A dedicated Doctoral Office has been established at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS) at Stellenbosch University (SU) to facilitate the increasing number of doctoral students at the faculty. Dr Jyothi Chabilall was appointed as the new Head of the Doctoral Office.
“We have seen a tremendous increase – 200% over the last 10 years – in doctoral registrations and graduations at the Faculty,” says Prof Nico Gey van Pittius, Vice Dean: Research at the FMHS.
In view of the Faculty’s focus on enhancing and growing doctoral studies, the Dean’s Management Team decided to establish a dedicated Doctoral Office that will address the strategic, administrative and logistical components of the complete doctoral process (from recruitment to graduation). This office will also be tasked to look after all research master’s students in the Faculty, being the main conduit into doctoral studies.
“Ultimately I see the Doctoral Office as a centre that will advance the Faculty’s academic, research and publication development by facilitating postgraduate recruitment, application, registration and examination processes,” says Chabilall.
Chabilall was is well-known in the Faculty as she has been involved in inter alia organising the Pre-Doctoral Course offered by the Department of Interdisciplinary Health Sciences. She is an experienced mentor for master’s and PhDs students, brings a wealth of knowledge in terms of facilitation and administration of postgraduate and research matters in the Faculty and has a proven track record of coordinating administrative support for postgraduate students.
Over the next few months Chabilall will be developing a strategic plan for doctoral studies, which include streamlining registration processes, ensuring that the Faculty increases its number of students registered for, and graduating with doctoral degrees, and that these students are well-looked after and sought-after for the quality of their PhDs internationally after graduation.“We hope that this initiative will ensure that we continue to produce and increase our output of top quality doctoral students, research and innovation,” says Gey van Pittius.