Call for Applications: The African Urban Futures Postdoctoral Research Fellowships

The African Centre for Cities (ACC) invites applications from suitably qualified applicants to apply for the African Urban Futures one-year renewable Postdoctoral Research Fellowships.

ACC and the Urban Futures Studio at Utrecht University are undertaking a two-year investigation into processes of futuring that can advance traction for sustainable urban transitions among city leaders and decision-makers. The project rests on the assumption that sustainable urban development requires a break with the present logic of development that predominates in most African countries.

The successful candidates will be part of the Urban Policy Research Chair at ACC. Beyond the pursuit of their own postdoctoral research, the successful applicant is expected to contribute to the project in one of the following two domains:

  • Undertake case study research to identify the emergent pockets of urban development innovation in African cities that, if stitched together, may help create an image of alternative futures for African cities.
  • Undertake an analysis of the crucial ‘agents of change’ for this new approach to urban Futures, in conjunction with various urban and city networks and key stakeholders that shape the urban governance landscape in Africa.

Duration: 24 months


The African Urban Futures fellowships are valued at R350,000 per annum and are tenable for one year, and renewable for a total of up to two years subject to satisfactory progress. 


To qualify for the African Urban Futures, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Applicant must 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).
  • He/she must not have previously held permanent full-time professional or academic posts.
  • As the Lab has a pan-African focus, applicants should have extensive knowledge of cities across at 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 and fluency in French will be an advantage.
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Application Process

Applications for the African Urban Futures fellowship should include the following documents:

  • A CV including a list of publications/scholarly output;
  • A letter of application stating their expertise, research interests, experience (particularly with regard to urban research in the least two sub-regions in Africa), and motivation for this position;
  • A two-page concept note on what they see as the key sustainability challenges facing African cities, with some suggested approaches to using futuring to address those challenges;
  • Copies of academic transcripts;
  • Names and contact details of at least two academics who have taught, supervised or worked alongside you.

Interested applicants are to submit their application to Associate Professor Warren Smit (

Deadline: June 10, 2022.

For more information, visit the official site.

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