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About Research and Innovation

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Research and Innovation

Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (SMU), as the only health sciences university in South Africa, is strategically positioned to focus on multidisciplinary health research that will provide solutions to ease the quadruple burden of disease facing the country.

The Research Directorate is tasked with the leadership, management and administration of Research and Innovation at SMU. We aim at building an environment that allows academic freedom and yet being aligned with National Health Research Summit Report as we participate in the production, dissemination and utilization of new knowledge for quality health services.

The Research Directorate comprises of six (6) units that may be contacted to support various functions and activities at the institution:

Research Information Management

Responsible for coordination and recording of all Research output publications in indexed databases/journals, books and published conference proceedings which meet the criteria as DHET accredited articles. Promote publication in accredited journals and disseminate research related information to the University Community and external stakeholders.

Contact Person

Mrs E Mfete
Research Information Officer


Grants Management

Responsible for supporting researchers in identifying funding opportunities, grant support and bringing in third-stream income through external research funding (grants), as well as creating and advancing research collaborations and Partnerships with other academic institutions, science councils and funding agencies.

Contact Person

Ms W Motsatsi
Coordinator: Grants and Strategic Partnership


Capacity Development

Research capacity development (RCD) initiatives are implemented to support staff members and postgraduate students with various capacity development activities, e.g. Short courses; Research Development Programme (RDP), Postdoctoral Research fellows, Supplementary Staff Employment Programme (SSEP), Research Capacity Development workshops for supervisor and postgraduate students, NRF Ratings, Future Professors Programme, and the Nurturing of Emerging Scholars

Contact Person

Mrs F Malamatsho
Coordinator: Research Capacity Development


Postgraduate Funding

Management of postgraduate funding at the institution is supported though the provision of funding to Honours, Masters, and Doctoral (PhD) Students. The Postgraduate funding office informs and updates postgraduate students and staff of available national and international bursaries and scholarship opportunities, liaises with external funders and provides administrative support to postgraduate students with bursary.

Contact Person

Mrs J Matentji
Postgraduate Funding Officer


Ethics review of research proposals

Sefako Makgatho University Research Ethics Committee (SMUREC) is the official registered body responsible for independent review of all health research at the University before commencement of a study. The Committee functions to protect the rights, dignity, safety, welfare and best interests of all human participants and animal subjects (including human biological materials and data collection) involved in research at the University.

Contact Person

Mrs L Phiri
Coordinator: Animal and Human Research Ethics


Research, Strategic Partnership and Technology Transfer Office

This office provides project management support for strategic projects with external partners such as knowledge transfer to provincial health departments. SMU Council also recently approved incorporation of the Technology Transfer Office in the structure of the Research Office to ensure compliance with Section 17 of the Intellectual Property (IP) Rights, Publicly Financed Research and Development Act, 2008 (Act No. 51 Of 2008).
National traction is maintained through an agreement with NIPMO to provide technical support for IP Management and patent registration. An MOA with Technology Innovation Agency assists in commercialisation of innovative research outcomes that may have economic potential. The Office works closely with the Centre for Entrepreneurship Rapid Incubation and explores innovative business ideas emanating from student Entrepreneurs that may have IP potential.

Contact Person

Mr M Sebola
Project Coordinator: Research, strategic Partnership and Innovation