Prior to joining the Directorate of Research and Innovation, Dr Sithole was responsible for research development and training at the University of South Africa (UNISA). He has led teams providing support for postgraduate education, research administration and management, technology transfer, internationalisation support, and towards increasing research income from national and international funders and private industry.
He has many years of experience in research capacity development, strategic programme management, and stakeholder relationship management through his previous positions at UNISA, the University of KwaZulu-Natal and ISOLESO, an optical management company for Bonitas, Fedhealth and Discovery medical schemes.
His educational qualifications include a Doctorate in Health Studies, a Masters in Optometry, and a Bachelor degree in Optometry. His clinical optometry experience spans a period of 15 years.
“I am thrilled to be joining the Directorate, especially since this opportunity will allow me to live out my passion, which is research development and innovation,” he said.
He highlighted some of the first projects he will establish include a Postgraduate Research Training Programme for TUT that will run throughout the year. Another exciting project is to introduce Research and Innovation showcases with learners from townships to expose them to the wonderful world of research and innovation as well as instilling in them a curiosity about the world around them.
Dr Sithole also has extensive experience in ethical considerations as he chaired the South African Optometrist Association’s Research Ethics Committee between the years 2014 and 2016.
He is author and co-author of numerous publications and he serves on a number of advisory boards. In addition, he enjoys reviewing manuscripts, networking and sharing his knowledge with fellow researchers. He has published numerous papers in international journals and conferences.