Travel Grant for PhD Student to Attend Conference in Vienna
Social Sciences PhD student, Ms Quraisha Dawood, is one of only four students from around the world to receive a travel grant to attend the 2016 International Sociological Association (ISA) Conference in Vienna, Austria, from 10-14 July.
The only South African student to get the grant, Dawood was chosen after a rigorous peer-review process by the ISA Research Committee on Sociology of Professional Groups. She will also be presented with a formal certificate at the Conference and present a chapter from her PhD research.
Spurred on by encouragement from her supervisor, Professor Debby Bonnin, Dawood submitted an extensive abstract in September and was overjoyed when told she had won the grant.
‘This grant means so much to me. I’m in the final stages of my thesis at the moment and this recognition really gives my hard work such validation, showing that even though my research was carried out in South Africa, there is definitely an international interest in it. My supervisor’s relentless faith and encouragement pushed me to spread my wings.
‘I must thank UKZN (doctoral scholarship) and NRF (DAAD free standing scholarship) who have funded me generously since the beginning of my PhD. Without their investment, I would not have been able to complete my research nationally,’ she said.
Dawood’s study focuses on how new professions emerge and find legitimacy in the context of South Africa, specifically in the emerging profession of mechatronic engineering - an integrative approach to engineering which combines mechanical engineering, electronic engineering and control systems to create smart machines.
‘I have travelled around the country, collecting data and understanding how our labour market adapts to new professions, the role tertiary institutions play in such a dynamic and how race, gender and age intersect in the emergence of a new profession. A study of this kind is lacking in South Africa, and we really need more insight into how technology is shaping the labour market,’ she added.
Dawood is grateful for the chance to take her research to an international platform. ‘I plan to discuss ideas and meet influential theorists who I admire. I intend to make the most of this opportunity, and I cannot wait to see Vienna!’