UCT, through the African Climate and Development Initiative (ACDI) and the Future Water Institute (FWI), is recruiting a postdoctoral research fellow (PDRF), who will be one several researchers in UCT’s SDG PDRF cohort.  The PDRF will undertake research that will conceptualise and scope out the potential for a Cape Town Resilience Observatory.  The research will involve two key components in the first year: (i) building on the initial work undertaken on resilience as part of UCT’s SDG Summit position paper, to build a conceptual model of the key social, governance, economic, infrastructure, and other characteristics of resilient urban systems, using Cape Town as the practical example, considering key potential environmental and socioeconomic shocks and stressors; (ii) build from this conceptual model to define a set of resilience metrics that could be tracked within a resilience observatory; (iii) identify which metrics are already available and could be brought into an observatory; (iv) design a measurement / observing system for key metrics that are not currently reported.



  • A PhD, awarded or submitted, within the last four years, in a topic of relevance to the project objectives, for example system dynamics analysis and/or modelling, socio-ecological resilience, adaptive governance, disaster studies.
  • A strong publication record for the candidate’s career stage
  • Ability to work in interdisciplinary settings


Desirable additional skills and experience

  • Previous postdoctoral research experience, in a topic of relevance to the position
  • Experience in the collection, management, and analysis of large multivariate datasets.
  • Capacity for engaged research and an ability to contribute to knowledge translation.
  • A driver’s licence valid for use in South Africa.


Conditions of Award

  • The appointment is for one year at the outset, with a possible extension of two years subject to budgetary approval and satisfactory annual progress
  • This postdoctoral research fellowship (PDRF) is only available to individuals who have achieved the doctoral degree within the past four years
  • The value of the fellowship is R300k annually (tax free)
  • No benefits or allowances are included in the value of the fellowship
  • A PDRF may not previously have held full-time permanent professional or academic posts
  • No service or services in return for this fellowship is expected
  • A PDRF is required to comply with the University’s approved policies, procedures and practices for the postdoctoral sector
  • The PDRF must live in or relocate to Cape Town; relocation is at the PDRF’s own expense
  • The PDRF will also be a member of the SDG PDRF cohort which will, in this capacity, be hosted by the DVC for Research and Internationalisation
  • Fifty per cent of the PDRFs’ time will be devoted to research associated with the mandate of the SDG PDRF cohort that entails research collaboration across departmental and faculty boundaries at UCT among the seven thematic tracks of the SDGs Africa Summit held in September 2021.

To apply, candidates are invited to send: (i) a cover letter outlining their interest in the position and how they meet the requirements of the position; (ii) CV including research experience; and (iii) the contact details of two appropriate referees by e-mail to adiela.floris@uct.ac.za by no later than 10 February 2023.  Email subject should read “SDG Cohort Postdoc YOUR SURNAME”. Selection of the eligible candidate/s will be made by the Directors of ACDI and FWI and a sub-committee drawn from academics in both institutes.

The University of Cape Town reserves the right to disqualify ineligible, incomplete and/or inappropriate applications, to change the conditions of award and to make no awards at all. In line with university transformation policies, preference will be given to applicants from designated groups.