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Postdoc Fellowship: FRACTAL

Posted: 8/30/2016 (Funding)

The African Centre for Cities is offering a post-doctoral fellowship. Suitably qualified candidates are invited to apply for a postdoctoral research fellowship (PDRF) as part of a newly funded four year research programme FRACTAL (, which is funded through the NERC-DFID Future Climate Africa Programme, FCFA (  The postdoctoral fellowship is offered for the second (and potentially) to the fourth year of the project.

FRACTAL is a transdisciplinary research project that 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 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 that will take place in the Tier 1 cities (Lusaka, Maputo, and Windhoek) with the city partners.

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:

  • Have a PhD in social science or humanities (preferably within the field of urban studies) awarded within the last 5 years, or submitted before starting the fellowship
  • Have experience in use of qualitative methodology and knowledge of contemporary social theory
  • Not have held any prior permanent professional or academic posts
  • 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
  • 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
Applicants will need to send the following to

  • 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

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Deadline: 09/19/2016