This article was informed by asharp decline in research publication output by 120.69 units at the University of Venda. Given the impact of research output on income generation, ranking and international collaboration, the shift may result in some instabilities in the institution. This is a concern. Even though there might be several other issues, suspicions have been on poor involvement of various research stakeholders in the research publication enterprise of the university. Whereas this may be true, the reasons are yet unknown. This motivates the current study which seeks to understand the challenges, with a focus on postgraduate students. An exploratory sequential mixed research design was followed. A sample of 49 (Masters & PhD students) was drawn from the Institute for Rural Development (IRD) at the university. Data was collected using semi-structured and structured questionnaires. Atlas-ti v8, through thematic techniques, was harnessed for the qualitative data analysis, while a descriptive analysis was performed thereafter using Microsoft Excel 2013 to explain findings. The first phase result yields numerous challenges categorized under ‘student’ ‘supervisor’ and the ‘management’.In in relation with the challenges, the second phase analysis suggest the following (in descending order):‘student rewards’ (17%), ‘grants for student conference/workshops’ (13%), ‘regulations on theft of research’ (11%), supervisor-student motivation (9%), research skills training (8%),and ‘service delivery (8%)’. Other factors fall between 7% and below.