Postdoctoral Research Fellows + PhD Students at University of Cape Town



Partially Remote (some attendance required)

Posted on

14 February 2021

 Application Deadline

30 April 2021



The University of Cape Town offers several positions for Postdocs and PhD students in the broad areas of data ownership, privacy, and financial innovation. 

Students and recent graduates with a background in economics, computer science, mathematics, finance, and related disciplines are invited to apply. Successful applicants will work within a research group that strives for academic excellence and is interested in various aspects of data ownership, from analyzing its theoretical foundation in the economics of property rights and privacy, to developing practical tools and studying existing applications. In this context, open source software, artistic work, and scholarly research are relevant applications. For the financial innovation focus, the group is interested in all aspects of central bank digital currencies (including financial stability, privacy, interoperability, and inclusivity), as well as all aspects of cybersecurity (in particular economic and network models of cybersecurity).

UCT is the leading research university in Africa. The salary provides a comfortable lifestyle in Cape Town, which offers an exceptional quality of life.

The School of Economics in the Faculty of Commerce at the University of Cape Town is inviting applications for PhD students and Postdoctoral Research Fellows. There are two overarching themes for the fellowships: the data economy and financial innovation. Students and recent graduates with a background in economics, computer science, mathematics, finance, and related disciplines are invited to apply.

Any of the following research areas is of particular interest for the Data Economy focus:

  • The economics of privacy
  • Privacy-preserving technology
  • Data marketplaces
  • The economics of innovation

And for the Financial Innovation focus:

  • Central bank digital currencies
  • Financial interconnectedness
  • Cybersecurity

About the Position

Applications open now and are considered on a rolling basis until 30 April or until the positions are filled. Appointments are for as soon as is feasible. The tenure of the Postdoctoral fellowship is for up to three years, while the tenure for PhD positions is usually three years, but can be extended for up to five years. Due to the ongoing pandemic, successful applicants can choose to work remotely in 2021.

Postdoctoral fellows receive a fellowship of R350,000 per annum and no benefits are included in the value of the fellowship. An additional travel allowance of R30,000 p.a. is available for successful applicants. The successful applicant will be required to comply with the University’s approved policies, procedures and practises for the postdoctoral sector.

PhD students receive a fellowship of R210,000 p.a. and an additional travel allowance of R20,000 p.a. in addition to access to university-wide funding for conference travel. We typically arrange for PhD students to spend at least one semester at a leading international university and help organize an internship at a leading international policy institution or fintech company. PhD students are expected to have extremely strong quantitative, and in particular strong coding skills.

Application Procedure

To apply, please send your complete application package, including:

  • For applicants as Postdoctoral Research Fellow: At least two pieces of original research
  • A letter of application, including areas of expertise, research interests, and experience
  • A complete CV including the names and contact details of at least two references
  • Copies of academic transcripts

to: A/Prof Co-Pierre Georg ([email protected]).

About the University of Cape Town

The University of Cape Town reserves the right to disqualify ineligible, incomplete and/or inappropriate applications. The University of Cape Town reserves the right to change the conditions of award or to make no awards at all. Applicants may not have previously held a full-time professional or academic post.

The University of Cape Town is the leading research university on the African continent and ranked155th globally by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. The School of Economics is home to about 100 Postgraduate students and 40 faculty members who regularly publish in leading international journals. Of particular interest for this post is that the School of Economics houses the MPhil in Financial Technology, the only dedicated fintech master’s program in Africa. Cape Town offers an outstanding quality of life and has a vibrant technology and financial services sector. Home to numerous startups, incubators, and five universities in close proximity, Cape Town is one of the tech hubs on the African continent.

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