Masters Scholarship Opportunity at ICLEI Africa


ICLEI Africa, supported by the Canadian International Development Research Centre (IDRC), is offering a Masters Scholarship for 2018 and 2019.

Conditions of the Award:

Applicants are required to:

  • Be a South African citizen or have a valid study permit to study in South Africa. The study permit can be attained post the award of the scholarship, however the student must be registered at the University of Cape Town and have all relevant documentation (e.g. study permit) in place to study full-time in South Africa for 2 years. Registration and documentation to allow full-time study in South Africa should be attained as early as possible in 2018, but no later than end July 2018. Preference will be given to students from Malawi or Zimbabwe or a South African student with experience/ specific knowledge on Malawi and/ or Zimbabwe.
  • Apply and secure a place at the University of Cape Town for a full-time Master’s degree in any area of environmental science or associated field during 2018 and 2019, no later than end July 2018.
  • Pursue their studies and/ or conduct their research full-time, employment of any kind must be declared in the application and/ or during 2018 and 2019, and only be pursued if agreed, in writing, by ICLEI Africa and the student in question.
  • Provide evidence that they have achieved their Honour’s degree either with distinction or as a top performing student.
  • Undertake to repay the full value of the scholarship to ICLEI Africa should he/ she: 

- cancel his/ her registration before graduation;

- leave South Africa before the scholarship tenure is over; ICLEI is the leading global network of over 1,500 cities, towns and regions committed to building a sustainable future. By helping the ICLEI Network to become sustainable, low-carbon, ecomobile, resilient, biodiverse, resource-efficient, healthy and happy, with a green economy and smart infrastructure, we impact over 25% of the global urban population.

- fail to complete the degree for which the award was made.

  • Be based in the ICLEI Africa offices (Century City, Cape Town) and adhere to ICLEI Africa’s policies and procedures.
  • Be supervised by academics working on the research project (see below) from which this scholarship draws its funding.
  • Pursue research expressly linked and contributing to the achievement of the objectives of the project (see below) from which this scholarship draws its funding.
  • Sign a contract with ICLEI Africa related to the award, if successful.

The project, funded by the IDRC, to which the Masters students’ research will contribute, is called: Improved Municipal Planning in African CiTies − IMPACT − for a climate resilient urban future, which will be implemented in Malawi and Zimbabwe from 2018 – 2020.

Value and Tenure

The Master’s scholarship is valued at R 130 000 in 2018 and R 140 000 in 2019. The award is tenable for the first and second year of Master’s study only. Renewal for a 3rd year, and beyond, will not be considered. The second year of the tenure of the award will be contingent on satisfactory academic progress and adherence to the two-year time-frame for completion of the degree.

The overall objective of this research is to identify and understand how to enable IMPACT mechanisms that contribute to climate resilient development in African cities.
IMPACT mechanisms are defined here as processes/ interventions that enable collaboration between diverse sets of stakeholders, for improved municipal planning.

The specific objectives of this research project are:

1. To understand how different African city stakeholders understand climate resilient development.
2. To develop locally relevant criteria for the assessment of the effectiveness of IMPACT mechanisms in contributing to climate resilient development.
3. To identify and assess the barriers and enablers of IMPACT mechanisms currently in place in four cities in Malawi and Zimbabwe.
4. To assess in what ways tailor-made IMPACT mechanisms can be successful in enabling climate resilient development.
5. To develop guidelines for the implementation of IMPACT mechanisms that contribute to climate resilient development, which can be applied in local government policies and plans.
6. To build the capacity of stakeholders engaged in the project to implement contextually relevant IMPACT mechanisms that contribute to climate resilient development.

Academic Criteria

Applicants must have achieved their Honour’s degree with either distinction or as a top performing student.

Application Requirements

Interested candidates are required to submit the following:

  • A letter of interest indicating the intended area of study and how it will link and contribute to the achievements of the IMPACT project objectives.
  • A certified copy of the applicant’s South African Identify Document, study permit, or letter indicating the applicant’s intention to apply for the latter if awarded the scholarship.
  • Curriculum vitae.
  • Certified copies of all academic transcripts.
  • References from at least two academics who have taught or supervised the candidate in a postgraduate degree.


Eligible applicants will be considered by ICLEI Africa and partners, and applicants may be invited to an interview.

Closing Date

The closing date for applications is 16 February 2018
Please note that only applications that meet the criteria stated in this document will be considered. Late, incomplete and/ or ineligible applications will not be considered. Applicants that have not heard from ICLEI Africa by 28 February 2018 can consider their application unsuccessful.

Enquiries and completed applications must be forwarded to:
ICLEI Africa:

All applicants are subject to the policies, procedures and rules of ICLEI Africa.

ICLEI Africa reserves the right to make no awards at all, to cancel the award if the conditions are not met, and to effect changes to the conditions of the award.