Rhodes University is committed to excellence in research and to further developing and maintaining its culture of research. The contribution of research to teaching is also emphasized since cutting edge research impacts strongly on approaches to teaching and produces analytical and creative graduates with a lifelong love of learning who will be innovative and creative and can assume leadership roles in their respective fields. The University also views research as a means of addressing the developmental needs of South and southern Africa in addition to international needs as defined in policies and initiatives such as NEPAD and others. It is also considered important to contribute to the need to improve the number of higher degree graduates and the national skills shortage in many research areas.
The University and its associated Research Institutes are constantly seeking ways to increase and enhance its research and is committed to undertaking excellent and internationally recognised research in all fields but particularly those with importance and interest to South Africa. The contribution of the researchers to this research is protected in terms of their intellectual property rights and in the case of patents and copyright the inventors are rewarded in proportion to their contribution.
Building research capacity of Black and female staff as well as the identification and nurturing of research potential among young academics is one of the Universities primary goals. Rhodes actively fosters postgraduate studies and the production of innovative and creative Masters and Doctoral graduates. Funds in support of such graduate students are committed by the Council. Rhodes University encourages intra- and inter- disciplinary collaboration within the University and its associated institutes as well as with other South African institutions particularly those in the East Cape region. In addition Rhodes is keen to develop exchange programmes and research collaboration with SADC and overseas Universities.
Current research strategies include increasing the number and quality of its postgraduates and research outputs, an increased regional research focus and collaboration while building on international links and activities, sourcing increased internal and external funding opportunities and fostering research in identified niche areas as well as in innovative and entrepreneurial fields.
Research Guidelines at Rhodes University
- Every member of academic and research staff is expected to carry out research
- The choice of research topic is usually at the discretion of the researcher
- Interdisciplinary research is encouraged
- For postgraduate studies the topic must be accepted by the supervisor and the board of the appropriate faculty
- Applications for funding from statutory bodies require the topic to be acceptable to the university and the funding agency
- Research is wasted unless it is published and communicated widely
- Publication is normally in the form of a report, journal article, book, thesis, conference proceeding bearing in mind that journal articles in recognised journals and research book, chapter and refereed conference proceedings generate subsidy income for the University
- Quality and quantity of products of research are used to judge a researcher
- Personal rewards for research are awards, promotion, personal development and satisfaction, research students, research grants, travel grants, possible income generation