ACDI Postdoctoral research fellow: Enhancing knowledge systems for climate resilience

African researcher in the field


The African Climate and Development Initiative (ACDI) at the University of Cape Town (UCT) is developing its priority research themes in its second five-year Phase. ACDI is seeking a Postdoctoral Research Fellow (PDRF) who would grow research expertise and generate valuable outputs in a critically important area where there is a scarcity of African scholars.

Call for Applications

The African Climate and Development Initiative (ACDI) invites applications from doctoral graduates for a two-year research fellowship, based at the University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa.

The successful candidate will assist in research on the theme: Enhancing knowledge systems for climate resilience working to identify strengths and gaps in existing climate knowledge systems, diagnose their underlying reasons, and develop and test innovations to fill the gaps. This overarching theme is supported by expanding areas of research relating to Ecosystem Services and Livelihoods, Climate Services, Climate Change and Health, African Climate Risk, Water and Food Security in a Changing Climate, and Resilient Cities.

A member of ACDI will supervise the Fellow, either Dr Chris Jack or Prof Mark New, who are co-leading the Knowledge Systems theme.

In addition to an academic supervisor, a mentor for the fellow will be provided. The mentor will provide career and personal advice as well as support. The Fellow will be given the necessary resources for his/her work: desk and office space, IT and communication infrastructure, office equipment and stationary. The Fellow will be required to participate in Emerging Researcher Programme (ERP) and other supportive training at UCT for early career researchers.

General Conditions of the Award

Applicants should satisfy the following criteria:

(i)            Postdoctoral research fellowships are only available to individuals who have achieved the doctoral degree within the past 5 years;

(ii)           Applicant may not previously have held full-time permanent professional or academic posts;

(iii)          No benefits or allowances are included in the value of the fellowship;

(iv)          The successful candidate will be required to comply with the policies and practices for the Postdoctoral Research Sector at the University of Cape Town; and

(v)           The successful candidate will be required to register at the University of Cape town as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow and will be expected to commence the required research at a mutually agreed date that is no later than 1 March  2018.

(vi)          Preference will be given to applicants who are able to demonstrate ability for independent study, research design and implementation, and writing skills in English.

(vii)         Preference will be given to black South Africans, thereafter to Kenyans and Ghanaians, however, anyone from Africa may apply.

Value and Tenure of Award

  • The value of the Fellowship is R 205 000 per annum and is tenable for two years.
  • The Fellowship does not include any travel allowances, accommodation or other benefits.
  • Application for tax exemption will be made by the University.

Academic Criteria

(i)             The PhD must have been awarded within the last 5 years, or submitted before starting the fellowship;

(ii)            Established or emerging publication record;

(iii)           Ability to work in a multi-disciplinary team environment;

(iv)          Required skills/experience:

- A demonstrable background in climate science including climate change and climate variability

- Familiarity with using and analyzing climate data including observations, climate model output and other datasets

- Comfortable designing and performing relevant statistical analysis using suitable software packages

- Ability to develop analysis code using R or Python

(v)           Optional but desirable skills would include:

- Experience in urban climate change analysis, impacts and adaptation science

- Experience in urban sustainability and/or resilience science

- Experience in urban resource and/or spatial modeling

Application Requirements

  • A letter of application outlining the applicant’s research interests and experience 
  • Curriculum Vitae including a list of publications 
  • Certified copies of all academic transcripts. 
  • An example of written work. 
  • Contact details of two proposed referees. The referees must be academics who have taught or supervised the applicant. 

Requests for further information about the fellowship and complete applications including transcripts, letters, etc, should be sent to: Mr Paballo Chauke:

Selection Process

Eligible and complete applications will be considered by the ACDI and we will communicate with short-listed applicants. If you have not heard within two months of the deadline, please assume your application has been unsuccessful

The University of Cape Town reserves the right to

  • Disqualify ineligible, incomplete and/or inappropriate applications;
  • Change the conditions of the award or to make no awards at all