Researcher on adaptive resource use, including land-use in Africa under changing climates and on understanding the role of the African land surface in the global carbon cycle

University of the Witwatersrand

Johannesburg, South Africa 🇿🇦

Location: Johannesburg,ZA
Organization: Name Global Change Institute (GCI)

Department Description


 3 year full-time fixed-term appointment

The Global Change Institute (GCI) at the University of the Witwatersrand is seeking a Researcher with a PhD to work on adaptive resource use, including land-use in Africa under changing climates and on understanding the role of  the African land surface in the global carbon cycle.

The ideal candidate should have expertise in spatio-temporal data analysis and decision-making. Experience in adaptation and mitigation, particularly in resource use, land-use, and land-cover change, is essential. The successful candidate should also demonstrate a record of working with stakeholders in terms of the co-production of adaptation solutions. The successful candidate should have a strong background in research and teaching, with experience in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching, supervision, and related course administration.

This is a three-year contract that is potentially renewable (subject to satisfactory progress and availability of funds).

Brief Description

Qualifications and job requirements: 
•    PhD in environmental sciences or related field, with demonstrable research outputs in fields such as climate change, land use and land cover change, ecosystem science, and climate change adaptation.
•    A research track record of peer-reviewed publications.
•    Experience in post-graduate supervision.
•    Experience in teaching, at least at the undergraduate level.
•    Experience in the development of knowledge sharing programmes and project co-ordination.
•    Proven ability to operate, maintain and train others in the application and use of climate modelling data and remote sensing data, and databases.
•    Proven ability to work in an interdisciplinary environment..
•    Excellent oral and written skills in English
•    Valid driver’s licence (at least code B)

Responsibilities:The Key roles of the Researcher  will be to:
1)    Undertake research of climate change impacts on the water, agriculture, livestock and forestry sectors, and related impacts on biodiversity, towards the co-production of adaptation solutions and to inform decision making in complex contexts.
2)    Act as the interface between the GCI and the stakeholders who are working on the co-generation of research and research products.

3)    The Researcher will also be required to supervise postgraduate students, teach within the GCI’s new MSc degree in Interdisciplinary Global Change Studies, and contribute to the administration/coordination of this degree.Additionally successful candidate will be required:
•    To facilitate the dissemination of the outputs requested and developed to all stakeholders.
•    Organisation of workshops and staff exchanges between the GCI, APES and Stakeholders
•    The development of a knowledge exchange programmes and the associated logistics between the GCI, APES and all stakeholders.
 • Contribute to other activities in the GCI, as necessary.
•    Publish at least two journal articles per year from self-initiated or collaborative research projects.
•    Mentor/supervise/co-supervise postgraduate research students.
•    Teach in the GCI MSc degree on Interdisciplinary Global Change Studies.
•    Coordinate/administrate the GCI MSc degree on Interdisciplinary Global Change Studies.

Personal attributesThe ideal candidate should have the following:
•    Collegiality and the ability to work with stakeholders, students and staff
•    Ability to work in a collaborative research network

•    Enthusiasm and passion for teaching and research

Remuneration: A competitive package is offered and commensurate with the level of appointment.

How To Apply

Only applicants who meet the minimum requirements should apply by submitting a letter of motivation that includes experience in climate modelling, a statement of research interests, and an outline of future research plans, full Curriculum Vitae (CV) and names and contact details of at least three referees. 

External applicants are invited to apply, by registering their profile on the Wits i-recruitment platform located at and submitting their application. Internal employees are invited to apply directly on Oracle by following the path:  iWits /Self Service application/” Apply for a job”. 

Correspondence will be entered into with shortlisted candidates only. Short-listed applicants must be available for a personal or Skype/MS Teams/Zoom interview.

The University reserves the right not to make an appointment and continue searching after the closing date, and only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Closing date: 07 October 2023

Informal inquires may be directed to the Director of the GCI, Prof Francois Engelbrecht,
“The University is committed to employment equity. Preference may be given to appointable applicants from the underrepresented designated groups in terms of the relevant employment equity plans and policies of the University. The University retains the right not to make an appointment and to verify all information provided by candidates.”

éCommitted to excellence and equity





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