Post-doctoral fellowships, research associates and student bursaries — University of Johannesburg

Post-doctoral fellowships, research associates and student bursaries

Over the past four years there has been an unprecedented level of popular struggle around the world. Sometimes this has led to regime change; sometimes there have been conservative reactions. During this period, South Africa probably experienced more industrial strike days and protests per capita than any other country. For the next five years, the Chair in Social Change will focus on Protest, Strikes and Revolutions, both the contemporary scene and historically.

South African Research Chair in Social Change

The South African Research Chair Initiative (SARChI) is funded by the Department of Science and Technology and administered by the National Research Foundation. Together with additional support from host institutions, it funds a professor, a senior researcher, post-doctoral fellows, student bursaries, and administration and running costs. The Chair in Social Change is one of 23 SARChI chairs in the social sciences. It was launched in 2010, and a second five-year phase will commence in January 2015. The chair is hosted by the University of Johannesburg (UJ), and is physically located at the university’s Research Village on its Bunting Road campus. The chair holder is Professor Peter Alexander. Alexander has gained pre-eminence for work on the Marikana Massacre, South Africa’s rebellion of the poor, and comparative labour history. His unit is inter-disciplinary, and although the emphasis is on sociology and history, members have also come from politics, development studies, anthropology, communication studies, economics and philosophy. The unit places a strong emphasis on collegiality. All members are expected to participate in a weekly seminar and an annual symposium, and to reside in Johannesburg during term time.

Post-doctoral Fellows (PDFs)

Successful candidates will have an interest in the Chair’s focus area, possibly undertaking research in a country outside South Africa. PDFs are discouraged from participating in teaching or any activity other than research and publication. They should plan to submit four papers, or the equivalent, per year. In the first year it is likely that most submissions will be based on doctoral research. Post-doctoral fellowships are ideally suited to individuals wishing to strengthen their CV prior to securing permanent academic employment. All of the chair’s previous PDFs now hold senior positions in good universities.There are no nationality restrictions; however the Chair is keen to appoint at least one PDF from South Africa. PDFs currently receive a non-taxable stipend of R240, 000 per annum, and this will be increased in 2015. This income is sufficient to pay rent on a cottage or flat and buy a car. PDFs normally hold their position for two years, subject to review at the end of their first year, and in exceptional cases an extension beyond two years will be considered. PDFs must have a doctorate before appointment, but applicants who have submitted their dissertation will be considered.

Research associates and senior research associates

The Chair would also like to appoint senior research associates and associates, that is, researchers associated with the work or the chair, particularly around its focus on Protests, Strikes and Revolution. Senior research associates must have a doctorate. These are honorary positions, but the Faculty of Humanities offers a R20,000 reward for peer-reviewed articles published in most journals, and the Chair can normally provide office space.

Doctoral bursaries

The Chair seeks to appoint at least two doctoral students. These should preferably work on projects associated with it focus area. Most doctoral students will come from South Africa, but a minority can be nationals of other countries, and these may want to undertake comparative research. We would be interested in research on the struggle against apartheid. Supervision will be provided by Prof. Alexander. In 2015, bursaries will be worth R100, 000. Bursars are eligible for additional bursaries provided by UJ. Successful candidates will have received their MA with a South African mark of at least 70%, or its equivalent from elsewhere (e.g. an upper second), but students who have submitted their dissertation may apply

MA bursaries

The Chair seeks to appoint at least two MA students. Case studies of protests and strikes in South Africa are regarded as particularly appropriate. Successful applicants will be registered for an MA at UJ. In 2015, bursaries will be worth R50, 000. Bursars are also eligible for bursaries provided by UJ. Successful applicants will have received their Honours degree with a South African mark of at least 70%, or its equivalent from elsewhere (e.g. an upper second), but students about to complete their degree may apply.

Honours bursaries

The Chair seeks to award bursaries to three honours students. These must be South African citizens registered at UJ. They will be integrated into the work of the chair as if they were interns. They must demonstrate an interest in social change, preferably the proposed focus area. In 2015, bursaries will be worth R25, 000. Students are also eligible for bursaries provided by UJ. Successful applicants will have received their bachelor’s degree with a mark of at least 70%, but students about to complete their degree may apply. Application Applications should reach Mrs. Lucinda Becorny, llanden@uj.ac.za, by 29 October 2014. These should include a CV, transcript, names and contact details of three academic referees, and a covering letter that includes a summary of proposed research. For further details about the Chair, visit our website

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