Vacancy: Researcher on Climate Change and Development

28 Jul 2021
28 Jul 2021

Researcher on Climate Change and Development (Paid on Claim Basis)
Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance, University of Cape Town
12-month position


The mission of the Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance (NMSPG), based at the University of Cape Town (UCT), is to promote and inspire strategic public leadership in Africa. As a multi-disciplinary centre, the School and its offerings are designed to make public service at the highest levels of leadership an aspiration for the most talented of the community’s rising generation.

The position

The NMSPG is seeking a researcher candidate for a twelve-month fellowship in climate change and development, based at the University of Cape Town. The candidate’s research will inform the NMSPG knowledge base on the nexus between climate change and development in Africa and be used to provide policy advise to regional actors on their climate change positions. The position will be appointed on a “paid on claim” basis and payments will be done against agreed upon deliverables.

Main tasks and responsibilities:

  • Build a body of knowledge around the political economy of climate change globally and its impact on Africa’s developmental trajectory.
  • Track global climate change developments at the Conference of the Parties and in other multi-lateral fora like the G20 and the AU-EU Summit and analyse how these affect African countries and the continent more broadly.
  • Provide data-based policy advise to African countries and the region.
  • Identify opportunities that exist to leverage climate change interventions to unlock new avenues for development on the continent as well as how these can be positioned globally.
  • Provide targeted analysis upon request from African countries and regional organisations.
  • Contribute to the teaching, course and content conceptualization and supervision of Masters students at the NMSPG.


  • Hold a PHD in development economics, environmental economics, or related field.
  • At least five years of experience undertaking high quality research on climate change and development on the African continent.
  • Proven experience in providing data-based policy advise on issues related to climate change and development in Africa.
  • A strong understanding of political economy, geopolitics and the international climate change architecture.
  • Understanding of climate financing mechanisms an advantage.

Languages: Fluency in English. Working knowledge of French is an advantage.

Nationality: This position is available to nationals of African countries only.

To apply, please e-mail the documents below in a single pdf file clearly indicating “NMSPG Researcher” in the subject line to Wendy Hendricks (

  • Letter of application (stating areas of expertise, research interests and experience);
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV), not more than 3 pages.
  • List of publications/scholarly outputs.
  • Copies of academic transcripts; and
  • Contact details of two academics whom the applicant has been supervised by or worked with.

An application that does not comply with the above requirements will be regarded as incomplete.

The University of Cape Town reserves the right to disqualify ineligible, incomplete and/or inappropriate applications, and change the conditions of award or to make no awards at all.

Eligible and complete applications will be considered by a Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance selection sub-committee. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.


Closing date: noon 13 August 2021