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Research Capacity Development



The Teaching Relief Grant (TRG) is a support intervention specifically targeted at the following groupings:

1. Staff members pursuing higher degrees: In this category TRG is aimed at the following purposes:

a. For teaching relief for staff members who have been granted research leave or sabbatical by the FPGSC in order to compile a research proposal. Kindly note that TRG cannot cover full sabbatical funding – this is meant to be covered via the Faculty RAM.

b. Creating space for staff to spend dedicated time in completing specific aspects of research towards improving staff qualifications (after approval of a proposal).

c. Facilitating the opportunity for staff in the final stages of completing further qualifications in obtaining funding towards a research sabbatical. 

2. Staff members who hold a PhD: Allowing staff time to write for publication in DHET accredited publications by providing financial support to researchers towards teaching relief. The TRG funding is intended to provide funds for persons who could be contracted in to relieve staff from some of the responsibilities within specific modules and thus offer teaching relief through a reduced workload. Applications will be reviewed upon submission of a completed online application which contains the recommendation of the Line Manager and the relevant Director of School. Applicants are requested to kindly follow up with the relevant parties to ensure that recommendations are submitted. The link for the online application is as follows: A Review Committee, comprising of the DVC:R&E, the Directors of Research Management and Research Capacity Development, will assess the merits of each application, taking cognisance of the recommendations of the Line Manager and Executive Dean and the alignment of the proposed output(s) with the strategic imperatives of the Nelson Mandela University and the identified Institutional/Faculty Research Themes.


Eligibility Criteria

1. All Full-time staff members will be supported. Staff on 2-3 year contracts with the institution will also be considered. Students will not be considered.

2. The TRG is meant to be used to pay for partial replacement (teaching relief) – the staff member is not exempted from fulfilling other normal duties such as attending committee meetings etc. or taking final responsibility for the administrative aspects of a module from which he/she obtains relief.

3. The TRG does NOT fund research sabbaticals as such provision is meant to be made from the Faculty’s RAM allocation.

4. In circumstances where staff members are pursuing studies towards further qualifications, and applications are strongly motivated by the relevant Line Manager, it should be noted that it is unlikely that the full allocation required to fund complete replacement for the applicant will be possible. Staff members are strongly encouraged to apply for external funding opportunities such as the NRF’s Doctoral Sabbatical Grant or Thuthuka Programme or for the NRF’s part-time PhD Scholarship.

5. The award must be taken up within the financial year in which it is awarded. Should funds not be utilised in the year of award, the applicant is required to make contact with RCD as such funds will need to be returned to RCD for reallocation.

6. Additional criteria and conditions:

• Successful applicants will be required to provide proof of progress in terms of envisaged outputs.

• Incomplete applications cannot be screened and will thus be excluded from the review process.

N.B. Qualifying for a TRG award does not imply automatic qualification for research leave or research sabbatical. The normal processes for applying for research leave or research sabbatical need to be followed. TRG funding will be released contingent upon the submission of proof of approved research leave/research sabbatical.

Contact information
Dr Blanche Pretorius
Director: Research Capacity Development
Tel: 27 41 504 2538

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