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CoE-HUMAN's education and training focus

Since 2015, the CoE has granted funding to156 students – 54 at the Master’s level, 70 at the Doctoral level and 32 as Post-Doctoral Fellows.

The names of students who received funding, the universities at which they are registered and their topics of study can be found in the post-graduate and post-doctoral bursary holders section of this website.

The Centre selects only students with a first or upper-second class pass in their prior degree. We also reward publications with minor additional grants, and timeous degree completion with small transition grants that enable students to move onto the next step of their research studies or career.

The CoE has awarded bursaries to several students in areas of scarce skills, including statistics, epidemiology, demography and economics.

Student research and communication capacity development

In addition to awarding bursaries to students, the Centre supports student research and communication capacity development in a number of ways:

  1. Regular phone, email and social media contact with students to inform them of grant, conference and work opportunities; publication and celebration of student achievements, such as peer-reviewed papers, and encouragement for progress with their degrees.
  2. An annual student convening, linked to a national disciplinary conference for which students’ travel, accommodation and registration are supported. At the one-day student event, specific research topics are covered to enhance student capacity, as described below:
  • 2015 22nd Annual South African Sociology Association (SASA) Congress: Contours of Violence at the University of Johannesburg. The student event comprised a workshop, on amongst others, building a research career (Dr Joyce Oliver, NRF) and writing publishable journal articles (Professor Eloisa Martin, Editor of Current Sociology).
  • 2016 Science Forum South Africa (SFSA) at the CSIR Conference Centre, Pretoria. The student event focused on data access (Nina Levin, Senior Librarian at Wits) and data management using RedCap (CSIR).
  • 2017 The Pan-African Psychology Conference in Durban. The student event focused on developing presentation skills through training in spark talks (3-5 minute presentations) on student work. The event was competitive and the top three students were awarded prizes at a gala dinner. The value of the training was demonstrated by the fact that the winner of this event, Sinethemba Makhaya, a PhD student at Wits, went on to win the Wits FameLab competition and competed in the South African finals of FameLab in Port Elizabeth in May 2018.

Support for local and international conference attendance, examples of which are:

Molefi, S., Doctoral student at the University of Pretoria, Polyamory as a type of concurrent partnership used to enhance HIV prevention programmes in South Africa: A phenomenological approach. Paris, France. Academic OASIS/ IAABR – PARIS International Multidisciplinary Academic Conference, 2015.

Molefi, S., Doctoral student at the University of Pretoria, The phenomenon of twerk dance in homecasting videos on Youtube. Toronto, Canada. Second International Conference on Advances in Women's Studies, 2015.

Dibakoane, K.A., Master’s student at Wits University, Primary caregivers’ experience of caring for children with intellectual disabilities. Johannesburg: 22nd South African Psychology Congress, 2016

Rampedi, M., Master’s student at Wits University, The effect of region of residence on fertility in Nigeria. Johannesburg: Population Association of South Africa, 2016.

Wrottesley, S., Doctoral student at Wits University, Is nutrition during the first 1000 days important for Africa? Cape Town: International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 2016.

Redinger, S., Master’s student at Wits University, First-trimester antenatal depression and anxiety: Prevalence and associated factors in an urban population in Soweto, South Africa.  Rotterdam: 10th Annual Development Origins of Health and Disease Congress, 2017.

Cook, C., Doctoral student at UCT, Maternal and early life nutrition and physical activity: Setting the research and intervention agenda for addressing the double burden of malnutrition in South African children. Victoria, Canada: International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 2017.

Mutanda, N., Doctoral student at Wits, Decomposition of changes in family structure in South Africa: A look at living alone. Cape Town: XXVIII International Population Conference, 2017.

Mahali, A., a Post-Doctoral fellow at the HSRC, It all comes down to you: Interventionist research strategies for emancipation in university. Durban: 11th Annual Higher Education Conference, 2017.

Scott, M., Doctoral student at Wits University, You Are Going to Finish My Blood!: Communication Barriers to Enrolment in TB/HIV Research Trials. Loughborough: International Society for Critical Health Psychology conference, 2017.

Additional training

  • Selected students are also financially supported to attend training courses in advanced quantitative analysis. For example, courses offered at the South African Centre for Epidemiological Modelling and Analysis (SACEMA) at the University of Stellenbosch on Advanced Epidemiological Methods and Introduction to R; and by the Southern African Labour and Development Research Unit (SALDRU) at the University of Cape Town, including Analysis of South African Survey Data and Analysing Longitudinal Data Using the National Income Dynamics Survey.
  • Raymond Chiruka, a Doctoral student in Statistics at the University of Fort Hare, participated in the South African Sociological Association conference as well as the Developmental Origins for Health and Disease conference. Both helped him broaden his knowledge base and enhance his performance in his PhD, the topic of which is modelling growth curves in the Birth to Twenty Plus (Bt20+) study.

Special student achievements

Only a few special student achievements are mentioned here as illustrations.

  • Stanley Molefi, a Doctoral student at the University of Pretoria, presented at four international conferences and co-authored a paper in the HSRC Review. (2015)
  • Menzi Bengu, a Master’s student at UKZN, was awarded the Chevening Scholarship to study further at Oxford University.
  • CoE Doctoral students produced 8 peer-reviewed papers and 4 book chapters in 2016.
  • Andile Mthombeni, a Master’s student at Wits University, co-chaired the HEAIDS Conference 2017 and presented her work at the 3rd Biennial Trans Health, Advocacy & Research Conference (Feb 2017, Johannesburg), the 8th SA AIDS Conference (June 2017, Durban), the 5th Southern African Students’ Psychology Conference (June 2017, UNISA Pretoria), and the 1st Pan African Psychology Congress (Sept 2017, Durban).
  • Liezl Schlebusch, a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Pretoria, was recognised for her contribution in autism research with an Emerging Researcher Award from the International Society for Autism Research. (2017)
  • Sinethemba Makanya, a Doctoral student at Wits University, took first place in the Wits heats of FameLab SA 2018. This qualified her to compete at the South African finals in May 2018 in Port Elizabeth. She had previously won the Centre-hosted Spark Talks competition in 2017, following a facilitated workshop on communicating research to non-science audiences.
  • Six students linked to CoE-HUMAN were recognised as outstanding young South Africans in June 2018 when the Mail & Guardian's 200 Young South Africans of 2018 were announced: Alude Mahali, Andile Mthombeni, Motlatso Rampedi, Sahba Besharati, Sinethemba Makanya and Stephanie Redinger.
There are no calls for proposals open at present, but calls for proposals for 2018 will be made within the next few months. - See more at:
There are no calls for proposals open at present, but calls for proposals for 2018 will be made within the next few months. - See more at:
There are no calls for proposals open at present, but calls for proposals for 2018 will be made within the next few months. - See more at: