The Systems Analysis Capacity Development Programme (hereafter referred to as the “Capacity Development component”) takes place over the midyear academic break of each year. Hosted by Stellenbosch University and UWC, this programme is designed to assist students in the early stages of their PhD studies to shape their ideas and research proposal, while assisting those PhD students further along with their research to further develop or to complete their theses. Over the first few weeks of the programme, students will be afforded time for writing, reflection and communication with their supervisors, and will participate in structured capacity development courses. Students will participate in targeted capacity development courses offered by Stellenbosch’s African Doctoral Academy (ADA). initiatives will include generic topics (including how to plan your PhD research, scientific writing for the dissertation, writing and publishing during the doctorate, communicating with stakeholders and the media, translating research into policy and practice, etc), research skills development, and courses specifically related to systems analysis methodologies. The participation in the ADA courses will expose students to a diversity of disciplines and cultures which will serve to broaden their thinking and consider diverse perspectives in research.

Writing retreat

Students will spend the final week of the programme at a writing retreat hosted at a quiet, picturesque location in the Western Cape. Experts from the Stellenbosch University Writing Lab, and experienced writing coaches will assist students during this week. Supervisors will be invited to join the student group again during this period to provide discipline specific and technical inputs into the students’ proposals. The retreat will culminate with students doing speed presentations of their proposed research for input and discussion.