Human Economy Programme: Call for Applications for Doctoral Scholarships and Postdoctoral Fellowships in 2021

Posted on April 20, 2021

The Human Economy Research Programme at the Centre for the Advancement of Scholarship, University of Pretoria, invites applications for doctoral scholarships and postdoctoral fellowships 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 and more than twenty postdoctoral fellows 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 closing date for applications is 31 May 2021.


For more information on the doctoral scholarships, see here

For more information on the postdoctoral fellowships, see here

- Author Kirsty Nepomuceno
Published by Kirsty Nepomuceno

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