The African Centre for Cities invites applications for a postdoctoral fellowship to support research associated with the PEAK Urban project. The successful candidate will become part of a new global cohort of urban researchers as part of the PEAK Urban project. The ideal candidate will have expertise in urban studies debates, a firm grounding in social science methods, a keen interest in conceptualising and understanding urbanism from a Southern perspective, and a demonstrated ability to engage with comparative and multi-scalar research.

This postdoctoral fellowship will focus on the intersections between the built environment of the city and urban institutions in Cape Town. The postdoctoral researcher will be expected to undertake original and creative research on one or more of the following themes with regard to how institutions shape the materiality of the city:

  • Infrastructure (energy, mobility, water, sanitation, waste, etc.)
  • Housing/human settlements
  • Urban planning/ spatial form and structure

The potential areas of work on institutions shaping the city could include: urban governance, urban politics and institution building.

In addition, the postdoctoral fellow will be required to track contemporary trends in Cape Town’s infrastructure and human settlements, for example, basic fiscal data, delivery information, and policy changes. The postdoctoral fellow will also be expected to participate in the work of ACC’s research cluster of urban infrastructure and human settlements.

To further their professional development, successful candidates will be required to participate in, and support the implementation of, international annual summer schools as part of the PEAK Urban project to occur at one of the PEAK Urban partner sites (South Africa, China, the UK, Colombia or India). The successful candidate will also participate in various other departmental activities.

An opportunity to take part in a three-month internship at another PEAK Urban site at some point during the length of the fellowship is also a possibility, dependent on agreement with other PEAK Urban partners and approval by ACC.

Applicants are expected to have completed a doctoral degree in an area of study relevant to the post (e.g. Geography, Sociology, Urban Planning, Urban Studies, Development Studies) within the last five years and have an academic publication and presentation record commensurate with their stage in academic career.


The value of the Fellowship is between R250,000 and R390,000 per year based on experience, and is renewable for a total of up to three years, depending on satisfactory progress. The fellowship does not include relocation costs or fringe benefits. The incumbent will be provided with a desk and appropriate access rights to use the research facilities of the University of Cape Town. The Fellowship will commence 1 April 2018.

Applications must be submitted by 12:oopm, (UTC +2), 9 March 2018 and consist of:

  • A letter of application stating areas of expertise, research interests and experience
  • Proposed focus of research (maximum of two pages)
  • A CV including a list of publications
  • The names and contact details of at least two academics who have taught, supervised or worked alongside the applicant as referees

Eligible and complete applications will considered by the Director of the African Centre for Cities and a sub-committee
Closing date for applications: 12:00pm, (UTC +2), 9 March 2018

Please submit your application to Maryam Waglay, African Centre for Cities via email to or posting/delivering to Maryam Waglay, African Centre for Cities, Room 2.11, Environmental and Geographical Sciences Building, University of Cape Town, Private Bag X3, Rondebosch, Cape Town, South Africa 7701. Please clearly state that this is an application for the “ACC PEAK Urban Postdoctoral Fellowship on Infrastructure/Human Settlements”.

For enquiries regarding the position please contact Liza Cirolia at: