Cluster teams refine service to UCT researchers

13 September 2004

Realignment: (From left) Margaret Ward, Vanessa Thomas, Therina Theron, Samantha Jacobs and Christina Pather.

The research office of the research and innovation department has launched a funding helpdesk and plan to launch a new research handbook, part of an intra-departmental restructuring to hone their services to the UCT research community and their collaborators outside the institution.

The developments come in the wake of a realignment of staff into three clusters, or teams, each with separate functions, to streamline operations within the unit.

The Funding Cluster, headed by Margaret Ward, will handle the University Research Committee and the National Research Foundation business. One of their main projects will be to highlight the social responsiveness of UCT's research endeavours. Vanessa Thomas will form a vital link in this regard, providing a service to researchers responding to the community.

To smooth communications, a funding help-desk has been established, manned by Samantha Jacobs. Jacobs will handle any funding-related queries as well as questions on funding forms, procedures and deadlines. You can contact her on 650 5096 or e-mail

Christina Pather heads the Research Planning and Information Cluster, which manages the annual research report, the publication count, NRF-researcher ratings as well as the general distribution of research-related information. Their research handbook will be an all-you-need-to-know-about-research-at-UCT publication, one that will be distributed to the university's research community shortly.

Good news is that the 2003 research report will be launched on the website on September 13. (The web address is

The third cluster incorporates the donor-funded framework of support for researchers. This involves specific programmes and services aimed at research development and tailored for researchers in different stages of their careers. This framework also includes the support of strategic projects emerging from the planning and budgeting process and the formalisation of new collaborative partnerships. Examples include the proposed Centre for High Performance Computing; fostering links between UCT and the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Department of Science and Technology, as well as international relationships. Therina Theron is spearheading the support for strategic projects.

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Please view the republishing articles page for more information.