Research In the College
The University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) is classified by the national Department of Science and Technology as one of 3 research-led and research-intensive Universities in South Africa (Kahn M 2006). Over the past 7 years, UKZN has been consistently rated the 2nd or 3rd most research-productive university (as measured by the Department of Higher Education and Training’s SAPSE Units) of the 23 South African universities. It has the best instruction and research staff and student equity profile of all the research-intensive universities according to Education Statistics in South Africa (Department of Education 2007). UKZN achieved all these while undergoing a merger and a major transformation through prioritising diversity as a critical factor to excellence and equity. In total, 40% of staff time is allocated to research for all academic staff at UKZN. However, approximately 15% of all full time equivalent academic staff members are exclusively research staff.
Research is an important cornerstone of the College of Health Science’s strategic activities. The College is firmly on the global map and has received international recognition for its commitment to health research. The College has successfully attracted funding from the world’s largest sponsors of biomedical research. That is the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), the Wellcome Trust, the US National Institutes for Health (NIH), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Centre for Disease Control.
As a pre-eminent academic institution at the epicentre of the HIV epidemic in South Africa, the College has taken up the challenge of providing leadership in response to HIV and AIDS, and is undertaking ongoing research to enhance and strengthen the biomedical and broader societal response to the epidemic. In the field of HIV/AIDS research, well-established partnerships exist which facilitate networking and collaboration with researchers within UKZN, at other South African academic institutions, and around the world. Through the Columbia University-Southern African Fogarty AIDS Training and Research Programme, the institution is committed to building scientific capacity in HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis research in several countries in Southern Africa to enhance continuing efforts to counter the HIV/AIDS and TB epidemics.