Call for Applications | African Mayoral Leadership Initiative Postdoctoral Research Fellowships

African Centre for Cities is recruiting for two Postdoctoral Research fellows to join the new African Mayoral Leadership Initiative.

The African Mayoral Leadership Initiative (AMALI) is a partnership between the African Centre for Cities (ACC), at the University of Cape Town, and Big Win Philanthropy to provide city leaders in Africa with exclusive, tailored support to hone their visions for their cities. The initiative includes an Urban Governance Research Lab that will collect and analyse qualitative and quantitative data on selected African cities. The ACC was established in 2007 at the University of Cape Town as an urban research institute. It is based in the School of Architecture, Planning and Geomatics in the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, but is interdisciplinary in its scope, drawing expertise on urban issues from across the university. The mission of the ACC is to “facilitate critical urban research and policy discourses for the promotion of vibrant, democratic and sustainable urban development in the global South”.

Call for Applications
The ACC invites applications from suitably qualified applicants to apply for these one-year renewable Postdoctoral Research Fellowships (renewable for up to a total of three years, depending on satisfactory progress). Two positions are available. The successful candidates will be part of the AMALI Urban Governance Research Lab. Beyond the pursuit of their own postdoctoral research, the successful applicant is expected to contribute to the Lab through undertaking in-depth research based on the data collected for the online database and work on identified research topics to help support selected mayors (these topics will be identified in the City Leadership Forums and the preparatory online events, but will all relate to issues of urban governance and urban development in African cities). As part of ACC’s intellectual and institutional enterprise, the successful applicant will also be expected to share their work in internal and public forums, be able to engage with colleagues in relation to at least one of our areas of existing work (please see our website: and provide mentorship to ACC’s postgraduate student cohort. 

Applicants are expected to have completed a doctoral degree in an area of study relevant to urban studies within the past five years (e.g. Urban Planning, Urban Studies, Urban Geography, and related fields). Applicants may not previously have held permanent full-time professional or academic posts. As the Lab has a pan-African focus, applicants should have an extensive knowledge of cities across least two different sub-regions of Africa as defined by the United Nations (Southern Africa, East Africa, Middle Africa, West Africa, and Northern Africa) and a track record of relevant research and publication. Fluency in English is a requirement. Experience in GIS and other statistical packages (such as XPSS) and fluency in French will be an advantage. The successful candidate will be required to participate in the AMALI Urban Governance Lab on research topics related to urban governance and urban development in African cities (these topics will have to be decided on consultation with the 2 

Programme Coordinator, Associate Professor Warren Smit). They will be required to comply with the University’s approved policies, procedures, and practises for the postdoctoral sector. 

Value and Tenure
The fellowships are valued at R370,000 per annum and are tenable for one year, renewable for a total of up to three years subject to satisfactory progress. The fellowships are compliant with the SARS policies/rules and are therefore exempt from taxation. 

Non-South African citizens may be required to apply for a study visa. 

Application requirements
Applicants are required to submit the following documents, via email, to: Associate Professor Warren Smit ( by no later than 22nd April 2022: 

 A letter of application stating your expertise, research interests, experience (particularly with regard to urban research in a least two sub-regions in Africa), and motivation for this position; 

 A two-page concept note on what you see as the key challenges facing African cities, with some suggested solutions; 

 A CV including a list of publications/scholarly output; 

 Copies of academic transcripts; 

 Names and contact details of at least two academics who have taught, supervised, or worked alongside you. 

Closing date: 22nd April 2022 

Please submit your application to Associate Professor Warren Smit ( Please clearly state that this is an application for the “African Mayoral Leadership Initiative Postdoctoral Research Fellowship 2022”. 

For more information on this position, please contact Associate Professor Warren Smit at 

Please note that correspondence will only be entered into with shortlisted candidates. 

The University of Cape Town reserves the right to disqualify ineligible, incomplete and/or inappropriate applications, to change the conditions of award, and/or to make no awards at all.