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Research Support Units

 Research and Development Office

The Research and Development Office exists to grow the University of the Western Cape’s capacity for innovative, ground-breaking research. We serve as a catalyst to promote, support, strengthen and grow the research enterprise at UWC. We aim to achieve this by providing services and resources to faculty, staff and postdoctoral fellows that stimulate research and other creative endeavours. We also aim to facilitate and enhance partnerships and collaborations between faculty, government, foundations, industry, and global research enterprises. Lastly, we are key role players in developing infrastructure and policy that promote creativity and entrepreneurial culture.

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Division of Postgraduate Studies

The Division for Postgraduate Studies (DPGS) is an expression of the commitment of UWC to postgraduate students. DPGS provides a comprehensive support service that will improve retention and successful completion. The Division strives to create a high level of visibility in postgraduate education through a support service that adds value and has vitality. DPGS facilitates student enrolment and retention by assisting with an administrative clearance of students during registration. The Division works alongside key offices to reduce the number of non-returning students and address obstacles to registration for the current academic year. The Division provides capacity building for students through training in transferable skills e.g. research methods.

eResearch Office

Today, research is increasingly data-driven in most fields. Researchers thus require new skills to deal with their data throughout the research lifecycle. eResearch thus has the potential to accelerate research outputs and enhance an institution’s research agenda. The eResearch Office (ERO) promotes and supports the use of advanced information technologies to foster better, faster and higher-impact research. More specifically, its mission is to:
  • Advise researchers and postgraduate students about their data-intensive research and research data management needs
  • Coordinate multi-disciplinary data-intensive research activities and postgraduate student training
  • Organise research data management courses following the Carpentries approach
  • Provide in-house data-intensive research computing infrastructure and support
  • Facilitate access to regional, national, and international data-intensive research computing infrastructure and support


Gender Equity Unit

The Gender Equity Unit’s (GEU) research primarily, but not only, focus on the institutional culture, practices, and policies. The research outcomes impact the university in various aspects and ensure that the institution is alert to its mission of inclusivity and non-discrimination on all levels. The research therefore always addresses how the institutional culture is transformed to include women, gender, race, sexuality, and nationality in all its programmes and policies. 


The Library is the legacy of knowledge creation and research endeavours at the University of the Western Cape. More than 80% of the Library budget is spent on quality information resources catering for disciplines core and niche subject collections. Up-to-date resources are hosted on the Library cloud platform, freely accessible 24/7 to promote the scholarship of research in UWC. Access to the plethora of digital information resources, special collections enhances the body and quality of research output, also increasing the potential of the readership of research. The Library is the champion in advocating for open access, e-research under the DVC: Research and innovation. UWC institutional repository showcases research output, Thesis and Dissertations uploads and online Open Journals, with opportunity for increasing citation and institutional value. The Repository aims to build and uplift researcher profiles and UWC research rankings.

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Technology Transfer Office

The Technology Transfer Office’s mission is to support the effective and efficient transfer of research outputs from UWC to socioeconomic markets in order to create value for society, the university, South Africa, and the rest of the world. It hopes to achieve this by assisting researchers with the development of their research outputs to a point where these can be commercialised through licensing to interested parties and spin-out companies. This would include the establishment of a UWC Seed Fund for the development of these research outputs, as well as ensuring interaction with relevant industrial partners.

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Special Projects

Special Projects Unit is responsible for managing and coordinating the strategic research initiatives and projects in the Office of the DVC: Research and Innovation. Core to its responsibilities is to ensure the alignment of Research and innovation strategy with UWC’s Vision and Strategy, Management of Communication and Liaison with Internal and External Stakeholder, Monitoring, and Evaluation within the Office of DVC: Research and Innovation. Key to this office is the University Capacity Development Grant (UCDG),  which aims to bolster and support UWC’s strategic IOP goals and thus aims to address the transformation imperatives in the university system through creating an enabling environment for staff and students.

Centre of Excellence in Food Security

The Centre of Excellence in Food Security (CoE-FS) undertakes innovative research and critical enquiry to enable South Africa to tackle the challenges of food insecurity and nutrition. Food insecurity is caused by a number of factors ranging from a lack of income with which to purchase sufficient calories and nutrients, to the inability of a county or region to provide affordable food to its population, to constraints on the physical environment limiting the production of food such as water scarcity, poor soil quality and climate change. Accordingly, research at the CoE-FS is transdisciplinary in nature. Through established networks (nationally, regionally and globally) and collaborative approaches; our research examines the scale, nature, causes and consequences of food insecurity in South Africa, and elsewhere on the African continent.

Our collaborative approach recognises the importance of drawing insights from the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences, as well as stakeholders’ knowledge, to find solutions to the complexities associated with achieving food security and nutrition for all. Our goal is to improve food security and nutrition, through linking innovative science with critical enquiry and implementation strategies, such as; addressing development priorities as set out in South Africa’s National Development Plan, continent-wide frameworks such as Agenda 2063, and global calls to action such as the Sustainable Development Goals, specifically SDG2: “End hunger, achieve food security and improve nutrition”.

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