​​​​​Tygerberg Postdoctoral Society​​​​

The Tygerberg Postdoctoral Society is fresh out the box



Hidden away within the different division​s and research facilities of the Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences (FMHS) of Stellenbosch University (SU), one can find the group of individuals who produce much of the Faculty's knowledge capital – namely postdoctoral fellows. These individuals have recently completed their doctoral studies and work tirelessly to enhance their expertise and produce novel research in their chosen fields of academia. In order to better support and develop the FMHS cohort of postdoctoral fellows, local structures are being established on the Tygerberg campus.       


The Postdoctoral Society (PDS), which is located on SU main campus, caters to some of the academic, social, community, and administrative needs of this group of early-career researchers. Unfortunately, the large geographical distance between the different campuses has created a sense of disconnection between the FMHS cohort of postdoctoral fellows and the PDS. In order to help resolve this deficiency in support, a Tygerberg branch of the PDS was established in August 2015, under the guidance of the Vice-Dean of Research, Prof. N Gey van Pittius. It is envisioned that the Tygerberg branch will advance the efforts of the main PDS and promote the involvement of the Tygerberg postdoctoral fellows within the PDS and the University. 


In addition to integrating with the main PDS, the Tygerberg branch will provide site specific support for the FMHS-hosted postdoctoral fellows. Key problem areas that will be tackled by the local PDS were identified by the Executive committee of the Tygerberg PDS through the use of an electronic survey. Based on the grievances and desires of the local fellows a set of goals has been generated which the society will address in 2016. On the top of the agenda are initiatives to facilitate postdoctoral-specific career development programmes; create a sense of community amongst the members of this cohort and the University, and establish a postdoctoral office and an informative, postdoctoral-specific website.


In conjunction with FMHS management, the newly established Tygerberg PDS will provide the FHMS-hosted cohort of postdoctoral fellows with academic, administrative, social and community support. Furthermore, this venture will go a long way in providing this group of researchers with the appreciation and recognition they deserve. So be prepared for some exciting new developments to come.​