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GHAM 2023

The SAMRC hosts 15 universities for Research Capacity Development

The South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC), through its Research Capacity Development (RCD) division, hosted more than 65 RCD grant holders from 15 universities during its annual Grant Holder’s meeting on the 8th and 9th of March 2023 under the theme of “Building Research Leadership for Societal Impact”.

As the most significant local funder of health research and a custodian of the values that embody health research excellence in South Africa, the SAMRC has, over the years, developed research capacity development funding mechanisms to support emerging research leaders in different areas of health research. The purpose of the RCD grant programmes is to create opportunities to fast-track and transition early-career and mid-career scientists into independent research leaders.

RCD grants programmes account for 60% of the RCD budget, with more than 70% of Grant holders being hosted at the Historically Disadvantaged Institutions (HDIs), namely the University of Fort Hare, University of Zululand, University of Limpopo, University of Venda, Mangosuthu University of Technology, Walter Sisulu University of Technology, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, and the University of the Western Cape.

Grant Holders Annual Meeting 2023

The RCD Grant Holder’s Annual Meeting

The SAMRC’s RCD Grant Holder’s Annual Meeting is a capacity development opportunity with this year’s event  bringing together beneficiaries from RCD Grant Programmes, including the SAMRC Intramural Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme, Clinician Postdoctoral Career Development Programme, Early Investigators and Mid-Career Scientists Programmes (Principal investigators in pre-selected strategic research areas), and the Research Capacity Development Initiative (Principal Investigators)  from selected HDIs. With a strong focus on the science, the meeting provided an opportunity for grant holders to present on their research, to learn about new topics of relevance to their research endeavours, to network and to seek new collaborations.

The meeting was attended by some of the SAMRC Board Members, the SAMRC President and CEO, Prof Glenda Gray, and other members of the SAMRC’s Executive Management Committee.

The meeting also included esteemed keynote speakers who delivered outstanding lectures on various topics in the context of “Building Research Leadership for Societal Impact”, spanning ethics in research, innovation and intellectual property, career development and research, societal impact, research translation and indigenous knowledge systems.

Commenting on the presentations made by the grant holders, SAMRC Board Member, Prof Mosa Moshabela noted how the universities were working together. “What is more interesting is the strong collaboration that could be seen between researchers from various institutions,” he said.

In her address to the beneficiaries, Prof Gray said, “By receiving a research grant - even a small amount - emerging researchers can gain access to resources and expertise that would otherwise be unavailable to them. Additionally, research grants can help emerging researchers develop their skills and gain recognition in their field”.

The meeting showcased the high quality of the research being supported through the RCD grants programmes and the successes achieved to date in building research capacity in the featured institutions and was an inspiration for the health research leaders of tomorrow.

For more enquiries:

  1. Dr Frederic Nduhirabandi
    Programme Manager: RCD Grants
    Tel: 021 938 0461
  2. Ms Yolanda Phakela
    Public Relations Manager
    Tel: 021 938 0391
    Cell: +27 73 801 3691
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