CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: Postdoctoral Fellowship - Operationalising a Just Transition in Africa

Posted on May 29, 2023

The Centre for the Advancement of Scholarship (CAS) at the University of Pretoria invites applications for a Postdoctoral Research Fellow to join the Centre’s Environmental Humanities Programme, in the Operationalising a Just Transition in Africa project, in partnership with SouthSouthNorth and the African Research Impact Network

This interdisciplinary project explores how Just Transition considerations can be incorporated into achieving the stated objectives of the COP27 Africa Just and Affordable Energy Transition Initiative. These objectives include the provision of clean energy to at least 300 million people in Africa and to increase Africa’s renewable energy capacity to 25% of global renewable energy investments (COP27 Presidency, 2022: 2). The research in this project will focus on how this can be operationalised, the role of finance, and encouraging African countries to >10% renewable energy targets within their policy-setting regimes.

The selected candidate will be working on “Broadening the knowledge base and new knowledge production regarding delivering evidence on pathways for operationalising and financing just energy transitions in Africa”. Expected outputs will include research on four (4) case studies; the creation of an evidence database cataloguing financial models, mechanisms and instruments being used to finance scaled renewable energy access as part of just energy transitions in African countries; the publication of four (4) journal articles; the publication of four (4) policy briefs; and the publication of a journal special edition on the financing and operationalising of just energy transitions in Africa.

This work is funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC).

This Postdoctoral Research Fellowship presents an excellent opportunity for candidates looking to contribute to impactful and meaningful research on Africa’s renewable energy transition, and candidates should be motivated and able to work in a transdisciplinary research environment.

Successful applicants will be supervised by Professor Noëleen Murray and Dr Tafadzwa Mushonga at the Centre for the Advancement of Scholarship, University of Pretoria. The position will be based at the University of Pretoria with some travel required (although some remote working can be considered).

Value, tenure, and other conditions: 

  • The value of the fellowship is ZAR 400,000–420,000 per year, with renewal for a second year basedon satisfactory performance.
  • Postdoctoral fellowships are awarded tax-free through the University of Pretoria.

Academic / experience criteria: 

This Postdoctoral Fellowship will be hosted by the Centre for the Advancement of Scholarship, a transdisciplinary research unit at the University of Pretoria. Candidates with relevant proficiency in the thematic focus from any disciplinary background are encouraged to apply. 


  • A PhD, awarded within the previous ten years with a focus on a climate change related topic. 
  • Demonstrated ability to produce peer-reviewed research articles in international journals. 
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English. 
  • Ability to work well in an interdisciplinary research team.  
  • Proficiency with online collaboration tools, such as Zoom, Google Drive, Dropbox. 
  • Experience working with or communicating research findings to policymakers and/or the public. 

Several (but not all) the following skills and experience would be highly desirable: 

  • Experience collating and analysing existing quantitative and/or qualitative data (e.g., systematic literature reviews, expert elicitation processes, meta-analysis, text analysis, or other synthesis and analysis of large data sets from diverse existing data sources) 
  • Experience writing policy briefs. 
  • Experience planning or facilitating interdisciplinary or transdisciplinary workshops. 

To apply, please upload your application as a single PDF through this Google Form:

Application requirements: 

Applicants should submit as a single PDF file: 

  1. An application letter no longer than 2 pages that includes a description of their research interests, a description of their expertise addressing the desired criteria, and suggestions for how they can work towards the project objectives; 
  2. A CV including a publication list; 
  3. Copies of academic transcripts and/or certificates; 
  4. An example of written work; and 
  5. The email addresses of two references who have been directly involved in their PhD and/or previous postdoctoral research. 

Closing date: Applications received by 19 June 2023 are guaranteed to be considered. Applications received thereafter may be considered if the position has not been filled. 

Contact details for enquiries about the topic and Post Doc position: 

Kirsty Nepomuceno – [email protected], 012 420 4178. 

Additional information on the OJTA programme can be found here or on the Centre website

Selection process: 

  • All eligible and complete applications will be considered for selection. 
  • Interviews will take place during June 2023 and the successful candidate is expected to start as soon as possible thereafter. 
  • If you have not heard within two months of the deadline, please assume your application has been unsuccessful. 

Conditions of award: 

  • All South African and foreign candidates are eligible. 
  • The successful applicant will be required to register as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Pretoria and will be expected to commence the required research at a mutually agreed date that is ideally no later than end of July 2023
  • The successful applicant must comply with the University’s approved policies, procedures, and practices for the postdoctoral sector. 

Postdoctoral Research Fellows will be given the necessary resources for their work, including desk and office space, IT, and communication infrastructure. 

The University of Pretoria reserves the right to 

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

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