Call for Applications: Doctoral & Post-Doctoral Research Fellowships in Higher Education Studies


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The Institute for Post-School Studies (IPSS) is an institute at the University of Western Cape (UWC), located within the Faculty of Education. IPSS includes studies in higher education, adult education and vocational education. Relevant research, teaching and development activities across the three domains of the IPSS contribute towards growing the knowledge base on post-schooling particularly in Africa and globally.
The IPSS is committed to offering post-graduate and funded full-time doctoral programmes of a high standard.

Some of the programmes are offered in partnership with other international institutions. For example, there is currently a Doctoral programme in Higher Education Studies planned to be offered jointly with Eduardo Mondlane University, in Mozambique, and other international partners. The IPSS’s priority is to strengthen research capacity throughout the academic networks within and beyond the African continent.

IPSS priorities include promoting international conferences; workshops on higher education theory and research methodology, academic writing and publishing, research and policy project design and advocacy. The Higher Education Studies (HES) programme invites applications for 7 (seven) doctoral candidates and 3 (three) Post-doctoral research fellows for a programme set to start in January 2017, or as soon as possible thereafter. The doctoral candidates must have completed the master’s degree at the time of their application.

Admission requirements for doctoral candidates:
a. An average grade of 60% in masters studies or equivalent qualification.
b. Academic transcripts.
c. A completed application form.
d. An essay of about 4, 000 – 5, 000 words expressing interest and experience in the field of higher education as well as a possible research question to guide your future study. Essay to be supported by current literature on the issue being addressed.
e. Three references, with two of them written by former academic mentors and teachers.
f. Work experience in the higher education field will be an added advantage.
g. English language proficiency in reading and writing. If master’s degree was not offered in English then a TOEFL or IELTS result score will be required.
h. Upper limit age of 40 yrs.

Eligibility criteria
To qualify for Doctoral and Post-doctoral positions candidates must be African nationals and able to make a substantial contribution to teaching, research and publications in the field of HES.

Application requirements for Post-doctoral programme
To apply please submit the following documentation:
• Motivation letter, including not more than a 1000 words outline of relevant expertise and experience;
• Full Curriculum Vitae including a list of research publications, conference papers and other scholarly output;
• Full transcripts of academic record and copy of doctoral degree certificate;
• Copy of ID document (or copy of passport in the case of foreign applicants);
• Contact details of two academic referees who have taught/supervised the candidate.

Duration of the programme
The Doctoral degree is a three-year full-time research-intensive programme. Entry into the programme will be very competitive as it is a fully funded programme. Please furnish all information required when you apply. Incomplete applications will be dismissed. A post-doctoral research fellowship is a 12-month contract that can be renewable for another period of 12 months. The position is a full-time research intensive fellowship in accordance with the regulations of the IPSS/UWC. The successful postdoctoral fellows would be expected to perform research within the scope of the projects and other related tasks assigned by the post-doctoral supervisor and academic mentor.

The main tasks for the post-doctoral fellows will be:
• To assist and mentor doctoral students admitted to the programme;
• Design and conduct studies that will be undertaken under the supervision and mentorship of the programme coordinator and a team of highly reputable experts in the field;
• Co-supervision of postgraduate students;
• Co-writing of funding proposals;
• Presentation of scientific communication at relevant local and international scholarly conferences;
• Co-organizing doctoral and post-doc research seminar series and other academic events in the IPSS.

Fellows should have a PhD in Higher Education, Studies of Science and Innovation, Social Sciences and Humanities or a closely related field. Experience and interest in comparative and cross-national and interdisciplinary research will also be an added advantage. Skills required include competency in both qualitative and quantitative research methods, a good command of English, and writing abilities.

The recipient of the post-doctoral fellowship is expected to work under the supervision and mentorship of the coordinator of the programme and experts in the field. The IPSS is committed to equal opportunities for men and women. Therefore, women are particularly invited and encouraged to apply.

Applications should be emailed, in a single pdf file, to or

This programme is supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and other IPSS partners.

Click to download PDF version of call for applications_IPSS_DHES_2016