Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN)

PhD student position in the research education subject: Rural development
6 March 2015

Cash transfers and long-term sustainable livelihoods in South Africa

A position as PhD student at the Department of Urban and Rural Development, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), is available. The department has four divisions: rural development, landscape architecture, environmental communication and agrarian history.

The research subject rural development builds on several social scientific disciplines and also considers natural scientific perspectives. It considers the specific conditions of rural areas and the ways in which they are linked with regional, national and global processes of change and development. Important research areas are rural policy effects; natural resources and land use; social, political and economic relations; rural-urban interrelationships; demography/migration and household economies.

The PhD project will be undertaken within the larger research project entitled: "Can cash transfers have long-term effects on rural livelihoods in poor countries: Learning lessons from the effects of the child grant in South Africa", financed by the research council Formas. The project will use surveys, in-depth interviews and group discussions to follow up approximately 250 households in two villages in rural South Africa. The livelihoods of these households were mapped using the same methods in 2002, and the project aims to study the processes that can lead to improved livelihood situations, especially focusing on the potential long-term effects of small cash transfers, such as the child grant that some households have received since 2002. Within this framework, the PhD student will also have influence over the design of the PhD project, in a dialogue with the supervisors. The PhD student will be supervised by a main supervisor from the division of rural development and two assistant supervisors from University of Johannesburg and University of the Western Cape in South Africa. There will also be opportunities to take some of the PhD courses in South Africa.

Qualifications Qualifications needed for becoming a PhD student is a completed masters level degree or at least four years of full time university-level studies out of which one year should be at an advanced level. A degree in rural development or human ecology, human geography, anthropology, sociology or similar subjects is particularly suitable, but other degrees can also be relevant. Selection among the applicants will be based on: written application including CV, thesis, personal references, appropriate level of English knowledge and performance at a final interview. Knowledge in subjects relevant for this research project and experience of fieldwork in the Global South are considered merits.

Forms for funding or employment Employment as PhD student 4 years

SLU is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

A person has basic eligibility for third level education if he or she has taken a second level qualification or has completed course requirements of at least 240 higher education credits, including at least 60 higher education credits at second level.Those who met the requirements for general eligibility before July 1st, 2007, i.e. had completed a programme of higher education for at least 180 Higher education credits or the equivalent, will continue to do so until the end of 2015."

Selection among applicants meeting the requirements is made with reference to written application including curriculum vitae, copies of degrees and transcripts of academic records, one copy of the dissertation for masters or undergraduate degree, a list of at least two references familiar with the applicant's qualifications, certified knowledge of the English language and an interview.

Read more about the PhD education in the Handbook for postgraduate students

Read about the PhD education at SLU at


Further information:
Docent Flora Hajdu,,

Academic union representatives
SACO Anneli Lundkvist +46 (0)18 67 27 12
SEKO Desiree Karlsson +46 (0)18 67 10 57
ST Lotta Olsson +46 (0)18 67 15 36

PhD-student commissioner
Nina Almgren, 018-67 15 60,

Applications, marked with ref no 943/2015, must havearrived at the Registrar of SLU, P.O. Box 7070, S- 75007 Uppsala or registrator@slu.seno later than 2015-04-10.

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