Hypertension Early Career Assistant Programme

The Early-Career Assistant Programme hosted by the Hypertension Journal, a journal of the American Heart Association (AHA), is a two-year programme that grants early-career researchers the opportunity to be involved and mentored in the peer reviewing and publishing of scientific articles. It entails involvement in the peer review process (in the role of assistant reviewer), and in the decision and production process of the journal (in the role of an assistant editor).

With more than 45 applications being received each year, only five researchers are selected to partake in the programme. The NWU can add another feather in its cap after Dr Esme Jansen van Vuren, a senior lecturer at the School of Physiology, was appointed to the programme in 2023.She is enrolled in the second year of the programme, and her research focuses on cardiovascular diseases and psychiatric disorders such as depression and anxiety, which are co-morbidities in the African population.

January 2024 saw the appointment of Dr Adriaan Jacobs, a senior lecturer at the School of Physiology, to the early-career assistant programme. With his strong background in biochemistry, his research interest includes circulating biomarkers and their association with cardiovascular diseases.

The valuable opportunity to work with and receive mentorship from specialists is something that both Drs Jansen van Vuren and Jacobs believe will enhance their present review methods. They both agree that being exposed to experts will contribute to the development of their professional skills regarding the academic publishing process, and also to their own research as part of the NWU's Centre of Excellence, the Hypertension in Africa Research Team (HART).

Both Drs Jansen van Vuren and Jacobs say that early-career researchers should join professional societies and make use of every available opportunity that can enhance their personal and professional development.


Dr Esme Jansen van Vuren, who is currently in her second year of the early-career assistant programme.


Dr Adriaan Jacobs, who was newly appointed to the early-career assistant programme.

Submitted on Mon, 02/19/2024 - 07:58