African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) Postdoctoral Fellowships

The Office of Research, Innovation and Development is pleased to announce to the University Community ‘Call for applications for Postdoctoral Fellowship’ by the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA).
ARUA is seeking Postdoctoral Fellows to join a five-year research programme themed: ‘Mobility and Sociality in Africa’s Emerging Urban.’ This initiative is intended to foster interdisciplinarity, engagement with the arts, creative research and outreach methodologies to develop African-based contributions to theories of human mobility and transforming modes of social engagement, authority, representation, and expression. The initiative brings together five African universities dedicated to cultivating a generation of African scholars to reshape global social theory and scholarly conversations on mobility, cities, and social change. It promises to open novel scholarly frontiers and enhance pedagogy and partnerships in ways that positively transform the continent’s universities.

Eligible Fields
Post-doctoral fellowship proposals are invited from recent social science and humanities graduates dedicated to answering one or more of the following questions

  • What cultural practices are being reshaped and reconceptualised by mobile urban residents? What are the practical enacted ethics that enable people to make sense of varied diversities and to communicate and exchange across social divisions? How do people make sense of difference without shared histories or the disciplining institutions of common states, religion, or markets?
  • What new forms of moral authority operate in rapidly urbanising contexts? What are the forms of alternative authority that emerge in contexts where the State is largely absent?
  • How are these changing people’s imagination of traditional hierarchies of age gender and family structure? How are these connected to new notions of morality rooted in age gender and social obligation?
  • How are changing forms of violence legitimated? What becomes visible as violence and what is eclipsed?
  • How does widespread translocalism and ongoing mobility reshape urban morphologies and residential patterns; social interactions; subjective understanding of citizenship; representation and civic identity: what is political society in spaces only loosely structured by states and formal markets?

Partnering Institutions

  • University of Cape Town;
  • University of Ghana, Legon;
  • University of Nairobi;
  • University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg ;
  • University of Zimbabwe, Harare

Successful applications will have completed an appropriate Social Science or Humanities PhD by the start of the Fellowship. Special preference will be given to those who have studied or worked with ARUA members or associated universities. These include Addis Ababa University; University of Cape Town; University of Dar es Salaam; Cheikh Anta Diop University; University of Ibadan; University of KwaZulu-Natal; University of Ghana; University of Lagos; Obafemi Awolowo University; Makerere University; University of Nairobi; National University of Rwanda; University of Pretoria; Rhodes University; University of Stellenbosch; University of Witwatersrand.

Duration and Nature of Fellowship
The programme is for a one-year period at one of the five partner universities. Fellows will be expected to participate in an exchange programme or collaborative activity with one or more of the project partners. Fellows are expected to participate actively in University life while dedicating most of their time preparing previous research for scholarly publication. During their time, they will be expected to lead one or more seminars on their work and prepare for future research initiatives.

Application requirements
Applications should include:

  • A cover letter summarizing past research, qualifications and location of the postdoctoral fellow- applicants should indicate if they would consider being hosted by an alternative institution.
  • A complete academic CV.
  • A short proposal (1500 word maximum) outlining a yearlong research and publishing programme.
  • Three professional reference letters speaking to abilities to publish, collaborative work, and the development a future research agenda (these should be sent directly to the address below)
  • A writing sample of not more than 15,000 words (e.g., book or dissertation chapter; article).

Applications are due midnight of March 1, 2018.


  • Only students who have completed their degrees within the last three years will be considered.
  • Selections will be completed by June 2018 with successful candidates expected to be in their positions between September 2018 and January 2019. 
  • All queries and application materials must be emailed to emergingurban@migration.org.za