Equipping Scientists with Essential Skills Beyond the Lab: The Importance of Accountability

Imagine this: "Be visible. Be very visible or I'll simply forget about you. I have too many to supervise", said your new supervisor

In the fast-paced world of scientific research, possessing strong scientific skills is not enough. This was the key message at a recent seminar on Accountability, hosted by the Centre for Epidemic Response and Innovation (CERI) at Stellenbosch University on May 21. The seminar, targeted at postgraduate students in science, emphasized the importance of taking accountability for one's projects and deadlines.

Lewin Moodley, Learning and Development Manager at PPS Investments, with over a decade of experience as a registered skills development facilitator, led the session. Moodley, passionate about professional growth and organizational development, stressed that accountability is crucial for productivity and successful project management during postgraduate studies.

Prof. Tulio de Oliveira, the director of CERI, highlighted that modern scientific leaders need much more than just scientific expertise. "Scientific leaders need emotional intelligence, accountability, and conflict management skills", he said. This sentiment was echoed by Prof. Lenine Lieberberg, Chief Researcher in Immunology at CERI, who added, "If you’re succeeding at these (right now), then this session is for you. Tips and tricks to avoid such pitfalls will still be useful to your peers in discussion".

The seminar on Accountability aimed to help participants stick to deadlines, be productive, and navigate the project management challenges inherent in postgraduate degrees. This session followed a previous seminar on career development, which focused on emotional intelligence and was also facilitated by Lewin Moodley.

By fostering these essential skills—accountability, emotional intelligence, and conflict management—CERI continues to equip the next generation of scientists with the tools they need to excel not just in research, but in their overall professional growth.

- Watch The Accountability talk here
- Watch the Emotional Intelligence here

Image: INC magazine

News date: 2024-05-28


KRISP has been created by the coordinated effort of the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) and the South African Medical Research Countil (SAMRC).

Location: K-RITH Tower Building
Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, UKZN
719 Umbilo Road, Durban, South Africa.
Director: Prof. Tulio de Oliveira