Slindile Mgaga and Romona Sewpersad.

Outstanding academic performances and research work have earned UKZN Human Resource Management Masters students, Ms Silindile Mgaga and Ms Romona Sewpersad NRF scholarships.

The scholarship, which provides R40 000 in cash as well as attendance at a conference to present their research, is awarded based on academic merit.

For Mgaga, who plans to pursue a PhD specialising inhuman resources management in the maritime industry once she has completed her masters, the grant has eased the financial pressure on her widowed mother who has been supporting her financially throughout her studies.

‘This grant will help a lot in my research, especially when I need to travel into the field to do interviews. It has already covered the cost of printing and making copies of readings for my research. I have also bought a laptop which means I save on transport as I can now work from home,’ said Mgaga.

Mgaga’s research, supervised by Dr Shaun Ruggunan, assesses issues which influence decisions by women to follow seafaring careers. 

‘I plan to finish my masters and join the UKZN graduate programme while continuing with my PhD or to join a graduate programme in the Maritime industry,’ said Mgaga.

‘I also want to teach part time in the HRM department and travel the world sharing ideas and knowledge within the maritime industry as an academic. I am hoping that the conferences I will attend will introduce me to people who will empower me to achieve my goals,’ said Mgaga.

For Sewpersad, the scholarship will assist in the data collection process of her research which is titled:  “Assessing the Influence of New Managerialism on Psychological Contracts of Academics at  a KZN tertiary institution”. She is also being supervised by Ruggunan.

‘The data collection instrument used for obtaining the relevant data for my study is an interview so this means I have to travel to several campuses of  my chosen institution in order to conduct interviews. The research funds will assist me with the travelling costs, the purchase of a recorder, a laptop as well as finance a qualified social worker to assist me in conducting the interviews. I will also receive capacity building training in the process of the interviews from  an experienced field researcher.,’ said Sewpersad.

Sewpersad’s future plans include studying towards a PhD after completing her masters, and pursuing a career in academia, more specifically in the research field as she is passionate about research.