Cape Town – The South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) has announced that it will give R30m to previously under-resourced universities across the country.
“These universities have provided compelling proposals that are aligned with institutional research strengths and priorities,” said SAMRC President Professor Glenda Gray, in a statement.
The five universities already benefiting from the initiative include the University of Fort Hare, University of Limpopo, Walter Sisulu University, University of Venda and the University of Zululand, which will receive clinical or health research funding worth up to R1m per institution per annum for five years.
Discussions are also under way with the sixth institution Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, formerly Medunsa, for the same amount over five years – which will bring the funding total to R30m.
Principal Investigators of the valued projects at various Universities presented their abstracts and their thoughts about the programme before being awarded by the SAMRC Board.
According to Gray the research "will be rewarding for science, is pertinent to the country’s burden of disease and will be game changing for research”.
The proposals currently cover an array of areas in health research such as HIV, indigenous medicines, cancer, environmental health and non-communicable diseases.
According to the SAMRC some universities in South Africa have not had access to funding from the council. The council now wishes to address the gap by funding health research that is conducted by researchers at previously under-resourced institutions.
“Capacity development is not an event, it’s a process,” said SAMRC Vice President Professor Jeffrey Mphahlele.