UKZN’s Catalysis and Peptide Research Unit (CPRU) has received a research grant of about R7 million from the National Research Foundation (NRF) for scholarships towards postgraduate training next year.
The money will be used to further research in bacterial and HIV drug resistance and also cover student support and running costs of the research undertaken.
‘This is brilliant. The grant will fund five post-docs, 19 PhDs, 24 masters and 21 honours students next year. This is one huge achievement,’ said Professor Rob Slotow, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Health Sciences.
The honours scholarships are non-obligatory and will be awarded on academic merit to students studying Chemistry, Microbiology, Biochemistry, Physiology, Genetics and Pharmaceutical Sciences.
The masters and doctoral training scholarships currently on offer to postgraduates will focus on six specific research areas conducted in the CPRU - Chemical Approaches for Fighting Antimicrobial Diseases; Targeting Drug Resistant TB with Novel ß-Lactams; Chemical Approaches for Fighting Antimicrobial Diseases; Spatially-resolved PKPD Studies for Optimised Prevention of HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Disorders; Sulfur (bio) Isosterism in Organic Synthesis and Drug Design, and Applied Organocatalysis.
The Unit anticipates that the number of students will exceed the space available in their laboratories and the CPRU will therefore stretch the remaining funding to other researchers.
The University encourages South African students to make the best use of this available opportunity and to note the closing date of 30 November this year for applications.
‘We are grateful that the NRF has continuously acknowledged that our research in CPRU has the potential to find solutions for bacterial and HIV drug resistance,’ said Professor Thavi Govender of the Unit.
Said UKZN’s Vice-Chancellor, Dr Albert van Jaarsveld: ‘This grant will allow us an opportunity to further position UKZN’s research at new heights. Well done to you and the team. This is excellent news.’
Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research at UKZN, Professor Salim Abdool Karim, added: ‘Well done, Thavi and the team. You make us proud!’