A good COS: UCT's Dr Marilet Sienaert and Christine Porter of Community of Science (COS), the US company that brings together researchers from around the world via the Internet.
UCT HAS become a fully-fledged member of the Community of Science Inc (COS), described as the leading internet site for the international research and development society.
Based in the United States, COS is a database of nearly 500 000 scientists and researchers from about 1 300 universities, corporations and government agencies in 125 countries across the globe. At the end of last year, UCT became the first South African university to sign up for full membership with COS.
Christine Porter, Manager of the COS London office, visited UCT in mid-February to take academics through some of the company's products. "It's all about funding and expertise – we're trying to help researchers find all the funding they can ever need, and to help them make the most of their expertise," she said.
COS provides tools and services to help these professionals, among other things, to exchange information and track down and access precious research funding. Academics at member institutions receive weekly Funding Alerts, electronic notifications of funding available for research in their fields of interest, based on keywords drawn from their respective research profiles. Researchers can also refine a funding search by changing or adding to the keywords registered under their names.
COS also features a database of researcher profiles. A basic list of UCT's existing expertise already appears on the COS site, and academics are requested to check and update their entries.
UCT has joined COS for a trial period of one year, indicated Dr Marilet Sienaert, Director of Grants and Research Development at the Department of Research Development (DRD). According to Sienaert, joining COS has many benefits for UCT researchers. "It puts UCT on the global stage, for one thing," she said.