26 March 2020 Volume :8 Issue :8

R9.8m Grant for Early Career Scholars Programme

R9.8m Grant for Early Career Scholars Programme
Back from left: College of Humanities Finance Manager, Dr Dane Arumugam; Acting Director of Professional Services, Dr Phumelele Zakwe; and College Research Professor, Saleem Badat. Front: Acting Dean of Social Sciences, Professor Vivian Ojong; Professor Nhlanhla Mkhize; and Dean of the School of Arts, Professor Nobuhle Hlongwa.Click here for isiZulu version

The Andrew W Mellon Foundation of New York has awarded UKZN’s College of Humanities R9.8 million for a five-year Early Career Scholars Programme.

An expansion of the inclusive professoriate programme, the five-year grant is intended to support UKZN Humanities early career scholars by providing them with the opportunities to conduct research, supervise postgraduate students, undertake post-doctoral studies, attend conferences, and enhance their research, writing and supervision expertise as part of developing their academic careers. 

In the Mellon award, early career scholars are defined as academics who are tenured (ie employed on a full-time, permanent basis), possess a PhD, received their doctorates less than 10 years ago and have an emerging and/or sustained track record of publishing.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Humanities, Professor Nhlanhla Mkhize, said: ‘I am in the process of establishing a committee I will chair, and I will also direct and maintain oversight of the Early Career Scholars Programme. In due course, a call will be made for applications for the available Early Career Academic Staff Research Fellowships. I extend my sincere appreciation to the Andrew W Mellon Foundation for its welcome support for the UKZN Humanities Early Career Scholars Programme.’

The Mellon award provides funding for the following:

•    Early Career Academic Staff Research Fellowships

The award will provide teaching relief for 12 staff members for one semester each through funding for replacement teaching costs - two staff in year one, three in year two, three in year three, two in year four and two staff in year five.Replacement costs will be in line with official UKZN rates.

•    Early Career Academic Staff Research Grants

The 12 staff members who are awarded Research Fellowships will receive research grants to undertake writing and publication.

•    Early Career Academic Staff Development Activities

The 12 staff members will be supported through development initiatives related to writing and publishing and supervising higher degrees candidates. In addition, staff will receive support to attend conferences in order to present their work and establish scholarly and publishing networks. Workshops on writing, publishing, and academic supervision will include additional early career scholars.

•    Early Career Academic Staff Postdoctoral Fellowships

Beyond the six-month research fellowships, it could be necessary to provide postdoctoral opportunities to select staff with PhDs to undertake research and writing for a longer duration or for the purposes of working on a monograph. Provision is made for five postdoctoral fellowships.

•    Student Scholarships

In order to facilitate staff development and progression, it is intended to attach competitively recruited postgraduate students to the Early Career Academic Staff Research Fellows. Over the five-year period, 10 master’s scholarships and six doctoral scholarships for a four-year period will be available.

Qualifying staff members should be on the lookout for an advertised announcement within the next two weeks.

Words: Melissa Mungroo

Photograph: Supplied

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