Postdoctoral research fellowship on climate change mitigation and insurance


The Insurance Observatory (IO) invites applications from doctoral graduates for a one-year research fellowship, based at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.

The IO is a joint initiative of the African Climate and Development Initiative (ACDI) and the Law Faculty (UCT) as well as the Griffith Criminology Institute (Griffith University) focused on identifying and understanding instances internationally of insurance businesses engaging in actions intended to respond to climate change, the extent to which these actions consider/address trade-offs between climate mitigation and other environmental assets or risks, and the conditions which enable (and disable) these actions.  The IO is led by Cameron Holley, University of New South Wales, Sydney; Liam Phelan, University of Newcastle, Australia; Clifford Shearing, University of Cape Town and Griffith University.

The successful candidate will assist in research, primarily desk-based, to identify and categorize instances internationally of insurance businesses engaging in actions that mitigate and adapt to climate change.  Examples may relate to changes in product development, investment strategies and engagement in national and international public policy discourses.  The successful candidate will be guided by and work closely with the project leads to develop a typology of actions and examine whether and how these actions account for trade-offs between climate mitigation/adaptation and other environmental resources and risks. Together with the CIs, the candidate will produce research outputs and contribute to developing future research projects on the above issues.

Conditions of Award

Application is open to candidates of any nationality; 

Applicants must have received a doctoral degree (within the previous 5 years) in a relevant field, including Environmental Studies, Criminology, Sociology, Psychology, Anthropology, Political Science, Law, Business and other related disciplines; 

Successful applicants will be required to comply with the University of Cape Town’s approved policies, procedures and practices for postdoctoral fellows.

The University of Cape Town reserves the right to:

                - disqualify ineligible, incomplete and/or inappropriate applications,

                - change the conditions of award or to make no awards at all.

Value and Tenure of Award

The value of the Fellowship is R250, 000 and is tenable for one year. The Fellowship does not include any travel allowances, accommodation or other benefits. Application for tax exemption will be made by the University.


Application Requirements

A letter of application outlining the applicant’s research interests and experience

Curriculum Vitae including a list of publications

Certified copies of all academic transcripts.

An example of written work.

Contact details of two proposed referees. The referees must be academics who have taught or supervised the applicant.


Further information and application submissions

Requests for further information about the fellowship and complete applications including transcripts, letters, etc, should be sent to: Elaine Atkins,


Closing date for applications

14 July 2017