African Doctoral Academy
Welkom by Universiteit Stellenbosch

Which course is right for me?

An overview of the 2018 Winter School workshops

Please note the workshops take place at the same time from Monday - Friday each week, so it is possible to take one course per week only.

The next Doctoral School workshops are listed below grouped by theme:

I'm at the beginning of my PhD journey - I need help to understand the PhD process, the journey and how to plan to hand in a quality thesis on time....

After a very successful test-run at the Summer School earlier this year, we are again offering two options to do a PhD preparatory course:

Creating a successful dissertation (28 – 30 June) presented by Dr Layla Cassim, is aimed at delegates planning to start their PhD's imminently or are in the early phase of their PhD and want to understand the background and context of the doctoral process. By offering this condensed course, it will also allow delegates to be able to take other introductory courses in the first week. As there is a large degree of overlap with the week 1 course, delegates selecting this course should avoid duplication and not choose Preparing for the PhD in week 1.

Preparing for the PhD (2 – 6 July) is always a popular choice but as this course takes place at the same time as some valuable introductory courses on research design during week 1, we are also offering a shortened 3-day preparatory course for those who want to do both from 28 – 30 June. This workshop is aimed at candidates across all disciplines, who are about to start their PhD journey, or are still in the planning phases and want to understand the background and context of the doctoral process. We work through some preparatory aspects of the PhD process, taking you from the proposal and background to your study through to dealing with your examiner feedback, disseminating your science and everything in between. Dr Layla Cassim and Dr Nicolene Herman co-teach this course.  

Project management principles for researchers by Dr Joubert van Eeden is a one day course taking place on Saturday, 7 July. This course aims to offer an insight into project management for researchers busy with​ their PhD, from a practitioner and now teacher in Project management. Writing grant prop​osalspresented by Ms. Riana Coetsee, also on 7 July, is another one-day course, offering valuable and hands-on training for anyone wanting to know what should be included in a successful grant proposal. For the first time we are also able to offer a one-day course on The Systematic Review, also presented on 7 July by Dr Lara Skelly,​ aimed at offering delegates the tools to do a systematic review in their own field.

I need training in research design and methodology

The ADA is very pleased to host two collaborators and colleagues from the USA that will presenting courses on quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods research design and methodologies.

Prof Tim Guetterman hails from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), one of the top public research universities in the USA. Prof Guetterman is an applied research methodologist and will again be presenting two courses. In week 1 (2 – 6 July) he will be teaching Introduction to quantitative research design and methodology, aimed at early phase PhD candidates looking to upskill their quantitative research capabilities.

Prof Wayne Babchuk from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln will be presenting a course, Introduction to quali​tative research design and methodology in week 1 (2 – 6 July). His course is aimed at novice qualitative researchers who want to learn more about and fine-tune their skills in qualitative research design and methodology. The course will have a strong holistic and interdisciplinary focus and draw upon examples from the social and health sciences and education over time and across cultures.

We welcome back Professor Gibbert also for his highly popular and individualised course, Designing, doing and publishing case studies in week 2 (9  13 July).

New courses at the ADA in research design and methodology

Either of the qualitative or quantitative research design courses could be followed by a novel course in week 2 ( 13 July), Intersecting Qualitative with Mixed Methods Research, Design and Implementation, co-taught by Professors Babchuk and Guetterman for delegates that want to integrate their studies and lift their research to the next level.

The course, Introduction to the design and execution of real world experimental and intervention studies, presented by Prof Comiskey in week 2 ( 13 July), will benefit those who plan to undertake and evaluate an intervention or prevention study using an experimental or quasi-experimental design. Delegates considering this course, would benefit from the quantitative course in week 1 if they do not have previous experience in this environment.

As for something completely different, we are also offering a course on Multicultural, Multilingual and Cross Cultural Settings: Conducting Original Research, taught in week 1 (– 6 July), aiming for an audience interested in conducting research in unique cultural settings.

I want to acquire skills for data analysis with software packages

Essentials for R - an introduction: R is an open source programming language for statistical procedures and is a highly customisable (and free) software environment, making it an increasingly popular choice among scholars and researchers. R provides a wide variety of statistical and graphical techniques as well as many built-in statistical procedures. Graphing capability is another reason R is gaining wide popularity. The workshop is presented by Dr Koen Plevoets (2 – 6 July) from our partner institution, KU Leuven in Belgium. Read more about the R program on their website here.

2017 saw the release of a new version of ATLAS.ti. Version 8 , with the ADA presenting the first workshop internationally. We are fortunate to have Monitoring and Evaluation expert, Prof Brigitte Smit presents the course, Introduction to qualitative data analysis with ATLAS.ti in week 2 (9 – 13 July). Delegates should already be familiar with the basic concepts of social research and be computer literate and competent in order to register for this course.  

Also included in the Data Analysis component is an Introduction to SPSS, presented by Dr Cindy Lee Steenekamp in week 1 (2 – 6 July). The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) is used widely for statistical analysis in the social sciences, and has also become popular in other disciplines.  This is an introductory course, ideally suited for first time users or participants with limited experience with the software program.   

Publishing and disseminating my research 

For those candidates who are at a stage where they are generating articles from their dissertations, we are offering Writing and Publishing an article during the final phases of the PhDfor delegates in the last phases of their PhD's, with Dr Ruth Albertyn and Dr Christel Troskie De Bruin, in week 2 (9 – 13 July). You will be offered the opportunity to work with a highly experienced writing mentors who will help you refine your draft. Delegates are required to bring a draft (with publishable data) article to the workshop, with the requirements (publication/technical) of their intended journal for publication and then work towards having a publication-ready version to submit by the end of the workshop.

Furthering my career as a supervisor 

Prof Jan B​otha will be facilitating our well-known competence course on Doctoral Supervision for novice supervisors in week 2 (9 – 13 July​). The focus of the course is on the PhD as knowledge production, accompanied by the appropriate pedagogical principles and practices. Insights based on up-to-date research on doctoral education underpin the course. Theoretical and practical dimensions of doctoral supervision are blended in the presentations and activities. Delegates must already have a PhD (or be graduating in the next few months) in order to participate in the workshop.