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South African Research Chairs Initiative (SARChI)

SARChI is a brain-gain and research capacity-development intervention by the Department of Science and Technology that is being administered by the National Research Foundation. Since the inception of this intervention in 2006 UCT has secured 26 chairs of the 72 awarded nationally.

Operating as staff and student clusters that do research in specific areas, the SARChI structures are successful incubators of excellence and have increased the intake of postgraduate students. All the Chairs have established themselves and are proceeding to deliver on their objectives. The Chairs are Professor Jonathan Blackburn (Applied Proteomics and Chemical Biology), Professor Frank Brombacher (Immunology of Infectious Diseases in Africa), Professor Kelly Chibale (Drug Discovery), Dr Marc Combrinck (Clinical Neurosciences Research), Professor Drucilla Cornell (Customary Law, Indigenous Values, and Dignity Jurisprudence), Dr Erwin de Blok (Astrophysics and Space Science), A/Professor Keertan Dheda (Lung Infection and Immunity in Poverty Related Diseases), Professor Jean-Paul Franzidis (Minerals Beneficiation), Professor Carolyn Hamilton (Archive and Public Culture), Professor Susan Harrison (Bioprocess Engineering), Professor Bruce Hewitson (Climate Change), A/Professor David Jacobs (Animal Evolution and Systematics), A/Professor Astrid Jarre (Marine Ecology and Fisheries), Professor Murray Leibbrandt (Poverty and Inequality Research), Professor Di McIntyre (Health and Wealth in SA), A/Professor Ernesta Meintjes (Brain Imaging), Professor Rajend Mesthrie (Migration, Language and Social Change), A/Professor Kevin Naidoo (Scientific Computing), Professor Lungisile Ntsebeza (Land Reform and Democracy in South Africa: State and Civil Society Dynamics), Professor Iqbal Parker (Cancer Biology), Professor George Philander (Modelling of the coupled ocean-land-atmosphere phenomena related to climate), Professor Edgar Pieterse (Urban Policy), Professor Daya Reddy (Computational Mechanics), Professor Clifford Shearing (Security and Justice), Professor Abdulkader Tayob (Islam, African Publics and Religious Values) and Professor Anna-Lise Williamson (Vaccinology).

Due to shifting priorities and inconclusive negotiations at government level, the 2008 SARChI call was issued late in the year and aimed exclusively at Mathematics Education (co-funded by First Rand Foundation), Nanotechnology for Water, Indigenous Knowledge Systems and a small number of thematic areas in the Social Sciences that relate to the Science & Technology for Social Impact Sub-programme of the DST. In the latter category, UCT's bid for a Chair in development economics was successful and an appropriate nominee has been put forward. The outcome is still pending. In the interim, and in anticipation of renewed roll-out of the SARChI programme over the next 18 months, UCT continues to monitor and support the successful implementation of our existing Chairs' SARChI objectives.