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Date Released: Mon, 26 June 2017 12:10 +0200



Do you have a Master’s degree in environmental education OR environmental sciences (with a social science emphasis), social anthropology, sociology, social learning, agricultural or development economics / studies, mobile learning, or social dynamics of the food system? Do you have good ICT skills and are you interested in mobile learning?

The SARChI Chair in Transformative Social Learning and Green Skills Learning Pathways at Rhodes University, located in the Environmental Learning Research Centre in the Faculty of Education in Grahamstown, South Africa (www.ru.ac.za/elrc), has a three year doctoral or two year post-doctoral research opportunity for a young career researcher interested in transformative learning, mobile social learning and food systems research. The researcher will be required to undertake interdisciplinary research, with emphasis on mobile social learning systems in the food chain.

The researcher will work as a lead researcher on social learning with a team of researchers who will be pilot testing the development, use and uptake of a specially designed cellular phone application tool in two sites – the Eastern Cape and the Western Cape. The purpose of the cellular application is to re-route surplus food to where it can be used, thus reducing food waste, and increasing the potential for food re-distribution. The research will focus on how to create robust processes of social learning and change in the context of food waste and insecurity, growing connectivity particularly through cell phones, and the urgent need to more adequately manage and avoid food waste.

The project will offer the researcher an opportunity to be part of an active network of researchers and consultants working on food waste reduction in South Africa. The project is part of the United Nations Environment Programmes’ 10 Year Framework Programme on Sustainable Consumption and Production (http://www.unep.org/10YFP), and will therefore also give the researcher an opportunity to get involved in this international programme and network.

 Applicants would be required to start as soon as possible. The total value of the bursary / funding support is ZAR (South African Rand) 350 000 (spread over two years), with an additional possible R30 000 in student assistance funding (i.e. R380 000). Fieldwork costs of up to R20 000 per annum will be covered which extends the full value of the research funding over two years to a maximum of R420 000 (depending on actual fieldwork costs). For PhD scholars, an additional year of funding to the value of R120 000 would potentially be available, depending on progress and approval of funding from the SARChI NRF Chair funding (i.e. total value of R540 000 over three years).

Please submit a CV, ACADEMIC RECORD (including certified copies of degrees), and a two page letter of motivation outlining how your current academic research and professional expertise can feed into and contribute to the above mentioned research programme. Indicate why you are interested in mobile social learning and food systems research in Africa. Please indicate your availability to start on the project (i.e. date that you would be available to start the research).

NB: You will be expected to be resident in Grahamstown for the duration of the research project (2 years for post-docs and 3 years for PhD scholars) and to contribute pro-actively to the research activities of the Environmental Learning Research Centre.

Submit your CV, ACADEMIC RECORD and letter of motivation to Thato Tantsi on t.tantsi@ru.ac.za by no later than 15 July 2017.

Source:ELRC-Environmental Learning Research Centre