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Call for applications: Fully-funded full-time collaborative PhD in ‘Transdisciplinary Approaches to Wildlife Security’



The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation (GovInn) at the University of Pretoria are accepting applications for a fully-funded, full-time PhD studentship starting in April 2016. GovInn, the University of Pretoria and CSIR have a national and worldwide reputation for excellence in research, innovation and the application of innovative solutions to complex problems.

  • Qualification type: PhD
    Location: Pretoria, working at the CSIR
  • Eligible nationality: South African
  • Funding amount: ZAR220, 000, tax free
  • Hours: Full time
  • Duration: 2 years
  • Applications:  Open until position is filled

This studentship is part of a collaborative transdisciplinary research project between CSIR and GovInn on alternative approaches to the governance of resources in South Africa and Southern Africa. Research under this particular project simultaneously focuses on two domains: 1) wildlife crime (with a focus on rhino poaching) as a security challenge and 2) transdisciplinary science for addressing complex international/regional security problems. The research, which is the first- ever attempt to use such an approach on such a scale, will make use of innovative, transdisciplinary methods. It will involve a variety of local, national and international stakeholders in driving socioeconomic policy and will make practical recommendations for policy innovation and change in South Africa and its region.

The studentship offers:

  • R220,000 tax free
  • Full Time
  • The opportunity to be part of a transdisciplinary team working on ground-breaking research on a major national/regional project.
  • The opportunity to work and collaborate with established researchers at the University of Pretoria and CSIR.Specifically, the successful candidate will be requested to focus on one of these topics in dealing with wildlife crime:
  1. regional and international cooperation;
  2. national law enforcement;
  3. the role of local communities and societal stakeholders.

A number of perspectives can be adopted to address the complexity of wildlife crime. These include:

  • Participatory governance;
  • Conservation;
  • International cooperation;
  • Transnational organised crime;
  • Law enforcement; and
  • Sustainable livelihoods.The successful candidate will be expected to fulfil class and academic requirements at the University of Pretoria, conduct research, as well as assist with administrative and other tasks. He/She will also be responsible for identifying research questions and choosing methodologies aligned to the transdisciplinary research topic.The studentship will be awarded at the PhD level. The requirements are:
  1. A relevant Master’s degree in the social sciences.
  2. At least two years of work experience.
  3. Excellent writing and communication skills.
  4. Good command of English and knowledge of at least one local language.
  5. Applicant will be required to pass a security clearance.

Prospective applicants should send the information below to info@governanceinnovation.org:

• A full academic CV, demonstrating relevant experience, knowledge of methods and publications (if any).

• A two page description of how they intend to approach the problem in one or more of the three topics mentioned above.

For further information about the research project please contact Professor Lorenzo Fioramonti (lorenzo.fioramonti@governanceinnovation.org ), Dr. Duarte Goncalves (dgoncalv@csir.co.za)  or Dr. Christopher Nshimbi (chris.nshimbi@governanceinnovation.org).

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