Working in partnership to develop the capacity of early career researchers

Working in partnership to develop the capacity of early career researchers

Published on 25 March 2019

Delivered in partnership with Universities South Africa (USAf), this two-day symposium brought together academics and policymakers from across Africa to identify new approaches to supporting early career researchers.

An illuminating keynote address from Naledi Pandor, Minister of Higher Education and Training, highlighted South Africa's position in the global research landscape and encouraged attendees to recognise the need to develop research capacity within universities.

With speakers and delegates drawn from across government, sector bodies and universities who have directly benefited from ACU programmes, the following themes emerged as critical to supporting early career researchers:

  • Effective mentorship and good supervision
  • Opportunities for mobility and building networks
  • A manageable balance between teaching and research
  • Robust university policies and structures

The importance of partnerships and how we can amplify our impact by working together to deliver more relevant and responsive solutions was another key area of focus.

Ben Prasadam-Halls, ACU Director of Programmes, said: 'The ACU has significant expertise in this area, providing training and development for researchers and helping our member universities to strengthen the institutional systems which underpin their own support offering. This event was an opportunity to share experiences of what has worked well – within our own work as well as that of our member universities – explore what more needs to be done and develop new partnership approaches to ensure the next generation of academics can continue to thrive.'

Professor Judy Peter, Director: Internationalisation – Academic Services at the University of Johannesburg, added: 'It was an honour to host this meeting and help drive forward these critical conversations. As a university, we pride ourselves as being "The Pan-African" Centre for Critical Intellectual Inquiry, and we hope by working in partnership with the ACU and other universities across the continent we can continue to achieve global excellence.'

Over the coming weeks, the ACU and USAf will publish the findings from this event, highlighting priority areas and recommendations for developing the capacity of early career researchers across Africa and beyond.

The ACU would like to thank the University of Johannesburg – an ACU member institution – for generously hosting this event.

More information

The ACU has a proud track record of working with universities and other partners to find innovative ways to support the development of early career academics, including training and development for researchers and strengthening the institutional systems which underpin this.

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