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Terms of Reference

Purpose of the Departmental Research Committee (DRC) [1]

  • To monitor, support and guide departmental research activities aiding alignment with Faculty priorities and compliance with Faculty procedures and ethics requirements as well as enabling research productivity at all levels.


  • To maintain records of research projects and to audit research outputs on an annual basis.
  • To contribute to and oversee the submission of annual written reports on departmental research to the Faculty Research Committee and the URC, for inclusion in the Faculty Research Report.
  • To assist the Head of Department in developing a departmental research and equipment strategy.
  • To provide representation on the Health Sciences Faculty Research Committee (HSFRC) and sub committees thereof, FHS HREC, FHS AEC, etc. and to communicate the departmental research and equipment strategy.
  • To provide strategic guidance to the HFSRC and Deputy Dean of Research I how HSFRC funds are disbursed in alignment with UCT’s and the Faculty’s mission.


Enabling Research

  • To assess priorities and to allocate funding from the HSFRC and other sources to Departmental research projects.
  • To assist the Head of Department in soliciting reviewing and prioritising submissions for funding to large equipment to the HSFRC and the UEC consistent with the departmental research and equipment strategy.
  • To encourage inter-departmental and inter-institutional collaborative research.
  • To create an enabling environment for emerging researchers, including mentorship and referral to sources of information on research funding, grant writing, the research process and FHS procedures and protocols.
  • To ensure that researchers are aware of the Faculty requirements and processes for the clearance of research proposals to external funders as outlined in form FHS002: Clearance of research proposal (also known as C1).



  • Oversee the scientific review of Departmental research protocols (including postgraduate research proposals), in order to ensure that only well-designed and scientifically sound research is submitted for review by the Faculty Ethics Committees.
  • To ensure the reviewers of protocols for submission to Ethics Committees are:
    • Independent for the study and research team under review: and
    • Experienced in the area under review
  • To create awareness of regulatory requirements pertaining to the National Department of Health
  • To ensure postgraduate research proposals are reviewed for the suitability for the degree being undertaken.


Role of Chair and Deputy Chair


The Chair of the DRC is appointed by the SoPHFM HOD and leads the DRC committee meetings.  The Chair oversees the execution of the TOR and delegation of tasks to committee members.  The tenure for this post is three years with renewal possible.


Deputy Chair

The Deputy Chair is appointed by the HOD to support the Chair in decision making and to assume an acting role when the Chair is unavailable. The tenure for this post is three years with renewal possible.  Ideally, the Deputy Chair is appointed as Chair after this tenure.


Composition of Committee

All SoPHFM Division Heads will be a member, unless a nominee proposed by the HODiv (and approved by the HOD) has been appointed. All URC accredited research centre/ unit Directors will be a member.  The convenor of the Post Graduate teaching committee will also be part of this committee.  Furthermore, junior research staff will be co-opted and appointed by the DRC Chair.  The committee will be serviced by an administrator appointed by the SoPHFM and will meet approximately six times a year.



[1] The TOR have been adapted from the Faculty of Health Sciences Faculty Research Committee’s DRC TOR guide.