We are about to launch a new phase of the Fairwork project in South Africa with our colleagues at the University of Cape Town, the University of the Western Cape, the University of Manchester, and the University of Oxford. As part of those next steps, we are hiring a full-time 29-month postdoc to work directly with Professor Jean-Paul van Belle (UCT) along with Professor Richard Heeks (Manchester), Jamie Woodcock (Oxford), and myself (Mark Graham, Oxford). We hope to have someone in place at the University of Cape Town as soon as possible so that we can start the project in the next few months. Please share widely with any people/lists/forums that you think might be interested/suitable.
POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCH FELLOWSHIP: EVALUATING DIGITAL WORK PLATFORMS IN SOUTH AFRICA AGAINST DECENT WORK STANDARDS
Closing Date: 31 August 2018
The Centre for Information Technology and National Development in Africa (CITANDA) wishes to appoint a Postdoctoral Research Fellow (PDRF) in the evaluation of digital work platforms (Uber, SweepSouth, Upwork, etc.) in South Africa against decent work standards.
The PDRF will conduct research for a multi-disciplinary research project supported by the UK Economic and Social Research Council as part of its GCRF New Models of Sustainable Development programme. The research project aims to (i) improve working conditions for digital platform-workers in low- and middle-income countries; (ii) develop a certification scheme designed to set minimum standards for decent work and actively certify platforms through a newly-created “Fairwork Foundation”; and (iii) create a Code of Practice for South African platforms.
The PDRF will be responsible for a discrete area of research that seeks to understand key structural and individual-level concerns relating to platform work in South Africa; the key issues and obstacles experienced by South African platform workers; and the differentiation of such issues for particularly disadvantaged or vulnerable sub-groups. This will involve both desk and primary field research, most likely conducted in Cape Town and Johannesburg.
The PDRF role is an exciting opportunity to undertake cutting-edge research on a topic that is central to the future of work and to the harnessing of digital technologies for socio-economic development. Working within CITANDA, you will be part of a well-resourced, culturally-diverse and friendly research unit. More broadly, you will be working as part of a collaborative and multi-disciplinary team of world-leading academics from the University of Cape Town (Prof. JP van Belle), University of the Western Cape (Prof. Darcy du Toit), University of Oxford (Prof. Sandy Fredman, Prof. Mark Graham) and University of Manchester (Prof. Richard Heeks) spanning internet studies, law, information systems and development studies.
- A PhD, awarded within the previous five years, in a relevant field which could include – but is not limited to – internet studies, information systems, development studies, or work and employment.
- Strong skills in the planning, implementation, software-based analysis and write-up of primary field data.
- Practical experience of qualitative fieldwork in a global South context.
- Demonstrated ability to undertake desk-based evidence reviews.
- Demonstrated capacity to produce peer-reviewed research articles.
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English.
- Ability to work independently within a research team and to meet deadlines.
- Knowledge and experience of field research in South Africa.
- Knowledge of South African official languages other than English.
- Specific expertise relating to digital platform work.
- Prior experience of working on research projects.
Conditions of award:
- Applicants must have completed their doctoral degrees within the past 5 years and may not previously have held a full-time permanent professional or academic post.
- No benefits or allowances are included in the Fellowship but the fellowship stipend is tax free.
- As part of their professional development, the successful candidate may be required to participate in a limited capacity in other CITANDA activities such as teaching and/or student supervision.
- The successful applicant will be required to register as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Cape Town immediately and will not be considered a UCT employee.
- The successful applicant will be required to comply with the university’s approved policies, procedures and practices for the postdoctoral sector.
Value and tenure:
- The value of the fellowship is ZAR 260,000 pa and is tenable for up to 29 months. A performance review will happen after the first year. Any further extension would be dependent on performance, and sourcing of additional funding for the post.
Applicants should submit (i) an application letter that includes a short description of their expertise and research interests, and how these relate to the position, specifically addressing the required and desirable criteria listed, (ii) a CV including a publication list, iii) a copy of their PhD thesis and up to two published or submitted papers, (iv) copies of academic transcripts and/or certificates, and (v) email addresses of at least two referees directly involved in their PhD and/or previous postdoctoral research.
- Only eligible and complete applications will be considered by the selection committee.
- Interviews are likely to take place in September 2018 and the successful candidate is expected to start as soon as possible thereafter.
Applications received before 31 August are guaranteed to be considered. Applications received thereafter may be considered if the position has not been filled.
Contact details for submission of applications: Freda Parker at email@example.com
Contact details for enquiries about the fellowship topic: Jean-Paul.VanBelle@uct.ac.za
The University of Cape Town reserves the right to disqualify ineligible, incomplete and/or inappropriate applications. The University of Cape Town also reserves the right to change the conditions of the award or to make no award at all.