Wits Research Strengths 2021-2025

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- 1Contents Research-Intensive University ........................................................ 2 Top 20 Research Fields .................................................................... 4 First Nine Research Strengths ..................................................... 6 Next Ten Research Strengths ..................................................... 7 Areas of Research Excellence (in Alphabetical Order)............. 8 Recognised Research Entities by Faculty ................................. 13 Contact Information ...................................................................... 18

RESEARCH

Wits University is a 100-year-old university that grew out of a mining school and blossomed into a researchintensive university with a wide range of research strengths and, particularly, a strong social consciousness

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INTENSIVE

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- 4TOP 20 RESEARCH FIELDS SOCIAL SCIENCES, GENERAL 1 PHYSICS 3 CLINICAL MEDICINE 2 IMMUNOLOGY 4 12 MATERIALS SCIENCE 11 ENVIRONMENT & ECOLOGY 9 ENGINEERING 10 CHEMISTRY 6 GEOSCIENCES 5 MATHEMATICS 8 PLANT & ANIMAL SCIENCES 7

top 20 research fields, as defined by the Essential Science Indicators, in order of decreasing number of research publications produced over ten years (2010–2019)

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Humanities Engineering & The Built Environment Health Sciences Science Commerce,
Management LEGEND: FACULTY COLOURS PSYCHIATRY/ PSYCHOLOGY 13 ECONOMICS & BUSINESS 14 NEUROSCIENCE & BEHAVIOUR 15 MICROBIOLOGY 16 PHARMACOLOGY & TOXICOLOGY 17 MOLECULAR BIOLOGY & GENETICS 18 SPACE SCIENCE 19 AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES 20 TOP 20 RESEARCH FIELDS
Law &

FIRST NINE RESEARCH STRENGTHS

Figure 1: Research fields with number of publications

GROUP AVERAGE

GROUP AVERAGE

WEB OF SCIENCE

Social Sciences, general Clinical Medicine Physics Immunology Geosciences Chemistry Plant & Animal Science Mathematics Environment/Ecology

Indicators: Web of Science Documents, Category Normalised Citation Impact, % Documents Cited Schema: essential science indicators Research Area: not computer science

Organisation Name: University of the Witwatersrand

Document Type: article, book, book chapter, proceedings paper

Time Period: 2010-2019

InCites dataset updated April 28, 2020. Includes Web of Science content indexed through March 31, 2020 Export Date: May 10, 2020

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DOCUMENTS 2.5 2 1.5 1 0.5 0 3 4.5 5 4 3.5 CATEGORY NORMALISED CITATION IMPACT 0 1K 2K 3K 4K

NEXT 10 RESEARCH STRENGTHS

Figure 2: Research fields with number of publications

2.5 2 1.5 1 0.5 0

GROUP AVERAGE

GROUP AVERAGE

3 CATEGORY NORMALISED CITATION IMPACT 0 200 300 400 500 600 700

WEB OF SCIENCE DOCUMENTS

Engineering Materials Science Biology & Biochemistry Psychiatry/Psychology Economics & Business Neuroscience & Behaviour Microbiology Pharmacology & Toxicology Molecular Biology & Genetics Space Science

Indicators: Web of Science Documents, Category Normalised Citation Impact, % Documents Cited Schema: essential science indicators

Research Area: not social sciences, general, not geosciences, not environment/ecology, not mathematics, not plant & animal science, not physics, not clinical medicine, not chemistry, not immunology Organisation Name: University of the Witwatersrand Document Type: article, book, book chapter, proceedings paper Time Period: 2010-2019

InCites dataset updated April 28, 2020. Includes Web of Science content indexed through March 31, 2020 Export Date: May 10, 2020

Figures 1 and 2 are plots of these research fields with number of publications on the x-axis (quantity indicator), the Category Normalised Citation Impact (CNCI) score on the y-axis – 1 being the global average – (quality indicator) and with the size of the bubble representing the percentage of publications that have been cited (quality indicator).

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AREAS OF RESEARCH EXCELLENCE

IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER

AFRICAN ART

The Wits Art Museum houses one of the world’s finest collections of African art and is a rich resource for research and teaching.

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

The fundamental study of large data sets and neural networks to process them using cutting edge algorithms is at the heart of Wits’ research into Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning.

ASTRONOMY AND COSMOLOGY

Using the Square Kilometre Array, Meerkat and Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory facilities, Wits scientists investigate the big questions about the origins of the universe.

CITIES

Researchers study the impact of urban morphology on transport and service provision, lifestyles that underpin informal settlements, employment patterns, changing suburban ethnicities, inner-city rejuvenation.

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AREAS OF RESEARCH EXCELLENCE

COMMUNICABLE DISEASES

SARS, HIV, hepatitis and TB produce major health threats in South Africa and are the subject of sustained research into causes, transmission and control. Vaccine development is the focus area.

DATA SCIENCE

Using data science techniques to analyse and interpret problems in the worlds of natural science, socials sciences and economics.

DRUG DELIVERY

Investigation, using nanoscience techniques, to investigate novel drug-delivery methods thus ensuring active ingredients are delivered directly to the areas of the human body where they are most needed.

EQUALITY STUDIES IN THE GLOBAL SOUTH

Inequality is a major influencing factor in South Africa and indeed in the Global South. The study of this problem using a multidisciplinary approach is an ongoing area of research excellence at Wits.

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AREAS OF RESEARCH EXCELLENCE

GEOSCIENCE AND MINING ENGINEERING

Focusing on digital mining that looks to use technology for the purpose of safety in deep and dangerous mining. This is also supplemented with research in economic geology and petrology and geophysics.

