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HSRC Economic Performance and Development (EPD) PHD Internship

Have you graduated with a Master’s degree and are currently registered for a PhD in Economics (Development Economics, Econometrics), Agricultural Economics (Land Tenure and Rural Development), Innovation Studies and Development Studies at a South African university?

In delivering ‘social science that makes a difference’, the Research Programmes of the Human Sciences Research Council initiate and undertake policy-oriented research projects and programmes from its offices in Cape Town, Durban, Pietermaritzburg, Port Elizabeth and Pretoria. Its public-purpose mandate is set out in the Human Sciences Research Council Act of 2008.

Economic Performance and Development (EPD) seeks to generate robust knowledge, evidence and policy ideas to tackle the unsustainable levels of unemployment, inequality and poverty in South Africa. There is an emphasis on micro-economic and multi-disciplinary approaches to understanding the drivers and dynamics of economic and employment change within regions, cities, towns and rural areas. An underlying question is how to expand, upgrade and transform the trajectory of the economy in a way that benefits the many, not the few.

EPD’s work is structured around four themes:

  • The spatial economy of city-regions
  • Place making and development
  • Rural Socio-Economic Transitions
  • Employment creation and Inclusive development

EPD wishes to appoint a PhD Research Intern for a period of three years, to be based in Cape Town (Ref No: EPD PhD Intern 12/17)

The internship experience is intensive and seeks mature individuals who are able to work independently as well as in a team. The appointed intern will develop their research expertise by working with experts and project specialists. The successful candidate will be working on various projects under the Rural Socio-Economic Transitions theme.

What are the requirements?

• Applicants for the PhD internship must have graduated with a Master’s degree and be registered for a PhD in Economics (Development Economics, Econometrics), Agricultural Economics (Land Tenure and Rural Development), Innovation Studies and Development Studies at a South African university.
•Preference will be given to applicants whose PHD proposals have been accepted.
•A strong interest in the Economics of Land Policies, including redistributive land reform, land tenure, agricultural development interventions, rural innovation.
•Interest in any other research themes of EPD with an emphasis on Rural Socio-Economic Transitions, Employment creation and Inclusive development, Place making and development and The spatial economy of city-regions
•A sound conceptual grounding and experience in qualitative or quantitative research methods;
•Practical experience of working with household level survey data;
•A sound understanding of STATA;
•Familiarity with Macro-economic modelling (Social Accounting Matrices and Computable General Equilibrium Models) will be an added advantage;
•Demonstrated report writing skills;
•Competence in basic computer applications such as Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint;
•Applicants who are South African citizens registered at a South African University will be given preference.

The HSRC is committed to accelerating the improvement in the proportion of its interns who are black, female or disabled and therefore, in terms of our Employment Equity Plan, previously disadvantaged candidates are encouraged to apply. South African citizens will receive preference.

APPLICATIONS: (1) a one page letter of motivation indicating your suitability for the position; (2) your CV, that must include your citizenship and proof of registration for PHD Studies; (3) a one-page outline of your PhD thesis; and (4) the details of three recent referees with telephone, fax or e-mail contact details.

How to apply?

Please submit your application online by CLICKING HERE

For further information about the HSRC or the post please consult our website (

Enquiries (not applications or CVs) may be directed to Dr Peter Jacobs Tel + 27 021 466 7849 email

Closing date: 26 January 2018. We encourage applicants to submit prior to the closing date. If you do not receive any response from us within eight weeks, please accept that your application was unsuccessful. Only candidates who are interviewed will be advised of the outcome of their application. The HSRC reserves the right not to make an appointment


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