Rhodes University 2016 Bursaries

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Saturday, 30th January 2016

Master and PhD bursaries available 2016: Environmental Studies

One Masters level bursary (R80 000 pa) and one PhD level bursary (R120 000 pa) are available for an exciting interdisciplinary project in the Eastern Cape, and based at Rhodes University in Grahamstown.

Project title: A place to belong: urban planning, housing and greening 

We seek motivated and enthusiastic students to conduct Masters and PhD research as part of an interdisciplinary team to investigate the worldviews and experiences of nature and use of natural resources and elements in the context of urban residents and its implications for urban planning, housing and greening. This research project forms part of a collaboration of researchers from the Biocultural Diversity Conservation Programme (BCDC) and SARChI Chair in ‘Interdisciplinary Science in Land & Natural Resource Use for Sustainable Livelihoods’ based at Rhodes University (RU). This collaboration brings together an in-depth understanding of links between biodiversity and human well-being in the Eastern Cape with an urban planning and greening perspective. The research is facilitated by Dr Michelle Cocks (BCDC Research Program – Anthropology Department and Professor Charlie Shackleton (SARChI Chair – Environmental Science Department, RU).

Our ongoing research has shown that many Xhosa speaking residents in the Eastern Cape have strong material and spiritual links to nature. Nature provides resources for utilitarian use, traditional customs and rites and religious functions and contributes to a sense of personal well-being. Indeed, the benefits of nature experience to human well-being and quality of life is increasingly acknowledged locally and internationally. Yet during the last century most urbanisation processes in South Africa have resulted in reduced areas of green space and biodiversity, especially in the poorer township and RDP areas.

We suggest that urban development in South Africa undermines the cultural needs and contexts of most South African urban residents negatively affecting quality of life, identity andplace making. The project therefore aims to investigate the multiple realities of urban dwellers’ worldviews, appreciation, needs and uses of urban greenspaces (in the broad sense) and elements therein. The proposed research will be undertaken in small/medium sized towns in the Eastern Cape.

Funding for the Masters research will be made available for two years and for three years for the PhD research. Students will be expected to present their findings at relevant conferences to publish the research in peer-reviewed journals. Students with a strong academic back ground in social anthropology and environmental science, and an enthusiasm for doing field-based research are encouraged to apply.

To apply please send the following to m.cocks@ru.ac.za <mailto:m.cocks@ru.ac.za>  asap:

*         1-page motivation including your research interests

*         Your academic qualifications and results

*         CV

*         Two contactable references

Please contact Michelle Cocks (m.cocks@ru.ac.za <mailto:m.cocks@ru.ac.za> ) or Charlie Shackleton (c.shackleton@ru.ac.za <mailto:c.shackleton@ru.ac.za> ) for more information and to discuss the application process.

For info on bursaries available visit: https://www.ru.ac.za/environmentalscience/

Agricultural Studies

This week Eastern Cape Rural Development and Agrarian Reform MEC, Mlibo Qoboshiyane, called for recent matriculants to apply for bursaries to study agriculture courses this year - including a diploma or degree in bachelor of veterinary science (BVSc), BSC Agriculture engineering, National Diploma in Veterinary technology (Registrable with Council), BSC Agriculture (Entomology), BSC Agriculture (plant pathology).

These bursaries cover all costs including books, accommodation and university fees. He ways, "We are specifically looking for young South African students who come from disadvantaged or families that cannot afford to pay their university fees and we will give special preference to previously disadvantaged applicants.

"We must stress that all applicants for these bursaries must be prepared to work in our department after completing their studies as part of their contractual obligations."

He adds, "Last year we invested about R3 million into these bursaries, giving around 20 students from rural, urban and township communities of our province a chance of a lifetime". 

Each bursary applicant must show proof of admission or provisional admission to a tertiary institution.

They should also attach copies of:an affidavit confirming their family's financial status; parent or guardian’s identity document; the applicant’s identity document; an ID size photo; and results or certificate and indicate if they are sponsored by any other agency.

Application forms are available on www.drdar.gov.za <http://www.drdar.gov.za>  or you can ask for a form to be emailed to you.

Applications should be sent to Simphiwe Funani at simphiwe.funani@drdar.gov.za before 20 January 2016.

Call Simphiwe or Lillian Mqedazwe on 040 609 5260/6391077 for further information.


Two masters bursaries (one full-time and one part-time) are available for an exciting research project at Rhodes University, in Grahamstown, South Africa.

 The research project entitled User-driven intervention strategies for fostering energy-saving in South Africa” is a pilot programme designed to test the potential for and effectiveness of intervention strategies to promote energy saving among households. South Africa has one of the highest rates of access to energy in Africa with over 80% of its population connected to the national electricity grid. However, despite this seemingly positive outlook, the country is faced with a three-pronged challenge. First, the country is highly dependent on fossil fuels, meeting approximately more than 80% of electricity demand from coal. Second, most poor households cannot afford sufficient electricity to meet their daily needs. Third, the country is faced with persistent electricity load-shedding which has disastrous effects on the economy. Hence, the country’s main sustainability challenge is to reduce a heavy reliance on fossil fuels while making sure households can afford and efficiently use electricity.

In addressing a country’s energy efficiency and environmental targets, improving the efficiency of household energy consumption has always been an important component of energy conservation strategies. The question is: how effective are these intervention strategies on household energy saving? In this research programme we hope to develop such an understanding. We hope that policy makers will be able to use our findings to target areas and design behavioural intervention strategies for promoting energy conservation. The project forms part of a broader global research initiative, known as Operationalizing User-Driven Resilience for Sustainability in Cities (OURS-Cities), which is providing a platform to tease out how user-driven intervention strategies could be used to foster energy sustainability in cities.

Funding for the Masters research will be made available for two years (full time) and three years (part-time). The full value of the scholarship is R60 000 p.a. (FT) and R20 000 p.a. (PT) excluding running costs. Students will be expected to present their findings at relevant conferences and to publish the research in peer-reviewed journals. Students with a strong academic background and/or interest in environmental sustainability and environmental psychology, and an enthusiasm for doing field-based research are encouraged to apply. We are looking for highly motivated candidates with some experience in data analysis and good written English language skills.

To apply (for South Africans only) please send the following to g.thondhlana@ru.ac.za  by 26 February 2016:

• 1-page motivation including your general research interests

• Your academic certificates and transcripts

• CV

• Two contactable references

Please contact Dr. Gladman Thondhlana (g.thondhlana@ru.ac.za) or for more information and to discuss the application process.

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