What is it like to be a practising Researcher in Psychology 
- and related fields - 
in South Africa today?

The People Behind the Papers Project aims  
  • to show what real-world research is like
  • to explore uniquely South African research traditions
  • to highlight the human element of research
How do we do it?
We produce online videos of interviews with researchers, students and others. 
We publish interview transcripts and reflections
We do thematic and other analyses

In addition to interviewing "people behind the papers", we also interview "people behind the dissertations" and "people behind the people behind the papers" (i.e., publishers and editors). Follow the links on the right to see the interviews we have done so far or click below for more details about the project. 


Lesego Ramphele interviewing Leslie Swartz

Date: 15 July 2015
Time: 11h30
Venue: Rhodes University, Grahamstown.

Prof. Lesley Swartz is a distinguished Professor at Stellenbosch University. He teaches Community Psychology, Psychotherapy and Psychopathology. His research specialisation includes disability studies, public mental health, HIV and disability.His recent publications include Diability and International Development (Co-edited with Mac MacLachlan, Springer 2009) and Able Bodied: Scenes from a curious life (Zebra, 2010).

Catherine Govender in conversation with Kevin Thomas

Date: 24 June 2015

Time: 14h00

Venue: University of South Africa, Polokwane Campus

Prof. Kevin Thomas lecturers at the University of Cape Town. His research interests are in the areas of cognitive and clinical neuropsychology; neuroscience; cognitive aging, meta analysis, stress, anxiety and trauma.

Prof. Steve Mashegoane was interviewed by Khonzi Mbatha

Date:24 June 2015

Time: Lunchtime

Venue: University of South Africa, Polokwane Campus

Prof. Mashegoane lectures at the University of Limpopo. His Clinical background is rooted in psychoanalysis. He is mainly fascinated by pychometry, developmental psychology and health psychology.

Dr Govender interviewed by Jacky Harvey

Date:25 June 2015

Time: Lunchtime

Venue: University of South Africa, Polokwane Campus

Dr Saraswathie Govender is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Psychology at the University of Limpopo. Her interests are mostly neuropsychology.


A list of people we intend to interview (if we can get them in front of the camera for long enough!) or whom we have recently interviewed, but not yet uploaded the videos.

Fred van Staden

Details to follow.

Mohamed Seedat

Professor Mohamed Seedat is the Director of the Institute for Social and Health Sciences & Safety and Peace Promotion Research Unit at the University of South Africa. He works in areas of public health and community liberation psychology. His research interests include violence and injury prevention, safety and peace promotion as well as the role of spirituality and religion in human development.

Norman Duncan

Professor Norman Duncan is the Dean of Humanities at the University of Pretoria and former President of the Psychological Association of South Africa. His research interests include history of psychology, racism, critical psychology and developmental psychology.

Lindy Wilbraham

Details to follow.

Arvin Bhana

Details to follow.