PhD Fellowship at the University of Cape Town

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UNESCO-IHE in The Netherlands, and the following partners: Makerere University in Uganda, KNUST in Ghana, AIT in Thailand, 2iE in Burkina Faso, ITB in Indonesia, UCT in South Africa, UFMG in Brazil, and Univalle in Colombia were recently awarded a US$8 million grant by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The grant will be used to finance a 5-year capacity building and research project to stimulate local innovation in sanitation for poor urban residents in sub-Saharan Africa and South-East Asia.

The project has two principal objectives: (i) to undertake research in order to stimulate local innovation in sanitation for poor urban residential areas, and (ii) to strengthen the capacity of personnel in the sanitation sector in developing countries through education and training. More information on the project may be obtained from:

PhD Fellowships at UCT

The University of Cape Town (UCT) is calling for applicants who are interested in working towards a PhD full-time in the thematic area:
Smart sanitation provision for slums and informal settlements. The preliminary research topic (which is negotiable) is: "The design, operation and maintenance of public ablution facilities in high-density slums and informal settlements in the cities of Africa."

The grant will cover: study permit (if required), travel to UCT by the successful applicant at the beginning of the research and back home on successful completion; the direct costs incurred in connection with the research; travel to selected conferences; academic fees; a laptop; an annual book allowance and a tax-free scholarship of US$18.900 per year (approximately R145,000 per year) for up to four years to cover living expenses (dependent on the student making adequate progress). Although it is envisaged that the successful applicants will be largely resident at UCT, fieldwork may be carried out in any city in sub-Saharan Africa.
In this regard, UCT will be working closely together with Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana, and Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda (Theme Leader). The expected commencement date for the project is early 2012 and successful applicants will be expected to complete their theses within 4 years. Applicants should preferably be young researchers from sub-Saharan Africa; however researchers from other developing regions may also apply.


1) Candidates must have a Master's degree in a discipline relevant to the research theme, e.g. sanitary engineering, civil engineering, environmental science, environmental engineering or anthropology
2)Applicants must demonstrate a strong interest and significant experience in conducting and managing interdisciplinary sanitation-related research
3)Applicants with a pronounced affinity for on-the-ground fieldwork will be preferred
4)The applicant must be proficient in both spoken and written academic English, with well developed communication and writing skills

How to apply?

Applications should be sent by email to Prof. Neil Armitage,, by 9 March 2012.
The email should be headed "PhD application to BMGF project" and include as attachments:
i) Curriculum vitae,
ii) Scanned examination transcripts (i.e. with grades) for all previous degrees,
iii) The names and contact details of at least two referees,
iv) A letter of motivation in which the applicant outlines her/his reasons for wanting to be considered, and
v) Examples of recent written work (e.g. theses, published papers, articles etc.).

Short-listed candidates will be contacted by the end of March 2012.

For further information on the PhD programme associated with the project refer to:

Job Duration: 
Level of Education: