Prestige Scholars Programme invests in promising academics
2015-06-24

Photo: Sonia Small

Whilst many academics find it challenging to have sustainable funding for specific projects, it is often just as challenging to find relevant exposure and good mentorship programmes to fully prepare academics toward becoming full professors.

Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the UFS, designed the Vice-Chancellor’s Prestige Scholars Programme (PSP) specifically targeting newly-completed post-doctoral students who are already members of the academic staff.

The goal is to select the most promising young scholars and to make substantial institutional investment in their development.

To date, the PSP has produced 2 Fulbright scholars; 10 National Research Foundation (NRF) rated scholars; 1 NRF Blue Skies research project and 14 NRF Thuthuka-funded projects. These scholars work with the best academics at leading universities on three continents.

Prof Jackie du Toit, co-director of the programme, explains that while the PSP does not provide funding, it is a great programme to empower scholars by means of assistance towards generating funding from outside sources.

Prof Du Toit co-directs this programme with Proff Corli Witthuhn, Vice-Rector: Research and Niel Roos from the Department of Africa Studies.

“The PSP bases its approach to funding on the philosophy that young scholars are to be encouraged towards financial independence, based on a viable postdoctoral project that would sustain their scholarship for five to eight years post PhD. We believe that the cachet and long-term sustainability of existing funding programmes such as Fulbright outweighs the short-term benefits of automatic funding from the PSP. We also endeavour to teach young scholars to work cleverly within institutional parameters, rather than leave them floundering once they step off the active PSP.”


FACULTY CONTACT

T: +27 51 401 2240 or humanities@ufs.ac.za

Postgraduate:
Marizanne Cloete: +27 51 401 2592

Undergraduate:
Katlego Mabulana: +27 51 401 2495
Juanita Hlongwane: +27 51 401 3269

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