Doctoral Scholarships

The Human Economy Research Programme at the Centre for the Advancement of Scholarship, University of Pretoria, invites applications for doctoral scholarships commencing in 2021. The Centre for the Advancement of Scholarship is an interdisciplinary research Centre that brings together and provides the required intellectual home for senior scholars, postdoctoral fellows and postgraduate students to conduct scholarly debates across disciplines.
Successful applicants will undertake research towards a doctoral degree dealing with ‘the economic system as it actually exists’ at a range of levels from the local to the global, using the methods characteristic of Humanities’ disciplines, and reflecting on ways in which the economy could be made to serve human interests – the interests of society as a whole, including those of the majority of the world’s inhabitants who enter it from positions of disadvantage. The programme’s current focus is ‘Digital Finance: Innovations and Implications’, but candidates with other research interests are welcome to apply. Given the programme’s location, the emphasis is on research in Africa.
The programme, which started in 2011, has hosted more than fifteen doctoral students to date, most from the African continent. The programme is interdisciplinary, with an emphasis on Humanities disciplines such as Anthropology, Sociology and History, and with valuable contributions from Economics, Development Studies and Geography.
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 at
The value of the scholarships is highly competitive, with additional funds available for field research and conference attendance.
The doctoral scholarships are available to national or international candidates, with preference being given to black South Africans, especially women. In addition applicants must meet the following conditions:
  • Must have a Master’s degree in any appropriate Humanities discipline such as Anthropology, Sociology, History orDevelopment Studies.
  • Evidence of active research and publications in peer-reviewed journals will also be an added advantage.
Your application should include a full Curriculum Vitae, three referees with contact details (one of whom must have been a mentor or supervisor of the Master’s degree), and a brief description of your research interest (no more than two pages).
The closing date for applications is 31 May 2021.
Please contact Professor John Sharp ([email protected]) for further information.
To submit applications, please contact Kirsty Nepomuceno ([email protected]).
- Author John Sharp

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