Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Opportunity: Environmental and Social Dimensions of the Bio-economy

Applications are invited for a post-doctoral research fellowship on the bio-economy, beginning January 2019. The position forms part of the SARChI Research Chair held by A/Professor Rachel Wynberg.

We seek a suitably qualified scholar to join a dynamic and growing team of researchers in exploring critical perspectives relating to this rapidly growing field.

Research proposals are invited in one or more of the following thematic areas:

  1. Exploring alternative agricultural futures through agroecology and farmer-led seed systems.
  2. Reimagining access and benefit sharing (ABS) in response to changed markets, technologies and demand for access to biodiversity.
  3. Deepening knowledge about approaches to biodiversity use and trade in southern Africa that alleviate poverty, reduce inequality and improve environmental sustainability.
  4. Elucidating governance approaches that strengthen the rights of biodiversity custodians, small-scale farmers and traditional knowledge holders.
  5. Providing critical perspectives on biotechnology and its governance.
  6. Foodways in the Global South.

The tenure of the fellowship is for two years, with the second year subject to satisfactory progress. The value of the fellowship is R240,000 per annum. The fellowship does not include benefits or travel/relocation costs but does include an additional stipend of R50,000 for conference and fieldwork expenses.


  1. A PhD in a relevant field, awarded within the last five years.
  2. Evidence of strong scholarly performance (e.g. publications, participation in research projects, networks, conference presentations).
  3. A strong interest in interdisciplinary.
  4. Interest in working with postgraduate students and as a member of a research team.
  5. Interest in engaged scholarship.


Applications should be sent to and should include:

  1. A detailed letter of motivation describing your interest in the Chair, the work you wish to pursue during the fellowship, and its alignment to the thematic areas of the Chair.
  2. A comprehensive CV.
  3. At least one example of recent, written work.
  4. The names and contact details of two referees, who should also be requested to submit their confidential reports to Prof Wynberg by the closing date.

Further information can be obtained from

The closing date for applications is 31 August 2018.