Postdoctoral research fellowship in Climate Adaptation Knowledge Systems

University of Cape Town

Cape Town, , ZA

The African Climate and Development Initiative invites applications from suitably qualified candidates for a postdoctoral research fellowship in Climate Adaptation Knowledge Systems at the University of Cape Town (UCT).


From January 2014 to October 2018, the African Climate and Development Initiative (ACDI) is leading a multi-partner, CAD$ 13.5 Million research project, ASSAR (Adaptation at Scale in Semi-Arid Regions). ASSAR is a part of a larger multi-consortium research programme, CARIAA (Collaborative Adaptation Research in Africa and Asia) funded by IDRC and DFID.

Call for application:

The ACDI invites applications from suitably qualified candidates for a postdoctoral research fellowship (PDRF) in Climate Adaptation Knowledge Systems, as part of the ASSAR project. He/she will play a lead role in the development of a research programme on knowledge systems (KS) for adaptation at multiple scales, with emphasis on sub-national to local scale in ASSAR case study locations in Namibia, Botswana, Kenya/Ethiopia, Ghana/Mali and India. The research is expected to include conceptualising adaptation knowledge systems, mapping and analysis of the current state of knowledge systems in the study areas that support adaptation, barriers and enablers to/for more effective knowledge systems, and suggestions for interventions and initiatives that can support the development of improved adaptation knowledge systems to building resilience of communities to climate variability and climate change. The PDRF will also play a lead role in research design that can be applied across multiple research sites, coordination of activities with regional research teams, and potentially co-supervision/advising of Masters students and/or research assistants implementing the research design in individual research sites. A key part of the research project will be to synthesise research results across different sites, through journal articles, and more accessible products aimed at those working in adaptation policy and practice.

Academic conditions:

  • A PhD, awarded within the previous five years, in a relevant academic discipline (or disciplines) such as development, communications, anthropology, sociology, ideally with a focus relevant to adaptation knowledge systems

  • Demonstrated ability to produce peer-reviewed research articles

  • Ability to apply social science research methods to map and critically analyse formal and informal knowledge systems from the perspectives of multiple actors

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English

Additional skills and experience that will be advantageous:

  • Written and verbal communication skills in French

  • Experience in research design and implementation

  • Working / researching with local institutions and communities

  • Experience, or a desire to build experience, in communicating research to diverse non-expert audiences

Conditions of award:

  • Applicants must have completed their doctoral degrees within the past 5 years and may not previously have held a full-time permanent professional or academic post.

  • No benefits or allowances are included in the Fellowship.

  • As part of his/her professional development, the successful candidate may be required to participate in a limited capacity in departmental activities, such as teaching, student supervision, etc.

  • The successful applicant will be required to register as a Postdoctoral fellow at the University of Cape Town immediately and will not be considered a UCT employee.

  • The successful applicant will be required to comply with the university’s approved policies, procedures, and practises for the postdoctoral sector.

Value and tenure:

  • The value of the fellowship is ZAR 260,000 tenable for one year, renewable for one further year contingent on satisfactory academic progress.

  • The Fellowship includes additional funds for fieldwork visits and coordination with ASSAR regional partners, as well as funds for attendance of ASSAR’s annual meeting and one/two international conferences per year.

Application requirements:

Applicants should submit (i) an application letter that includes a short description of their expertise and research interests, and how these relate to the position, (ii) a CV including a publication list, (iii) copies of their academic transcripts, and (iv) email addresses of at least two references who have been directly involved in their doctoral and/or previous postdoctoral research.
Applications should be emailed to: [email protected] before 20th February.

Selection process:

  • Only eligible and complete applications will be considered by the selection committee.

  • Interviews will take place on the 28th February and the successful candidate is expected to start as soon as possible thereafter.

Closing date:

Applications that are received before 20th February, 2017 are guaranteed consideration. Applications received thereafter may be considered in the absence of suitable candidates.

Contact details for submission of applications: Noma Somatube at [email protected]

Contact details for enquiries about the fellowship topic and ASSAR: [email protected]

The University of Cape Town reserves the right to disqualify ineligible, incomplete and/or inappropriate applications. The University of Cape Town also reserves the right to change the conditions of the award or to make no awards at all.