GLOBAL CHANGE AND SUSTAINABILITY

Studying the effects of climate change on food sustainability, diversity of flora and fauna, water, waste and energy management, pollution control, water supply and ecosystem maintenance.

INDIAN STUDIES

Studying the emerging political and economic alignments in the contemporary world using the Indian Ocean as a privileged vantage point from which to track a changing world order.

MATERIAL SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING

The development of new and stronger materials, with applications in aerospace, mining and manufacturing. Materials studied include composites, ceramics, diamond, thin films, carbides and metallic alloys; with a focus on materials for energy.

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AREAS OF RESEARCH EXCELLENCE

MATHEMATICS AND MATHEMATICS EDUCATION

Research on mathematics spans the spectrum from primary school teaching of mathematics to innovative research in pure and applied mathematics and statistics.

MOLECULAR BIOSCIENCES

A burgeoning multi-disciplinary research thrust dedicated to investigating the molecular and genomic aetiology of diseases among African populations.

NON-COMMUNICABLE DISEASES

Research is being done on obesity, hypertension, diabetes, cancer, heart disease and malaria. Many of which are associated with a change in lifestyle, especially of our urban populations.

PALAEOANTHROPOLOGY, PALAEONTOLOGY AND PALYNOLOGY

Discoveries uncovering the evolution of modern humans have made worldwide impact in recent years. However, the study of evolution based on our unique and extensive local fossil records is not limited to hominids and include dinosaurs, plants and insects.

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AREAS OF RESEARCH EXCELLENCE

REFUGEE AND MIGRANT STUDIES

A regional research interest is focused on the understanding of human migration by looking at influencing factors such as access to social services, housing, employment, transport and other basic human rights.

REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH AND HIV

Focused on research, technical assistance, advocacy, policy development and health systems strengthening, in the areas of HIV, sexual and reproductive health and vaccine preventable diseases.

QUANTUM TECHNOLOGIES

Using the access to a 50 cubit quantum computer and related nanotechnologies, research is being conducted into manufacture of quantum circuitry, quantum computing and quantum communication.

WATER RESEARCH

In a water stressed regional environment, research is focused on water systems and the environment, water recovery (recycle re-use and remediate), society for water (citizenship and stewardship) and water education.

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RECOGNISED RESEARCH ENTITIES

Yet another indicator of Wits’ diverse Research Strengths is the examination of the formally recognised research entities (Centres, Groups, Institutes, Platforms and Units) established in the Five Faculties and those that cut across Faculties.

FACULTY OF COMMERCE, LAW & MANAGEMENT

3 CENTRES

Southern Centre for Inequality Studies Centre for Applied Legal Studies Centre for Learning on Evaluation and Results

FACULTY OF ENGINEERING & THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT 6 CENTRES

Centre for High Voltage Centre for Urbanism & Built Environmental Studies Centre in Water Research & Development

National Aerospace Centre

Specialisation Centre for Combustion Engineering

Transnet Matlafatšo, Enterprise Development Centre

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1 RESEARCH UNIT Flow Research Unit 2 INSTITUTES Cities Institute Mining Research Institute

RECOGNISED RESEARCH ENTITIES

FACULTY OF HEALTH SCIENCES

1 CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE

Centre of Excellence in Biomedical Tuberculosis Research

2 GROUPS

Brain Function Research Group

Wits Sport and Health Group

2 INSTITUTES

Reproductive Health and HIV Research Institute

Research Institute in Malaria

1 PLATFORM

Advanced Drug Delivery Platform

17 RESEARCH UNITS

Antiviral Gene Therapy Research Unit

Carbohydrate and Lipid Metabolism Research Unit

Cardiovascular Pathophysiology and Genomics Research Unit

Clinical HIV Research Unit

Development Pathways for Health Research Unit

Effective Care Research Unit

Empilweni Services and Research (Cardiology) Unit

Hepatititis Virus Diversity Research Unit

HIV Pathogenesis Research Unit

Human Variation and Identification Research Unit

Maternal, Adolescent and Child Health Research Unit

Perinatal HIV Research Unit

Priority Cost Effective Lessons for Systems Strengthening Unit

Pulmonary Infections Research Unit

Respiratory and Meningeal Pathogens Research Unit

Rural Health in Transition Research Unit

Sydney Brenner Institute for Molecular Biosciences

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RECOGNISED RESEARCH ENTITIES

FACULTY OF HUMANITIES

9 CENTRES

African Centre for Migration and Society

Centre for Diversity Studies

Centre for Ethics

Centre for Indian Studies in Africa

Centre for Language and Hearing Impaired Children

Centre for Researching Education and Labour

Emthonjeni Centre (Multi-disciplinary Community Service and Development Centre)

Learning Information Networking Centre

Marang Centre for Maths and Science Education

3 RESEARCH

Health Communication Research

Social and Economic Research

Society, Work and Development Research

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FACULTY OF SCIENCE

2 CENTRES OF EXCELLENCE

Centre of Excellence for Integrated Mineral and Energy Resource Analysis

Centre of Excellence in Mathematical and Statistical Sciences

8 INSTITUTES

Ancient Cognition and Culture in Africa

Economic Geology Research Institute

Evolutionary Studies Institute

Institute for Collider Particle Physics

Mandelstam Institute for Theoretical Physics

Materials Physics Research Institute

Molecular Sciences Institute

Rock Art Research Institute

2 RESEARCH

African Ecology and Conservation Biology Research

Protein Structure-Function Research

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CONTACT US Robin.Drennan@wits.ac.za (Director for Research Development) Mahomed.Moolla@wits.ac.za (Head of Strategic Partnership) www.wits.ac.za/research/
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