Mr Neil Honeycomb

Research Assistant


Neil Honeycomb is an early career academic currently acting as a research assistant within the Engagement & Transformation Portfolio (ETP) at the Nelson Mandela University.

Complementing initial studies in Architecture, he holds a Bachelor of Arts and Honours degree in Psychology (Nelson Mandela University). He has also completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Ethics and is currently pursuing a Master of Philosophy degree in Monitoring & Evaluation (Stellenbosch University). To date, his scholarly research is situated around the use of ecological frameworks (with particular reference to adolescent violence), as well as ethical case analyses of multi-stakeholder partnerships within the civil society sector, intervention implementation, and international stakeholders within South African contexts of community psycho-social wellness.

He has previously coordinated the implementation of a gender-based violence prevention programme in high schools within the Nelson Mandela Bay. Within this role he assisted in facilitating a collaboration between several local NGOs (REVIVE – Empowering Emotional Change, Masifunde Learner Development, Alternatives to Violence Project, DOXA Family and Youth Care, Sibanye LGBT, and Sicebise Social Inclusion) and Department of Basic Education (2019-2020). This practical implementation gave rise to his pursuit of studies in ethics, monitoring and evaluation.

Neil currently acts as the Vice-chairman of REVIVE – Empowering Emotional Change (a crisis counselling centre in Port Elizabeth) and plays a strategic role in the NGO’s development and sustainability, taking on a consultative and supportive role to the organisation’s director/centre manager. Orientated towards community engagement, Neil previously volunteered as a lay-counsellor at REVIVE where he also co-facilitated Personal Growth and Basic Counselling Skills Courses (2018-2020).

Neil has also held the position of Secretary (2018) and Vice-chairman (2019) of the Nelson Mandela University student Psychology Society. During this time, he drove a Psychology Masterclass Programme that invited speakers from around Nelson Mandela Bay to present topics based on research or case studies that have proven to be challenging, or of great interest, at a global scale or within the South African context and its diaspora. This acted as a learning opportunity for students across multiple disciplines that went beyond the core academic curriculum.

Additionally, he had volunteered as an Honorary Ranger for SANParks Addo Region (2012-2016). Neil also has a passion for the visual arts, exhibiting artworks in the Ron Belling Art Gallery as part of the Spring School of Art Programme (2010-2012), having also been a finalist in national art competitions (2012).




Getting to know me


1. How would you define your role within the Engagement and Transformation team?

I play a supportive role within research and project management components in the portfolio. I also work with graphic/visual content design and manage media platforms for the team. Besides that, asking plenty of questions, and writing many......many emails.


2. What does Engagement and Transformation in Higher Education look like to you?

An ethical approach towards a better psycho-social understanding of contextual realities (of individuals and communities), and how these realities are responded to within the abilities of the Higher Education sector on the basis of inclusion and anti-discrimination.


3. Describe your job in 3 words.

Creative; Structured; Generative


4. What is your favourite activity when you are not in the office?

A bit of reading, a bit of writing. Plenty of drawing. Stopping my cats from eating my office notes is quickly becoming entertaining too.


5. What is your favourite place on Earth?

Anywhere out in nature. Although Baviaanskloof, Knysna, and Addo are at the top of my list.


6. What is your favourite quote?

"Every individual needs revolution, inner division, overthrow of the existing order, and renewal, but not by forcing these things upon his neighbours under the  hypocritical cloak of […] love or the sense of social responsibility or any of the other beautiful euphemisms for unconscious urges to personal power. Individual self-reflection, return of the individual to the ground of human nature, to his own deepest being with its individual and social destiny here is the beginning of a cure for that blindness which reigns at the present hour."

       - Carl Gustav Jung On the Psychology of the Unconscious (1912). In CW 7: Two Essays on Analytical Psychology p.5)


7. If you could change something in the world, what would it be?

Healthy societal acceptances, just social allowances, increased adoption of individual responsibilities.


8. What would you be able to give a 30-minute presentation about without any advanced preparation?

The act of creativity within Individuation of the self.


9. What is the best piece of professional advice you have ever received?

"What a waste".

A sentence that has stuck with me since opting to not pursue a career in the fine arts. Since then, I have brought the arts with me into (almost) everything that I do. I could not be more grateful. Perhaps not such a waste after all?


10. What motivates you?

The freedom to try new things, to create what has not existed before, and to find purpose in the work that I do.


Mr Neil Honeycomb CV