n South African Journal of Higher Education - Discovering the postdoctoral sector at UCT with a view to improving the PDRF experience




The postdoctoral sector at the University of Cape Town (UCT) is a growing one, and provides a significant contribution to the institutional research endeavour. Until 2002, this sector was unregulated and the experiences of Postdoctoral Research Fellows (PDRFs) were largely unknown. Since then a range of regulatory developments have taken place and two surveys have been carried out in order to understand the issues and challenges faced by the PDRFs, with a view to putting in place interventions to enhance their experience at UCT. This article provides a brief, post-2002 history of the postdoctoral sector at UCT; describes the survey methodology used and results obtained; and reports on some of the interventions that have flowed from the survey findings. The article also reflects on the effectiveness of the (institutional) research - intervention - further (institutional) research method employed here, and on the importance of embeddingof the work of this kind within the business of relevant institutional committee structures.


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