Research Leadership & Support | Contact | Research Review | Educational activities | ICH Research Laboratory
Departmental Research Funding | Publications | View UCT Research Reports

Research is a core function of the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, which has a very active research program. Research is regarded as integrally linked with clinical services, and research areas include development of improved diagnosis, prevention, treatment and advocacy strategies for childhood illness, so advancing the care of children and improving current management. Research activities within the school include many research projects and studies, educational activities around research and mentorship and development of clinician scientists and researchers and a fully equipped research laboratory. All divisions are involved in research. Studies span a wide range of areas and methodologies from clinical to epidemiological to laboratory based work.

There are many research collaborations with other departments within the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, with other departments within the University of Cape Town, with other national institutions and with overseas institutions. Much of the research focuses on national health priorities regarding childhood illnesses.  Research funding has come from national funding bodies including the Medical Research Council, Department of Health and National Research Foundation (NRF), and international funding agents including the National Institute Health (NIH), USA, Wellcome Trust and European Union. The Department of Paediatrics and Child Health currently has 3 NRF rated researchers.

In October 2013, the Research Centre for Adolescent and Child Health (REACH) was opened. This expanded clinical research centre, located in the Children's hospital, follows a decade of successful clinical research at this institution.

Research Leadership and Support

The research leadership comprises the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health Research Committee, chaired by Assoc Prof Brenda Morrow, with the following members:

  • Alan Davidson
  • Alan Horn
  • Heather Zar
  • Minette Coetzee (Division of Nursing & Midwifery)
  • Sebastian van As (Paediatric Surgery)
  • Liesl Zuhlke
  • Louise Cooke
  • Elizabeth Goddard
  • Jo Wilmshurst (Paediatric Neurology)
  • Brenda Morrow
  • Rudzani Muloiwa
  • Kirsty Donald


Geanine Hopley
Research Administrator
Department of Paediatrics and Child Health
Faculty of Health Sciences
Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital
University of Cape Town
ph:     021 - 686 0086/658 5030
fax:    021 - 689 1287
room: 3.16, 3rd Floor, ICH Building

Research Review

Investigators wanting to undertake a research study must submit the proposal to the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health Research Office for anonymous peer review on the prescribed forms on this page

Once approved by the research office, proposal should then be sent to FHS Ethics committee with the required form on this page.

The FHS Ethics will not accept applications for ethics approval if these have not been previously reviewed by a UCT departmental research committee.

Please visit the Research Procedures page for further information.

Educational Activities

The following Department of Paediatrics and Child Health research courses are currently run on an annual basis:

A Biostatistics course that takes place over 5 weeks.

The Faculty of Health Sciences have employed a full-time Biostatistician / Epidemiologist, William Msemburi. He is currently available to the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health staff on Tuesdays from 9am to 4pm and will consult with them at the Red Cross Hospital site. All bookings for consultations must be done through Geanine Hopley, who will ensure equitable access to this service. Please book a consultation period (maximum 1 hr initially) through if you'd like to consult with William.

Please note that the UCT Faculty of Health Sciences has established a Clinical Research Centre.  Researchers can obtain free advice and tools, and also access facilities for conducting clinical research projects.

Each year an annual Department of Paediatrics and Child Health Research Day is held, where young and established researchers present their findings.

Ongoing mentorship of undergraduate and post graduate students is provided by Department of Paediatrics and Child Health members. All registrars are registered for an MMed degree and all senior registrars are registered for an MPhil degree. A number of staff are registered for higher degrees.

ICH Research Laboratory

There's a fully equipped research laboratory situated on site at Red Cross Children's Hospital which has special expertise in molecular, nutritional and immunological investigations.

Departmental Research Funding

The Department of Paediatrics and Child Health offers seed research grants for emerging or new researchers twice a year on a competitive basis. This year the second (and final) deadline for applications will be Thursday, 31 August 2017.  For info see:

Department of Paediatrics & Child Health Research Award Guidelines

Department of Paediatrics & Child Health Travel Awards


The Department of Paediatrics and Child Health has one of the highest research outputs as measured by publications of any of the divisions within the Health Sciences Faculty.