The new Dean of Research at the College of Law and Management Studies (CLMS), Professor Marita Carnelley recently hosted a breakfast to introduce 11 new Post-doctoral Scholars (PDSs) to the College’s existing PDSs, supervisors and Deans and Heads of Schools.
This event is part of the strategy adopted by the College to achieve its strategic goal of recruiting 20 PDS in 2014 and 60 by 2016. The PDSs were selected from diverse disciplines in order to enhance the research profile of the College in line with University’s goal of Pre-eminence in Research.
The appointment of the new PDSs include Dr Sara Ferrari, Dr Nathalie Glaudert, Dr Funminiyi Olajide, Dr Oluyomi Susan Pitan, Dr Cleopas Sanangura, Dr Lisa Dancaster, Dr Luqman Sulaiman, as well as new doctoral graduates Dr Gerard Boyce, Dr Vangeli Gamede, Dr Obianuju Okeke-Uzodike and Dr Rofiah Sarumi.
The breakfast was the first of the monthly PDSs meetings to be held with the PDSs and their supervisors. The College also hosts the annual Postgraduate and Post-Doctoral Seminar and a College Research Day where the PDSs participate in. All these events are aimed at creating an enabling research environment for the PG students and PDSs to produce quality research that contributes to the betterment of society.
During her welcome speech, Carnelley reminded the PDSs about how fortunate they are to be PDSs and that they must make the most of the opportunity. She noted the expectations of the PDSs, the role of their supervisors and the importance of engaging with other PDSs and the post-doctoral forum. PDSs, with their knowledge and experience, have an important mentoring role to play in creating and supporting the postgraduate academic environment.
‘This is a wonderful time of your academic career, as you are given minimal teaching and supervision responsibilities. You are paid to focus on building your academic credentials and produce research said Carnelley. ‘You are expected to publish at least two articles in SAPSE accredited journals per year under the affiliation as a PDS of CLMS at UKZN. So, we encourage you make use of our facilities, your supervisors, engage with the postgraduates, the forum and the Colleges research day; form a network with each other and just embrace this wonderful opportunity!’
Dr Nthabiseng Motsemme, the Director of Post-Graduate Studies and Capacity Development at UKZN’s Research Office, informed the PDSs about her office’s role as the custodians of policies and guidelines. The Research Office is also responsible for institutional reporting on the PDSs as they are supported through various University and College initiatives, including funding and the Post-doctoral Forum.
‘You are a very important group to the Institution and to the country that is why we encourage you to be involved in post-doc forums and training. We encourage you to invest in your relationship with your supervisor, keep communication lines open and to build a network amongst yourself that will drive career development not only for you but for the generation that is coming after you as well,’ she said.
Some of the Fellows have already published parts of their PhD theses in accredited academic publications and will be expanding their research during the term of their fellowship. They were very positive and appreciative of the endeavour and used the opportunity to create a CLMS PDS Forum.