Postdoctoral Research Fellowship: Climate Extremes and Their Impacts



The African Climate and Development Initiative (ACDI) wishes to appoint a Postdoctoral Research Fellow (PDRF) in the analysis of climatic extremes and their impacts on water and ecosystem services. The PDRF will conduct research for a multi-disciplinary research programme supported by the AXA Research Chair Programme in African Climate Risk, BNP Paribas Foundation and the Danish International Development Agency. The research programme aims to (i) quantify the relative contribution of climate change and landscape management impacts of weather and seasonal climate extremes; and (ii) estimate the social and economic benefit of different adaptation options to reduce the impacts of these extreme events. The initial focus is on the joint attribution of climate and system scenario impacts and responses in water systems and associated ecosystem services.

The PDRF will be part of a multi-disciplinary team from the University of Cape Town, University of Oxford, University of Copenhagen, University of Stellenbosch and University of Kwazulu-Natal spanning climate, hydrological, agricultural, ecological, economic and adaptation science.  

The PDRF will lead a discrete area of research in climate science including climate modelling and extreme event attribution but also contribute towards research that integrates across climate, biophysical and socio-economic impacts. This will include integrating climate modelling outputs and analyses into the joint attribution of climate and system scenario impacts.

The PDRF will work closely with counterparts, and especially the other PDRFs, within the broader research programme.

Academic/experience criteria:  

  • A PhD, awarded within the previous five years, in climate science or related field.
  • Strong computer programming/scripting skills for data processing and analysis.
  • Practical experience of interpreting the outputs from climate models and large climate datasets.
  • Demonstrated ability to produce peer-reviewed research articles.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English.
  • Experience, or a desire to build experience, in communicating research to diverse non-expert audiences.


  • Experience working with the Met Office Hadley Centre's Unified Models.
  • Experience of running regional climate model experiments.
  • Experience in statistics, including time series analysis, spatial statistics and stochastic processes.
  • Expertise in African meteorology and/or climatology.

Conditions of award:

  • Applicants must have completed their doctoral degrees within the past 5 years and may not previously have held a full-time permanent professional or academic post.
  • No benefits or allowances are included in the Fellowship, but the fellowship stipend is tax free.  
  • As part of their professional development, the successful candidate may be required to participate in a limited capacity in other ACDI activities such as teaching and/or student supervision.  
  • The successful applicant will be required to register as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Cape Town immediately and will not be considered a UCT employee.
  • The successful applicant will be required to comply with the university’s approved policies, procedures and practices for the postdoctoral sector.

Value and tenure:

  • The value of the fellowship is ZAR 250,000 and is tenable for 24 months with the possibility of extension for further years subject to satisfactory progress.

Application requirements:

Applicants should submit (i) an application letter that includes a short description of their expertise and research interests, and how these relate to the position, (ii) a CV including a publication list, (iii) copies of academic transcripts and/or certificates, and (iv) email addresses of at least two references who been directly involved in their PhD and/or previous postdoctoral research.  

Applications should be emailed to: before 13 July 2018.

Selection process:

  • Only eligible and complete applications will be considered by the selection committee.
  • Interviews will likely take place in the week of the 23rd of July and the successful candidate is expected to start as soon as possible thereafter.  

Closing date:
Applications received before 13 July are guaranteed to be considered. Applications received thereafter may be considered if the position has not been filled.

Contact details for submission of applications: Rabia Karriem at

Contact details for enquiries about the fellowship topic and ACDI:

Additional information on ACDI and UCT can be found at: /


The University of Cape Town reserves the right to disqualify ineligible, incomplete and/or inappropriate applications. The University of Cape Town also reserves the right to change the conditions of the award or to make no awards at all.