Lesley Gittings has been awarded funding from the National Research Foundation (NRF) under their Innovation scheme (international non-SADC student category) for 2016. The Innovation Doctoral funding instrument is part of the Innovation Bursary Scheme (IBS) funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and managed by the National Research Foundation (NRF). It aims to broaden the frontiers of knowledge in innovation areas and to build the PhD pipeline for a knowledge based economy. The competitive evaluation process is based on academic performance, leadership roles, potential research outputs and impact, and the feasibility and merit of the applicant’s research project proposal.
Lesley is a first-year doctoral student in public health and a fellow of the South African Social Science and HIV Programme (SASH). She is a co-investigator of the Mzantsi Wakho study on the health needs of adolescents in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, and a doctoral student with the AIDS and Society Research Unit (ASRU). Lesley is being co-supervised by Dr. Rebecca Hodes, head of ASRU at the Centre for Social Science Research and principal investigator of Mzantsi Wakho, and Associate Professor Christopher Colvin, head of the Social and Behavioural Sciences division of the School of Public Health and Family Medicine.
Lesley’s proposed research will explore the gendered choices and experiences of adolescents living with HIV in the traditional and formal health sectors of South Africa’s Eastern Cape Province.