Dr Donald Harry Skinner

DEPARTMENT: Human and Social Capabilities (HSC)
TELEPHONE: 021 466 7844
EMAIL: dskinner@hsrc.ac.za

Dr Donald Skinner is a Director within the Human and Social Capabilities (HSC) division of the HSRC. He holds an MA in clinical psychology and a PhD in psychology from the University of Cape Town (UCT). His PhD research focused on behaviour theory in relation to HIV prevention.

He was previously employed at the Medical Research Council (MRC) in Cape Town as part of an AIDS research unit and also worked at the Trauma Centre for Survivors of Violence and Torture as a researcher and clinician. Before joining the HSRC, Dr Skinner was the director of the AIDS and Society research unit at UCT. In that capacity he participated in research across a range of disciplines and sectors.

I am well qualified to serve as the PI as I have extensive experience in this role and have worked extensively in clinical and community settings, and have done considerable work in public health including working on adherence and m-health. I am a clinical psychologist and Director in Human and Social Capabilities programme in the Human Science Research Council, South Africa. The goal of HSC is to improve the health status of South Africans and advance our understanding of public health and social development problems internationally, through the examination of relationships of cognition, behavior, and health with social conditions (e.g., poverty, violence, community cohesion, access to resources). The HSRC conducts research in partnership with multiple academic institutions in South Africa and international, as well as community and governmental organizations. I have expertise in South African health and culture and have a great deal of experience conducting qualitative and quantitative HIV-related research in South Africa. I am and have been Co-PI on six NIH-funded studies related to HIV/AIDS, all of which are being implemented in South Africa. I am also co-PI on study looking at the use of voice messaging to keep men safe during the six week period post voluntary male circumcision. I have been co-PI on an R01 study looking at the risks for women within drinking venues in Delft, Cape Town, on an R03 study looking at the risks for HIV amongst amphetamine users in the same community and on two studies that developed parenting programs to assist parents to talk to their adolescent children to protect them from HIV. Previously, I held the post of director of Research on Health and Society in the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences at Stellenbosch University. While I have all round methodological skills including experimental trials, my strongest area of expertise is in qualitative methods, in which I teach post-graduate courses in South Africa and Sweden. I have a long history of involvement in health issues, including the struggle against apartheid in the health sector, and have worked closely with non-government organizations. Finally, I supervise Masters and PhD students.