University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg Scholarship for PhD Candidate 2022

University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg Invites applications for a PhD candidate to undertake research under the Oppenheimer Generations Future Ecosystems for Africa program (FEFA).

FEFA aims to drive policy strategies to enhance the resilience of African ecosystems, and the wellbeing of its people through thought-leadership and evidence-based research on the continent. The PhD candidate will be expected to develop a project in line with Work Package 1: Futures thinking for identifying vulnerabilities/tipping points and leveraging opportunities for African informed transformative change.

This work package aims to draw on futures thinking methodologies that allow stakeholders to imagine more desirable futures for Africa away from business-as-usual. It aims to construct a theoretical and overarching framework for prioritizing ecosystem-based interventions in Africa, including what to protect and how, what to rehabilitate, and whose voices need to be included in decision-making.

This approach will build on findings from the IPBES (Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services) regional assessment for Africa that emphasized that Africa’s rich bio-cultural heritage and diverse value perspectives for nature needed to be brought more strongly to the fore in science and decision-making, as well as the Nature Futures framework developed by the IPBES Task Force on scenarios and models. As such, it will take a multiple evidence base approach that appreciates diverse knowledge systems and will work closely with a wide range of stakeholders.


The Johannesburg Scholarship for PhD Candidate involve the following duties:

  • Complete a PhD within 4 years;
  • Publish focused and high-quality research;
  • Undertake other activities related to the academic programme and the professional development of the individual;
  • Help to coordinate diverse activities across the FEFA WP 1
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The Johannesburg Scholarship for PhD Candidate 2022 project will be fully funded for 4-years in line with university standards, with money included for extensive fieldwork, and there will be ample opportunity to take part in workshops and other activities, including international conferences.


All candidates must meet the following requirements:

  • Experience working on inter-disciplinary projects, preferably across the sciences and humanities
  • MSc in Sustainability Science, Geography, Environmental Science, Development studies or a related field
  • Experience with and a keen interest to work on impact-driven projects on the African continent

The following experience would be advantageous:

  • Facilitation, especially using scenarios and other futures techniques
  • Qualitative data analysis
  • Quantitative data analysis
  • Evidence of having published in peer-reviewed journals
  • A thoughtful engagement with theories of sustainability transformations and transdisciplinary research

Application Process

To apply for the Johannesburg Scholarship for PhD Candidate 2022, applicants are to send the following document to

  • Curriculum Vitae,
  • a letter of motivation,
  • a 1-page project proposal outline, drawing on the description of the project above, and
  • a sample of written work.

Deadline: January 14, 2022.

For more information on the Johannesburg Scholarship for PhD Candidate 2022, visit the official site.

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