University of Cape Town Scholarship (CLAIMS to Energy Citizenship in South Africa)

PhD Scholarship (CLAIMS to Energy Citizenship in South Africa). The University of Cape Town’s African Centre for Cities (ACC) is offering a scholarship opportunity for aspiring researchers passionate about urban development and energy transitions in South Africa.

University of Cape Town Scholarship
University of Cape Town Scholarship

The ACC has announced a PhD scholarship as part of the CLAIMS to Energy Citizenship project, funded by DANIDA for the period 2024-2028. This scholarship presents a unique chance for candidates to contribute to critical research on energy access and citizenship in urban South Africa.

Scholarship Overview

The CLAIMS to Energy Citizenship project is divided into three work packages, with this particular PhD position aligning with Work Package 1 (WP1). Led by Professor Karen Waltorp from the University of Copenhagen, WP1 focuses on everyday practices and activism related to energy access.

The successful candidate will have the opportunity to explore electricity challenges from an ethnographic perspective, examining the experiences and practices of individuals and communities in Khayelitsha, Cape Town.

This research will delve into the electricity claims made by individuals, households, and collectives. As well as investigate how small-scale renewable energy experiments are experienced at the local level. The project aims to provide valuable insights into the complex dynamics of energy access and citizenship in urban South Africa. Contributing to broader discussions on sustainable urban development in the global South.

Financial Benefits & Other Benefits

  • The scholarship offers a generous funding package of ZAR 315,000 per year, renewable for up to three years based on satisfactory progress.
  • Additional funding will be available for fieldwork and travel costs. Ensuring that the researcher has the necessary resources to conduct in-depth, on-the-ground research in Khayelitsha.
  • They will become an integral part of the CLAIMS to Energy Citizenship project team, participating in project meetings, workshops, and events.
  • This collaborative environment will provide invaluable networking opportunities and expose the researcher to diverse perspectives on urban energy transitions.

Eligiblity Criteria for University of Cape Town Scholarship

  • The ACC is open to candidates starting in either 2024 or 2025
  • To be considered for this opportunity, you must hold a Master’s degree in anthropology, geography, sociology, urban studies, or a related field.

  • Crucially, candidates should have demonstrated experience in conducting field-based ethnographic research in underserviced urban residential areas.
  • The willingness and capacity to conduct research in Khayelitsha is a key requirement. As is the ability to travel to Europe for exchanges and training sessions.
  • The successful candidate will be expected to register for full-time study. In the Department of Environment and Geographical Sciences (EGS) at the University of Cape Town.
  • While not mandatory, the selection committee will look favourably upon candidates with skills in visual or multimodal anthropology. Experience working on energy issues in the South African context, and fluency in isiXhosa. These additional qualifications can enhance the researcher’s ability to engage deeply. With the local community and contribute meaningfully to the project’s objectives.

How to Apply

To apply;

  • Interested candidates must submit an application that includes a two-page letter of application addressing specific questions about their motivation, experience, and unique contributions to the project.
  • Include a concise CV, academic certificates, transcripts, and a 250-word writing sample.
  • Ensure that all documents meet application requirements; we will reject incomplete or poorly formatted submissions.

  • Submit applications to the specified email on the official website.

For more details, visit the official website:

Selection Process

A committee comprising the project’s Principal Investigator, lead researcher, and two external representatives will conduct the selection process.

Application Deadline

July 19, 2024.



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