Honorary research associates: mentors and nurturers

21 May 2012

There are currently nearly 100 honorary research associates (HRAs) affiliated to UCT faculties. HRAs are academics who are not paid by the university, but have an attachment to an academic department that lasts from one to three years. They are often eminent international or nationally-based scholars whose research expertise and productivity contributes to UCT's standing as Africa's leading university. The HRAs, together with linked-in senior UCT staff members from a variety of departments, provide advanced research expertise and actively mentor emerging researchers. They create a dynamic supervisory environment which provides global institutional linkages. The HRAs, as advanced researchers, work with graduate students in a mutually supportive relationship to create an international community that works to prevent the research isolation often associated with postgraduate status, while contributing to UCT's drive to enhance the quality of postgraduate training.

Honoray research associates: bar graphSince 2005, 189 HRAs have been associated with UCT. This is how that number is broken down by faculty


No fewer than 13 honorary research associates are linked with the Archival and Public Culture (APC) Research Initiative, headed by Professor Carolyn Hamilton. The APC holds one of the 32 research chairs awarded to UCT under the auspices of the Department of Science and Technology/ National Research Foundation's South African Research Chairs Initiative (SARChI). Among the HRAs at APC is Professor David Cohen of the University of Michigan. Cohen, a specialist in the field of East African history, is a world leader in the emerging field of historical anthropology. He is renowned for his work on the production of history, which has had a major impact on southern African studies. The APC undertakes research into the work of archive, history and memory in the present, both in the public sphere and grounded in local experiences, and into archival cultures and histories. It is trans-disciplinary and encompasses anthropology, archaeology, history, sociology, literature, music and the visual arts.

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