PEAK Urban research officer: Sustainable development goals

Programme Type: Urban Research Programme:

The ACC is undertaking research on urban sustainability to build capacity-making on the urban future, as part of the RCUK PEAK Urban Grand Challenges grant with additional support for funding from Mistra Urban Futures. The work package for this appointment focuses on understanding how the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can be implemented in the global South, how they are conceptualised by a variety of stakeholders, and the diversity of impacts they may have on groups and communities. A particular focus is on Cape Town and on vertical governance related to national and international structures.

The appointment will also involve active participation in, and support to enable, PEAK Urban summer schools designed to connect and help further emergent urban researchers. These summer schools will be held annually at PEAK Urban partner locations including the UK, Columbia, China, India and South Africa and involve working with other PEAK Urban researchers from these locations.

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

The ACC therefore invites applications for a full-time Research Officer post to start 1st April 2018 or soon thereafter, until December 2021. The post will undertake primary research and analysis aimed at understanding and conceptualising inputs and effects related to the SDGs and related urban sustainability dynamics, and supporting the PEAK Urban summer schools.

Minimum requirements:

  • A PhD in geography, urban studies, anthropology, sociology or other related discipline with at least 2 years of academic experience post-PhD.
  • Good qualitative and quantitative research skills.
  • Evidence of strong academic writing ability.
  • An awareness of actors, challenges and opportunities related to urban sustainability approaches and the measurement of the SDGs.
  • Competency in an additional language appropriate to other PEAK partners will be beneficial.

Responsibilities include:

  • Plan for and undertake relevant research related to the Urban Sustainability, with a particular focus on the Sustainable Development Goals
  • Publish research outputs in ISI journals and scholarly books
  • Present research findings at seminars and conferences at local, national and/or international events
  • Interface effectively with other PEAK Urban researchers, locally and internationally.
  • Support the planning and implementation for yearly PEAK Urban summer schools
  • Take part in the PEAK Urban summer schools
  • Supervise dissertations and students
  • Attend strategic planning meeting, ACC staff meetings and other relevant events
  • Provide regular progress report on project status
  • Ad hoc involvement in ACC activities as identified by the Director, Deputy Director and Research Manager of the ACC
  • Undertake work that is of direct policy relevance.

For further information, please contact Associate Professor Andrew Tucker (

The annual cost of employment for this fixed term contract is between R478,207 and R639,848.

To apply, please e-mail the below document in a single pdf file to Ms Abigail Dixon at

  • UCT HR 201 application forms
  • Motivation letter;
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV); and
  • A maximum of 800-word note on how you will approach the topic (SDGs with a focus on Cape Town) over the life of the project.

Please ensure the title and reference number are indicated in the subject line. An application which does not comply with the above requirements will be regarded as incomplete. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and will be required to undergo an assessment

Reference number: E18137

Closing date: 7 March 2018

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