Human Sciences Research Council: Young African Research Fellowship (Cape Town)

Young African Research Fellowship

Company Human Sciences Research Council

Reference # TIE-YARF/11/2020

Published 18/11/2020

Contract Type Contract

24 Months

Salary Market Related

Location Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa


In delivering ‘social science that makes a difference’ the Research Divisions, Units, Institutes and Centres of the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) undertake policy-oriented research from its offices in Pretoria, Cape Town, Durban, and Pietermaritzburg. Our public purpose mandate is set out in the Human Sciences Research Council Act of 2008.

The Inclusive Economic Development (IED) division of the HSRC undertakes research that aims to transform educational outcomes and increase economic participation. It recognises that education and the economy have long been linked, and thus conducts research in both areas, sometimes discretely, often overlapping, and through a multidisciplinary lens. We research ways to improve the context of learning for those who have had unequal starting points as well the social, spatial and structural obstacles to economic participation to bring about the gains and growth South Africa and the African continent needs.

With the support of the Mastercard Foundation, IED is presently undertaking a study which seeks to determine the impact of education on academically talented and leadership-oriented but economically disadvantaged young people. The project titled, The Imprint of Education (TIE), is both a qualitative and quantitative study which spans seven research sites (Ethiopia, Ghana, Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, and the Diaspora - young Africans currently working or studying outside of the African continent originating from any African country).

In order to develop the capacity of masters graduates who have previously received a scholarship through the Mastercard Foundation Scholarship Programme (MSP) and to conduct contextually-based research for one aspect of The Imprint of Education study, IED is offering seven (7) paid two-year research fellowships, ideally one from each site described above. Known as Young African Research Fellowships (YARFs), successful fellows will be based in Cape Town for a period of two years. Fellowships begin 1 August 2021 and end on 31 July 2023.

Position: Young African Research Fellowship (YARF) – 7 positions

(Ref. No: TIE-YARF/11/2020)

Job Functions Research

Industries Research


Fellows will be engaged on the component of the overall study that investigates the structural barriers that may hamper livelihood generation for young people in Africa, and the factors that encourage their wider contribution to society after graduation. They will form an integral part of the research team, both undertaking research from their contexts and experience, and being capacitated in the fundamentals of research and its dissemination. This will help prepare Fellows for further graduate work, or ready them to take up employment across the continent in the public and development sectors.

Fellows will be required to:

1.Attend relevant training and team meetings

2.Conduct literature reviews

3.Prepare research instruments

4.Conduct fieldwork in their country of residence (approx. 12 weeks)

5.Translate and transcribe interviews

6.Analyse data

7.Produce podcasts and concepts for graphic data displays

8.Participate in producing an interactive digital museum on findings to stimulate dialogue

9.Contribute to writing of research reports and journal articles

10.Engage, where possible, in the wider work of the HSRC to develop experience


To be eligible to be considered for this Young African Research Fellowship, applicants must:

1. Have received a scholarship from the Mastercard Foundation for any period of their university studies

2. Have a completed masters degree in any field (or have proof of graduation occurring in 2021)

3. Have an interest in undertaking social science research

4. Be a citizen of any of the following countries: Ghana, Rwanda, Uganda, South Africa, Kenya, Ethiopia, or from any African country if currently residing outside of the continent

5. Be well connected in their home country, and able to travel freely and confidently to meet people and conduct research as part of their fellowship

6. Be eligible to apply for an Extended Visitor’s Visa for the purpose of conducting academic research – see

7. Be fluent in English and in one or more of the local languages of their home country

8. Have excellent public and interpersonal communication skills

9. Have good computer skills, with knowledge of website design and communication strategies an added advantage

The HSRC offers a fixed market-related salary for this fellowship (ZAR383,300 p.a., approximately USD24,000). Medical, tax and other statutory deductions will be made. Included in the fellowship are two return tickets (one to take up the fellowship and the other to conduct fieldwork), and a laptop computer which can be retained upon completion of the fellowship. No other relocation costs will be paid to the successful candidate. Help and advice will be given regarding housing but this will be for successful candidates’ own accounts.


(1) A ONE page letter of motivation indicating your suitability for the position;

(2) A CV that must include the details of three recent referees with telephone and e-mail contact details; and

(3) A 5-8 page writing sample, preferably from your masters dissertation or any publication you have authored.

You will be required to undertake a written or verbal exercise to test your competencies should you be selected for interview.

Please submit your application on-line at If you experience problems applying online, please send your applications to with the relevant reference in the subject line. For further information about the HSRC or the position please consult our website (

Enquiries (NOT Applications or CVs) may be directed to Dr Adam Cooper via email at

Closing date: 15 January 2021. We encourage applicants to submit prior to the closing date. If you do not receive any response from us within eight weeks, please accept that your application was unsuccessful. Only candidates who are interviewed will be advised of the outcome of their application. The HSRC reserves the right not to make an appointment.

Important Note: Although the HSRC will endeavor to facilitate the process, it will be the responsibility of the successful candidate to secure a valid visa in accordance with the SA Government's applicable legislation and procedures. The abovementioned commencement date will be postponed to such date as the visa is issued but no later than 1 February 2022. If the visa application is refused, the fellowship offer will become null and void.


Job Closing Date 15/01/2021

Click HERE to apply

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