The South African Social Science and HIV (SASH) Fellows Programme was launched last month. The programme is a key component of the NIH R24 funded collaboration between UCT and Brown University that seeks to strengthen HIV social science research and training. The award covers the period 2013-2018 and amounts in total to over R20 million.
The project – ‘Partnerships for the Next Generation of HIV Social Science in South Africa’ – is led by Professor Mark Lurie (Department of Epidemiology, Brown University) and Dr Christopher J. Colvin (School of Public Health and Family Medicine (SoPHFM), Faculty of Health Sciences, UCT). Among its aims are to develop academic capacity through curriculum development, teaching and mentoring, and fostering a culture of excellence in the interdisciplinary HIV social science research environment. Fellows who are selected receive various types of support including funding, mentorship and training opportunities. Mentorship and support is based both at UCT and at Brown University.
Thirteen Fellows have been selected for this round of the Programme. Each works in one of three strategic areas: Gender in HIV/AIDS Risk and Response, Antiretroviral Therapy Adherence and Expansion, and HIV Prevention for Women, Youth and Families. The Fellows are at different levels of study, ranging from Masters to the postdoctoral level. Many of the Fellows have connections to UCT. Dr Alex Muller is a postdoctoral fellow in the School of Public Health and Family Medicine. The SASH team from HAICU—Cal Volks, Sianne Abrahams, Lucina Reddy and Stella Kyobula-Mukoza—will be engaging in a group SASH project. Dr Brendan Maughan-Brown works as a Senior Research Officer at the Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit (SALDRU). Ntobeko Nywagi has worked on range of research projects with the Women’s Health Research Unit in the SoPHFM at UCT. Vuyiseka Dubula, Tim Shand and Marlise Richter all work in different capacities at Sonke Gender Justice, and Zoe Duby and Kate Snyder work at the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation.