Dr Vathiswa Papu-Zamxaka.
NIHSS was founded in 2013 against the backdrop of a decline in teaching and research quality in the social sciences and humanities.
It was the result of a special project of the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET). Its mandate is to advance and co-ordinate scholarship, research and ethical practice in the fields of humanities and social sciences within and through, existing public universities.
Commenting on the grant, Dr Vathiswa Papu-Zamxaka, Deputy Vice Chancellor for Research, Innovation and Engagement, said that R4 million of the grant will be allocated to the Faculty of Humanities and R1.6 million to the Faculty of Arts and Design.
“We are thrilled about the news. Institutions benefit in many ways from the presence and activities of post-docs. Most importantly, their work supports the overall intellectual strength of the institution,” explained Dr Papu-Zamxaka.
“Post-docs are quite important in academia. They assist in planning and carrying out the institution’s research programs, build alliances and intellectual bridges with other institutions, raise the reputation of laboratories and departments, mentor graduate students, and increase the influx of grant support. We are looking forward to all this from both faculties,” she continued.
She added: “In return, the University has the responsibility to support our postdocs with adequate compensation and benefits; provide a supportive infrastructure and working conditions; appropriate institutional recognition and standing; and mechanisms for advancing their careers and finding subsequent positions. I believe the funding will assist immensely to support these plans.”
The Post-doc Programmes will support full-time fellows addressing the following broad research themes:
- Arts, Performance and Sources of Creativity (creative fields from various settings across the HSS, to study cultural formations and social changes);
- Digital Humanities (the intersection of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the HSS and Arts, an HSS perspective of digital tools, techniques, and platforms, and how these impact society);
- Ecosystems, Climate and Technology;
- Global Economy, Development Challenges and Socio-Economic Alternatives;
- Higher Education, Teaching, Research and Innovation; and
- Indigenous Languages (the development of African languages for scientific use).