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Hobart Houghton

Hobart Houghton Research Fellowship

Background to the Fellowship

The research fellowship is named after Professor Desmond Hobart Houghton who taught Economics at Rhodes from 1933 to 1966 (but for the period 1939-1945), and thereafter, till 1973, was director of the Institute of Social and Economic Research of the University. During his forty years at Rhodes, Hobart Houghton made significant contributions to thinking about the economic problems of South Africa as a whole, but his particular concern, and the major focus of his research, was the problem of poverty and economic development in the Eastern Cape region, in which the University is situated. The country's economic problems, and those of the Eastern Cape in particular, are clearly no less pressing today than in the past.

Purpose of the Fellowship

The Fellowship is intended to promote work of scientific value, relevant to the economic problems of the Eastern Cape, which could contribute to the upliftment of the people of the region. It is also seen as a fitting memorial to Desmond Hobart Houghton. Funding for the establishment of the Fellowship has been provided by Hobart Houghton's former students and associates and by the Liberty Life Educational Foundation.

Scope of research relevant to the Eastern Cape

The criterion of "relevance to the Eastern Cape" is to be interpreted broadly. It may in some cases involve fieldwork within the Province, as for instance in a study of rural households or unemployment. In other cases, as perhaps for some problems of industrialisation in the region, the key to understanding might lie largely in developments at the national and international levels. In all cases the aim is fundamental research, yielding results which are of more than local or regional interest, rather than description of particular provincial problems. The basic requirement thus is simply that the research deal with significant issues which are directly or indirectly relevant to the Eastern Cape.

Tenure of the Fellowship

The term over which the fellowship is awarded, is usually flexible and renewable and will be decided upon in conjunction with the circumstances of the successful applicant and the nature of the research and progress made on it.

In the past, the fellowship has typically been awarded for one year, which is still a possibility, but the current strategy of the department is to invite applicants for the fellowship for shorter periods, say 6-8 weeks during the second semester of the academic year.


Prospective Fellows should have had research experience, and hold at least a Masters degree in Economics or Agricultural Economics. They should have a sound knowledge of economic analysis and be capable of independent, innovative work. Candidates may either be established scholars (possibly on sabbatical leave) or young, promising economists.

Value and conditions of the award

The amount of the award will be determined on an annual basis. A typical package includes return airfare to Grahamstown, accommodation in university visitor's flats, plus a monthly cost of living stipend, all determined by the availability of funds and the background and status of the fellow. Apart from the research, the Fellowship will not involve any other duties, and the Fellow will not be an employee of the University. The amount paid to the Fellow will thus effectively be in the nature of a scholarship. Limited funds will be available for travel and other research expenses. The successful candidate will be expected to reside in Grahamstown for the period of the Fellowship. The Fellow, for the term of the Fellowship, will be an honorary member of staff of the University. At the conclusion of the Fellowship, the Fellow will be required to publish an article in an accredited (subsidised) academic journal, credited to Rhodes University or partly to Rhodes University and partly to the Fellow's home University or Institution.

Publications produced by previous Fellows can be viewed on the website;


Research environment

There is a strong tradition of research in the Department. The current research of members of staff and graduate students reflects a wide range of interests including: agriculture and development; the labour market; health economics; international trade and finance; industrialisation; economic development; foreign investment; economic history; and Southern African regional economic integration. The Fellow will have an office in the Department. The University provides an excellent computer service. Access is decentralised and most staff studies are linked directly to the internet. The Department also has an extensive database on computer.

Last Modified :Thu, 25 May 2017 16:58:38 SAST