Annual Departmental Research Day

18 Jun 2019
18 Jun 2019

The Annual Departmental Research Day – 11 June 2019


The Departmental Research Committee (DRC) was proud to host the annual Departmental Research Day on the 11th of June 2019. The theme for the day was ‘Research Stories’. We asked speakers to share when and how their research stories developed; how they built a research path as part of their academic identity; what were challenges and barriers; and what were tips and advice they would offer others.


We had several distinguished guest speakers who shared their stories with us. A/Prof Laila Asmal from Stellenbosch University gave a very inspiring and self-reflective talk entitled ‘The Clinician-Researcher and the pursuit of reward and unhappiness’. Three colleagues from our Department (Sam Nightingale, Tania Swart and Goodman Sibeko) shared their interesting research work, PhD journeys, and personal stories. Dr Elona Tosca ended the day with an excellent talk on ‘Researching Resourcefulness, Resilience and Risk: personal and professional trajectories in adolescent health research’, and shared her 10 lessons learned with the audience.


What was striking was that in asking our guest speakers to tell their ‘Research stories’, many shared moving stories that foregrounded their personal journeys whilst doing their research work. This resonated with – and inspired - many audience members who have expressed their appreciation, and has made many of us reflect on our own intertwined personal and professional narratives.


There was also an ‘Oral Presentations’ session where speakers showcased their research in the Department. These speakers were: Jon Piko Yako, Roxanne Jacobs, Kobus van der Walt, Thandi Davies, Stefan van der Walt and Wakithi Mabaso. Stefan and Wakithi - two of our undergraduate 6th year medical students - won the award for best oral presentation for their study on ‘The Burden of Depression and Anxiety among Medical Students in South Africa: A Cross-Sectional Survey at the University of Cape Town’.


All in all, it was an inspiring, moving and enjoyable day, and it provided an opportunity for colleagues to engage each other around their own personal research stories.


Dr Adele Marais, Ph.D.

Chair: DRC


From Left: Wakithi Mabaso and
Stefan van der Walt presenting at
the Research Day