October and November are the time of year when we traditionally hold our Research Symposium and Research Function. This year, of course, we’re going virtual.
This year has been particularly demanding and the idea of joining another virtual event might be the last thing you want to do or add to your already full schedule.
But, do read on, because we believe we have put together two events that are planned to energise you, with potential to help shape research and postgrad studies at UCT:
Our annual research symposium titled “Rethink the PhD in Africa and the Global South” will take place online on Thursday, 5 November 2020 starting with a series of pre-event workshops.
Your contribution will be crucial.
As we prepare for Vision 2030, and rethink many fundamental aspects of how we do things at UCT, we want you to help us position the future of postgraduate studies. You can do this by:
Why do we need to rethink the PhD?
A doctoral degree – and indeed the research-centred postgraduate degree – is often the launch pad for a career in academia, research, innovation, entrepreneurship and thought-leadership and is crucial to building the next generation of researchers and thought leaders contributing to the African knowledge project. In this workshop–symposium combo, we address two key and inter-linked aspects:
As we figure out how to build the academic pipeline and the innovation and entrepreneurship space, we need to ask some critical questions: What is the purpose of the PhD in Africa and the global south and should it – or how should it – be different from programmes in the global north? What are future trends with respect to the PhD likely to be – what are the risks and opportunities? How can we innovate in this space so that we produce postgraduates with the attributes they will need for a career in the global south now and in the future? How do we ensure our graduates are among the thought leaders in Africa and globally?
The aim of this symposium is to harness our collective insights and experiences to rethink the doctoral degree in Africa and the global south. The outputs from this symposium will be used, specifically, to inform future planning at UCT as we transition into Vision 2030 and, more generally, to position the roles of academic institutions in the global south.
Attend a virtual brainstorm with the d-school at UCT
Thursday, 29 October 2020 | Monday, 2 November 2020: sign up here
We have partnered with the Hasso Plattner School of Design Thinking (d-school at UCT) to run a series of virtual co-creation workshops. Our d-school is one of only three in the world: the other two are at Stanford University in the USA and the University of Potsdam in Germany. The d-school’s approach is centred on the principles of ‘design thinking’: a creative, human-centred approach. Researchers at all stages in their careers – including postgraduates – are encouraged to join one of the workshops held on these days.
The outcomes of these workshops will feed into the Research Symposium on 5 November and serve as important inputs for further discussion on the day.
UCT Research Symposium 2020 | half-day virtual event
Thursday, 5 November 2020, 09:00-12:30: sign up here
The Symposium, which is open to the entire research community (whether you have attended the workshops or not) will kick off with a series of three conversations followed by a Q&A. Each conversation will consist of a 20-minute dialogue between two influential people drawn from Africa and other parts of the Global South, with a moderator; we intend them to be provocative discussions, rather than a series of delivered lectures.
These conversations will be followed by the d-school feedback presentation from the workshops, after which we’ll give the UCT research community the opportunity to comment, discuss and respond to the ideas that have been shared in this forum. Interactive online platforms will be used to capture the inputs and feedback from participants on the day.
Please register to secure your “virtual seat” at the pre-event workshops and symposium. There is only space for 144 people to attend the d-school co-creation workshops so these will be offered on a first come, first serve basis. Once you have registered you will be emailed more information about how to access the events online.
Thursday, 12 November 2020, 17:00-17:45: sign-up here
At this year’s virtual Research Function, we can’t offer you the usual pre-pandemic opportunity to get together over drinks and snacks, but we can introduce you to the new Executive Director of the Research Office, Dr Linda Mtwisha, and answer these questions: How has UCT research fared over the last year? What were some of the highlights? And what does the next year hold for us all?
A short event of less than an hour, the programme will run as follows:
For both the Symposium and the Function, we are taking the opportunity provided by going virtual – freeing us of the usual venue constraints – to invite the whole research community. We hope to see you there!
Professor Sue Harrison
Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Internationalisation
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