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The Advancing Early Career Researchers and Scholars (AECRS) programme has been developed to address the needs of emerging academic researchers in the South African higher education and research sector, for support and capacity building. Following from previous studies on building a cohort of emerging academics nationally, and in-depth discussions with academic research leaders in all South African universities, the national landscape was mapped to determine interventions and resources needed for developing emerging researchers.

Based on recommendations emanating from these studies and as key components of the AECRS programme, Universities South Africa (USAf), funded by the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), formed the Community of Practice for Postgraduate Education and Scholarship (CoP PGES). The programme also developed the Thuso platforms – Thuso Connect and Thuso Resources.

The Community of Practice for Postgraduate Education and Scholarship supports the national higher education sector in postgraduate teaching and learning, training and support for supervisors, and enables collegial interaction between peers.

Community of Practice for Postgraduate Education an d Scholarship
Thuso Resources

Thuso (meaning help) Resources was developed in response to a need for a national ‘toolbox’ of useful resources for early career researchers and scholars. In the interest of working together collaboratively to build strengths, South African universities are partnering in sharing instruments, resources, and training offerings, on an open access online platform.

Thuso Connect is designed to give South African academic researchers the opportunity to participate in a nationwide, interactive, online mentorship programme. Individuals who are seeking mentorship, and others who are willing to offer it, can meet through the platform, and work together in a partnership. The platform provides an effective, ethical way of introducing mentors and mentees.

Thuso Connect

These platforms, Thuso Resources and Thuso Connect, are available online, for early career researchers in all South African universities, to assist them in accelerating and enriching their academic career progress. The CoP PGES on the other hand, continues to foster engagements among stakeholders in the higher education sector, advocating and advancing matters of postgraduate education and scholarship.

Professor Stephanie Burton
Prof Stephanie Burton


Ms Janet van Rhyn
Ms Janet van Rhyn


Ms Nompumelelo Khuluse

Ms Nompumelelo

Programme Coordinator

Dr Leandra Jordaan
Dr Leandra Jordaan

Programme Systems Consultant

Ms Nqobile Tembe
Ms Nqobile Tembe

Marketing and Communication Consultant

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