Eligible staff please register here >>>

Wednesday, 09 September 2020

More than R30 million in research grants facilitated

RESEARCH FUNDS: Research Grants Manager, Tania Holmes-Watts aims for the incorporation of a full-cycle grants management approach through the integration between the pre- and post-award activities into CPUT’s operations. RESEARCH FUNDS: Research Grants Manager, Tania Holmes-Watts aims for the incorporation of a full-cycle grants management approach through the integration between the pre- and post-award activities into CPUT’s operations.

The research directorate facilitated more than R30,7 million in research grants obtained from the National Research Foundation (NRF) and the Department of Higher Education & Training.

In 2019 the directorate handled over R20 million in research grants obtained from the NRF as well as R10,7 million received through the University Capacity Development Grant funded by the Department of Higher Education & Training, among many others.

The Research Grants Management Unit within the Research Directorate, a key entity in the portfolio of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research, Technology Innovation and Partnerships (RTIP), coordinates and facilitates all the pre-and post-award activities of research grants.

The Unit is headed by Research Grants Manager Tania Holmes-Watts, who also serves as Acting-Chairperson on the Research Funding Decisions Committee. Holmes-Watts is the CPUT representative on the Sub-Committee on South African Research & Innovation Management Association (SARIMA), a Community of Practice for research management professionals in the Western Cape.
Together with representatives from UCT, UWC and Stellenbosch University, SARIMA prepared and submitted a proposal to the African Academy of Science.

Holmes-Watts has been at CPUT since 2009 and has contributed at many research management engagements and conferences both nationally and internationally including Namibia, India, Australia, and Belgium, among others.

The PhD candidate says that she is aiming for the incorporation of a full-cycle grants management approach through the integration between the pre- and post-award activities into CPUT’s operations. “To succeed in this requires the buy-in from key stakeholders and hence the orientation and liaison in this respect is important.”

The part-time lecturer is completing her PhD in Science & Technology Studies at the Centre for Research on Evaluation, Science and Technology, Stellenbosch University and anticipates to graduate in 2021.

She adds that the Unit needs to assess its work, gain insights from its stakeholders on how to improve its processes to the benefit of its key stakeholders. “So, for me strengthening its monitoring and evaluation endeavours going forward should be a key priority.” 

Holmes-Watts is very passionate about her crucial role at CPUT. “I try by all means to do my work as best I can to honour Christ who placed me in this role,” she says. “It is an additional blessing that I love what I do because it provides me frequent opportunities to make a meaningful contribution in support of the research enterprise.

“Work hard and don't give up when things get tough, just keep on going,” she advises other women. “Women need to equip themselves with the knowledge on how to build resilience, embrace all opportunities on offer to gain information and insights into your area of work. Most importantly – wherever we go we need to watch our attitude.”

Written by Kwanele Butana

Email: butanak@cput.ac.za