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FAQ - UCT Staff

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1) What happens after I contact the UCT Knowledge Co-op about a project?
Once you have submitted your inquiry you should hear from us within a week about the next steps in the process.

2) How long does it take to complete a project?
This depends on the type of project and research that you are conducting. Many projects fit the timeframe of a Honours/Masters dissertation, some could develop into multi-year studies.

3) What level of commitment is involved?
The level of commitment from both you and the community group will be discussed and agreed upon in writing before you begin the project. It is important to us that all stakeholders are comfortable with the level of commitment before you begin, and that your research aims are achievable, given the timeframe you are working in. Part of the Knowledge Co-op's role is to:

  • make sure that you do not over commit;
  • help you meet the objectives (that you developed in consultation with the community group at the outset of the project);
  • ensure that the community group receives a useful ‘product' out of the process, e.g. a research summary, a poster or policy brief, a workshop to discuss the findings or a design.

4) What is the best time of year to find a project? 

Project ideas are submitted throughout the year, but there is a greater concentration of new ideas at the start of the academic year.

5) What if more than one person is interested in the same project?
The UCT Knowledge Co-op generally works on the basis of ‘first come, first served'. In some cases the same topic may yield more than one thesis topic or a chance for collaborative research.

6) Is it possible to access the research produced in previous projects?
We aim to make the results of all Co-op projects available on our website in the course of 2012. See CURRENT PROJECTS.

7) Are community group projects screened before being advertised on the website?
Yes, we meet with the community group and academics to discuss the project idea and ensure it is feasible and meaningful to both the community group and the university.

8) Can I recommend an organisation that I would like to work with?
You can refer the group to the Co-op and they can contact us via the website or telephonically.

9) Who is in charge of the collaboration once I start working with a community group?
The Knowledge Co-op will mediate the process. We will introduce the academic / student to the community group; help define the research question, the scope of the project; clarify commitments, timelines and logistics. After that it is up to the academic and community partner to take the project forward. The Co-op will however provide advice and help resolve issues throughout the process.