Postdoctoral Research Fellowships

The Human Economy Research Programme at the University of Pretoria invites applications for two postdoctoral fellowships commencing in the second half of 2019 or at the start of 2020. 

The successful applicants will undertake research contributing to one or other of the programme’s current focus areas – ‘Digital Finance: Innovations and Implications’ and ‘Agrarian Reform, Markets and Food Distribution’.  Given the programme’s location, the emphasis is on researching these themes in Africa, but there is also scope for comparative analysis drawing on other parts of the global South.

The programme, which started in 2011, has hosted more than 20 postdoctoral fellows to date from Africa, Asia, Europe, and North and South America.  The programme is interdisciplinary, with an emphasis on Humanities disciplines such as Anthropology, Sociology and History, and with valuable contributions from Economics, Geography and Education.  Considerable importance is attached to publication of research findings, as well as to their dissemination to a wider audience.

The programme’s first aim is to extend study of the economy beyond mathematical modelling.  The point of departure is therefore the importance of making sense of the economic needs, practices, and aspirations of people on the ground in particular places and times.  But understanding, and changing, an economy that has gone global cannot rest solely on addressing local particulars.   The challenge is to undertake research at various levels that helps to explain why people’s concerns are often distorted and thwarted by the interests of big money and big bureaucracy, what they manage to do for themselves in the face of this, and how they may, conceivably, find common ground in selected instances with elements within these powerful forces, thereby advancing the prospects for a more equitable global economy.

More detail on the Human Economy approach may be found on the programme’s website ( and in the programme’s Human Economy Book Series. More on the Digital Finance theme specifically may be found on

The programme is housed in the University of Pretoria’s Centre for the Advancement of Scholarship, which has excellent facilities.  The fellowships carry a competitive stipend, with additional funds available for field research and conference attendance.  Successful applicants from beyond South Africa will receive a return airfare from their countries of origin.

Fellowships will be awarded for one year in the first instance, with the prospect of renewal for a second year dependent on progress.

Applicants should submit a full CV plus a detailed statement of their proposed research, showing how it will contribute to one of the research themes indicated above.

The closing date for applications is 15 March 2019.

Please contact Professor John Sharp ([email protected]) and Dr Marc Wegerif ([email protected]) for further information and to submit applications.

- Author John Sharp
Published by Kirsty Nepomuceno

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