ACDI Postdoctoral research fellow: Sustainable energy for poverty reduction



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: Sustainable energy for poverty reduction working to understand how access to sustainable energy technologies can contribute to better livelihoods in climate constrained communities. More specifically, the PDRF will analyze skills and capacity development necessary for the adoption of new sustainable energy technologies. The research literature has shown that knowledge and skills development for technology uptake does not occur in isolation. This piece of research focuses on how skills and knowledge necessary for the adoption and diffusion of sustainable energy technologies develop over time.

The work under this theme is closely related with the Transforming Energy Access research programme, which is designed to advance the development and deployment of decentralised clean energy solutions, delivering them so that they are available and affordable to poor people. This programme takes a holistic approach by targeting three pillars: improved technology, sustainable business models and practical skills.

The Postdoctoral fellow will be supervised by Dr Jiska De Groot and Dr Britta Rennkamp who are co-leading the Transforming Energy Access and Sustainable Energy for Poverty reduction themes.

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. Proven experience with research in the field of energy access and poverty reduction
b. Experience with network analysis or skills development desirable
c. Experience in working with stakeholders outside the academic environment
d. Strong qualitative research skills
e. Ability to conduct applied research

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 single authored 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