Eighteen-month full-time fixed-term contract with the possibility of extension subject to the availability of funding.
(Ref. EBW07/093/0321)


The Centre for Sustainability Transitions is a flagship research initiative at Stellenbosch University (SU) that brings together research on transdisciplinary, complexity, sustainability and social-ecological resilience to inform pressing national, continental and global sustainability and development challenges. The CST hosts leading scientists and students from diverse disciplinary backgrounds and fosters collaborations with a variety of departments across the University, nationally and globally, providing a vibrant hub for solution-oriented, transdisciplinary sustainability science that is primarily funded from external research grants. The primary objective of the CST is to co-produce transformational knowledge on the dynamics of multi-scale social-ecological change in partnership with key stakeholders, and thereby provide strategic insights into the new modes of research and governance that can bring about a just transition to a more equitable and sustainable society, in southern Africa and globally.

The CST seeks to appoint a senior researcher for an 18-month fixed-term contract. The incumbent will be interested in working on issues related to energy transitions, particularly focused on the `institutional work’ of aligning investments in the energy transition with social equity outcomes. A core focus of this work will be convening and facilitating an international network of stakeholders from the communities of climate finance and development finance. The incumbent will work closely with, and report to, Dr. Megan Davies and Prof. Mark Swilling at the CST.

Responsibilities of the incumbent would include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Conducting and coordinating (primary and secondary) research that enables a better understanding of the role of DFIs in post-COVID-19 socio-economic recovery;
  • Initiating and managing international stakeholder networks;
  • Designing and conducting an international research stay-exchange as part of fieldwork and stakeholder engagement;
  • Assisting the project lead(ers) in the analytical work that compares findings and leads to a synthesis of key lessons for critical stakeholders;
  • Contributing research dissemination and the co-production of academic publications, reports and policy briefs and various working papers;
  • Assisting the project lead(ers) in the day-to-day management, reporting and administration of the project;
  • Participating in all activities of institution building at CST, including involvement in teaching and MPhil supervision.

Job requirements:

  • PhD degree in a relevant discipline such as energy policy, energy systems, energy economics, energy finance. Other disciplines such as political science, sociology, anthropology, public policy, public administration, with a dissertation focused on energy finance, energy policy, energy systems, the politics of energy transitions, will be considered;
  • At least two to three years’ relevant work experience in the field of energy policy, energy finance, and energy systems with respect to research or practice, project management and fieldwork;
  • Demonstrated potential to achieve success in teaching and postgraduate supervision;
  • Evidence of between two and five academic publications and excellent academic and report writing capabilities;
  • Familiarity with trends in global energy transition, with a particular focus on the dynamics of finance and investment;
  • Experience with the academic fields of sustainability transitions, energy policy, and energy finance;
  • Ability to work in international research collaborations as well as in partnership with social actors;
  • Track record and experience in managing and coordinating research projects;
  • The ability to excellently communicate and write in English;
  • Evidence of strong academic achievements.


  • Evidence of international work in the sustainability-related science-policy field;
  • Evidence of strong scholarly performance and commitment to publishing;
  • Specialist experience in the energy transitions, energy finance, energy policy fields;
  • Participation in international development finance or climate finance networks;
  • Experience in postgraduate supervision in the field of sustainable development;
  • Experience with teaching and learning at an undergraduate and postgraduate level, in the field of sustainable development.

How to apply

The University is committed to employment equity (EE), and appointments will be made in line with the EE plan for the specific environment as well as Stellenbosch University’s institutional EE Plan.

The University reserves the right not to make an appointment.

Your application, comprising a comprehensive curriculum vitae (including the names and e-mail addresses of at least three referees), must reach the University before or on the closing date of the advertised post.

The University reserves the right to investigate qualifications and conduct background checks on all candidates.

Should no feedback be received from the University within four weeks of the closing date, kindly accept that your application did not succeed.

For further information:
Enquiries regarding job content: Dr. Megan Davies on 021 918 4122, or at megandavies@sun.ac.za

Enquiries regarding remuneration/benefits as well as technical assistance with the electronic application process:

Human Resources Client Service Centre on 021 808 2753, or at SUN-E-HR@sun.ac.za