Post-doc fellowship: Future Resilience for African Cities And Lands (FRACTAL)

Deadline: 19 September 2016 - 12:00am

Where: African Centre for Cities

Venue: University of Cape Town

The African Centre for Cities is offering a post-doctoral fellowship to advance scientific knowledge about regional climate responses to human activities, and to work with decision-makers to integrate this scientific knowledge into climate-sensitive decisions at the city-regional scale.

Suitably qualified candidates are invited to apply for a postdoctoral research fellowship as part of a four-year research programme entitled ‘FRACTAL’, funded through the NERC-DFID Future Climate Africa Programme. The Climate Science Analysis Group (CSAG) at the University of Cape Town is leading the project, which commenced on 1 July 2015. The fellowship is thus offered for the second (and potentially to the fourth) year of the project.

Future Resilience for African CiTies And Lands (FRACTAL) is a transdisciplinary research project which aims to provide appropriate climate information to cities in southern Africa to improve climate change decision-making in order to contribute towards more resilient cities.

There is thus a need to understand the city contexts and the multi-scalar institutional and governance arrangements in selected cities in southern African cities with specific reference to climate change, water and energy. In addition, the urban team within the FRACTAL project will seek to improve our understanding of the water, energy and climate change decision making pathways in the cities and work in a broader team to relate these to the physical systems and processes in the surrounding regions. This will be addressed through the application of social science qualitative research methodology, as well as participatory engagement in the collaborative ‘learning labs’ which will take place in the Tier 1 cities (Lusaka, Maputo, and Windhoek) with the city partners.

Academic Conditions

Eligible applicants must hold a doctorate in social science or humanities, preferably within the field of urban studies and urban governance, and should have experience in the use of qualitative methodology a knowledge of contemporary social theory. Experience in interdisciplinary or transdisciplinary research would be an advantage. The successful candidate will be an ambitious scientist with a track record of peer-reviewed publications.

The successful candidate will make a contribution to the work of ACC on southern African cities by contributing to the overall research into the urban governance arrangements in the above cities (in collaboration with other members of the FRACTAL consortium), the production of peer-reviewed publications in this field and development of understandings of urban governance and decision-making. Some research will be undertaken in the other research Clusters of Fractal, and engagement with city stakeholders will be required as part of the work of the City Learning Cluster.

The successful candidate will be located in the ACC/CSAG at the University of Cape Town and be supervised by Prof. E. Pieterse and Prof. D. Scott (ACC), and will be expected to travel to the southern African T1 cities to undertake field work. Travel to conduct the required research will be funded from Fractal project. In addition the candidate may also be expected to lead grant applications and attend conferences (funded by Fractal) to complement the project.

General Conditions and Eligibility

Applicants should satisfy the following criteria:

  • Their PhD must have been awarded within the last 5 years, or submitted before starting the fellowship.
  • The successful applicant will not have held any prior permanent professional or academic posts;
  • The successful candidate will be required to comply with the policies and practices for the Postdoctoral Research Sector at the University of Cape Town, as well as
  • With the conditions of award as laid down by the NRF; and
  • The successful candidate will be required to register at the University of Cape Town as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow.

Value and Tenure of the Fellowship

The fellowship is valued at R250,000. Per annum and is tenable for one year. Renewal for a further two years will be considered on evidence of satisfactory academic progress, verified by a progress report, and the availability of funds.

Application Requirements

Interested candidates are encouraged to send their applications (or any queries) toclimapp@csag.uct.ac.za. Applicants will need to provide:

  • A letter of application (stating areas of expertise, research interests, experience, etc).
  • A CV including a list of publications.
  • Copies of academic transcripts.
  • Either names (or contact details) OR letters of reference from at least two academics who have taught, supervised or worked alongside the applicant.

Closing date for applications: 19 September 2016

Expected interview date (if required): Week commencing 26 September 2016

Expected commencement of duties: 1 November 2016 (or sooner if available)

Selection process: Eligible and complete applications will be considered by a Selection Committee comprising CSAG and ACC representatives.


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