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Home » Scholarships » Call for Applications: DANIDA PhD Scholarship (CLAIMS to Energy Citizenship in South Africa) 2024

Call for Applications: DANIDA PhD Scholarship (CLAIMS to Energy Citizenship in South Africa) 2024

Call for Applications: DANIDA PhD Scholarship (CLAIMS to Energy Citizenship in South Africa) 2024

The African Centre for Cities (ACC) invites applications for a PhD scholarship as part of the CLAIMS to Energy Citizenship project, funded by DANIDA (2024-2028).

This call is specifically for the PhD that will align with WP1 (see above). The PhD will be co-supervised by Prof Waltorp and Dr Cirolia. While there is scope for the scholar to craft their own research question, the theme, focus and method will need to align both to WP1 and the wider project framework. This WP will explore understanding electricity challenges from an ethnographic perspective, with a focus on everyday experiences and practices. This will include developing an understanding of the electricity claims made by individuals, households, and collectives and exploring how experiments with small-scale renewable energy are experienced locally. The PhD project will focus particularly on households in Khayelitsha who have been involved in mini-grid and related energy experiments.  See additional criteria for the expected skills and experience of the applicant.


The successful applicant will be required to:

  • Register for full-time study in the Department of Environment and Geographical Sciences (EGS)
  • Engage actively in the overall project, including attending project meetings, workshops and events.
  • Undertake research tasks related to the overall project.
  • Comply with the University’s approved policies, procedures and practices for the postgraduate sector.

Successful candidates may not hold scholarships and salaried/full-time employment concurrently.

About African Centre for Cities (ACC)

The nature and functioning of cities are at the epicentre of larger questions dominating the 21st Century about how we will fashion new economic and political systems that can effect a radically inclusive and sustainable society. Given that 95% of urban growth between now and 2050 will take place in Africa and Asia, the global South must take the lead in exploring and theorising emergent forms of urbanity. By necessity this knowledge practice must be rooted in concrete experiments to figure out how to imagine, enact and institutionalise novel forms of city-making…. read more… continue reading

African Centre for Cities (ACC)

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PhD Scholarship

Aim and Benefits of PhD Scholarship

The value of this award is ZAR 315,000 per year. The award is renewable for three years, with continued renewal contingent on annual progress. Additional funding will be available for fieldwork and travel costs. While we hope that the student will begin in 2024, we are open to a 2025 start-date if necessary.Academic criteria and required experience.

Requirements for PhD Scholarship Qualification


  • Applicants must hold a Masters degree in anthropology, geography,  sociology, urban studies, or related fields.
  • Applicants must have demonstrated experience in undertaking field-based ethnographic research in underserviced urban residential areas and they must have the willingness and capacity to conduct research in Khayelitsha. F
  • Applicants must be willing to participate in the project, including undertaking research in service of the wider project objectives and participating in workshops and events.
  • Applicants must be willing and able to travel to Europe to undertake exchanges and trainings.

Recommended (but not required):

  • Skills within visual or multimodal anthropology (documentary, podcast, arts practice)
  • Experience working on energy in the South African context
  • Fluency in isiXhosa

Interview date, Process and Venue for PhD Scholarship

The scholarship shall be awarded by a committee consisting of the PI of the Project, the lead researcher of the project, and two external representatives. The scholarships shall be awarded on the basis of academic ability for full-time study.

Application Deadline

July 19, 2024

How to Apply

Please submit the following documents in a single pdf file. Incomplete or poorly formatted applications will not be considered.

  1. A letter of application of no more than two pages, which addresses the following questions:
    • What is your motivation for applying to undertake a PhD at the African Centre for Cities? How does this PhD and the project fit within your career goals?
    • How does your experience and skills meet the minimum requirements of the advert? Where possible, make reference to both the listed requirements and your own CV.  Be sure to include relevant experience related to energy in South Africa and ethnographic methods.
    • What are the primary and unique skills, experiences, approaches, etc., you bring to the project team and the African Centre for Cities?
    • Based on your understanding of the project (see call for application above), how would you approach this studyA maximum two page CV with names and contact details of at least two academic referees who have taught, supervised or worked alongside the applicant;
  2. A maximum two page CV with names and contact details of at least two academic referees who have taught, supervised or worked alongside the applicant;
  3. Copies of academic certificates and transcripts;
  4. A writing sample of 250 words

For more details visit ACC website. 

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