and Human Development Research Focus Area headed by Professor Cheryl Potgieter in conjunction with the Directorate for Research and Postgraduate Support both under the office the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (DVC): Research, Innovation and Engagement (RIE) launched the Durban University of Technology (DUT) Research and Doctoral Leadership Academy (RADLA) on 22 June 2020.
The virtual launch was attended by 106 academics and researchers. Professor Sibusiso Moyo, DVC Research, Innovation and Engagement (RIE) who gave a special welcome to all those in attendance. She acknowledged the importance of setting up an academy such as RADLA, which will assist academics in managing their careers to eventually become full professors, NRF rated and to supervise students successfully. “We look forward to the implementation of this programme which will assist academics to improve their credentials and thereby become excellent scholars,” said Prof Moyo.
DVC Teaching and Learning, Professor Nokuthula Sibiya, sent a message that was read by Prof Moyo, citing the country’s need to increase the number of staff in Doctoral and Post-Doctoral Programmes and the importance of collaboration between the offices DVC; RIE and DVC; T&L in order to better support the DUT scholars and stimulate further knowledge production and DUT rankings.
Dr Linda Zikhona Linganiso, the newly appointed Director for Research and Postgraduate Support outlined her Directorate’s plans for finding solutions to the challenges posed by Fourth Industrial Revolution through Business-Industry-University. “The Research Directorate will work hand in hand with RADLA to facilitate workshops in innovations and technological developments and we hope our academics will take part in those workshops,” said Dr Linganiso.
Prof Cheryl Potgieter, who will head the Academy provided further details. “The academy is primarily to support academics who have already obtained their PhDs or have registered for a PhD,” said Professor Potgieter. “DUT is the top University of Technology in terms of publication output. I believe that DUT has the potential for becoming greater in terms of research output and will do it with the human resources that we have on board,” she said.
“Linked to RADLA, we will have Women in Research and Leadership Academy (WORALA) which will assist women and as we know, women have specific needs in terms of publication and managing careers,” said Prof Potgieter.
She acknowledged the fact that there is a lot of work involved getting academics rated by NRF and RADLA will work closely together as partners with academics in managing and supporting them in their careers.
“In order to be part of RADLA, one would have to register and the first engagement would be the academic’s CV, and we will work out a career plan and publications for over the next three (3) years offering strategic engagements,” said Prof Potgieter.
Dr Catarina Womack from the Department of Applied Law in the Faculty of Management Sciences, and ProfessorRaisuyah Bhagwan from the Department of Community Health Studies in the Faculty of Health Sciences, both shared about their experience working with Prof Potgieter and the GenderJustice, Health and Human Development focus area in supporting them in 2019.
“Having attended the workshop facilitated by Prof Potgieter and Professor Van Aarde, I am so glad that I did. Although the workshop focused primarily on applying for NRF ratings, the session also covered other related topics such as publishing in accredited journals and publishing recently completed thesis as a book. She acknowledged the support provided to her by Prof Potgieter and Prof Van Aarde post the workshop. I now have my final acceptance letter that my book will be published with OASIS and DUT stands to claim up to 10 publication units from the book,” said Dr Womack.
Prof Bhagwan explained the seemingly daunting process of applying for NRF rating. “The personal one-on-one sessions with Prof Potgieter and Prof Van Aarde, helped dissipate the doubts I had with regards to my readiness for applying for NRF rating,” said Prof Bhagwan.
Prof Andries Van Aarde, a professor linked to the GenderJustice, Health and Human Development, gave a brief overview of the important factors to lookout for when it comes to publishing and availed himself to assist academics through RADLA to publish through DHET accredited journals and not publish with Vanity publications.
Workshops, Seminars, Public Lectures and Training linked to RADLA and WORALA will include:
- Understanding the Higher Education Landscape: Local and Global;
- Managing Your Academic Career from Post Doc to Professor including Developing A Publication Plan;
- Ethics of Publishing;
- NRF Rating Workshops;
- Writing for Publications and Getting Published;
- Supervisor Support Workshops;
- Contributing as a Public Intellectual;
- Success with Research Grants: The Entrepreneurial Research Environment in a changing landscape.
Prof Potgieter gave a special thanks to Vaneshree Govender from the Research and Postgraduate Support office and Luphelo Hopa from the GenderJustice, Health and Human Development for the hard work in ensuring the successful launch of the academy.
The team is in the process of engaging with the applications of the people who have applied to be part of the academy. Should there be any enquiries regarding RADLA and/or WORALA, kindly contact Prof Cheryl Potgieter (CherylP1@dut.ac.za) and Luphelo Hopa (Lupheloh@dut.ac.za)
Pictured: Left to Right: Prof Andries Van Aarde (GenderJustice, Health and Human Development), Professor Cheryl Potgieter (GenderJustice, Health and Human Development Research Focus Area), Professor Sibusiso Moyo (DVC Research, Innovation and Engagement)