Extended Call for Applications: 2018 Postdoctoral Fellowships in Land and Agrarian Reform in Memory of Professor Sam Moyo

The National Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS) invites applications for post-doctoral fellowships in land and agrarian issues in honour of the late Professor Sam Moyo.

The land and agrarian questions remain unresolved across much of the African continent.  Prof Sam Moyo was committed to their resolution as a scholar and an activist. His approach was characterised by an intrinsic link between scholarship and struggle.  His penetrating analysis, premised on a careful and systematic collection of empirical evidence, have left a lasting legacy in our appreciation of the complexities involved in overcoming colonial dispossession in an era of global capitalism. Prof. Moyo was at the forefront of international endeavours to shift the locus of debates about land and agrarian questions from the North to the South by challenging the metropolitan monopoly over intellectual production.  He was concerned about setting the scholarly record straight by opposing the deeply entrenched colonial presuppositions of African social realities.  Moreover, he was committed to a fundamental re-orientation of global scholarship in order for the South to recover its voice and articulate its interests appropriately which remained the lifeblood of Prof Sam Moyo’s scholarship until his untimely death in 2015.

This post-doctoral fellowship honours Prof. Sam Moyo’s dedicated contribution by providing opportunities for his legacy in scholarship, policy advocacy and activism, institution building and networking to remain alive by drawing on his tradition of evidence-based research into land and agrarian questions.


The National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS) invites applications from South African scholars to undertake postdoctoral research in Land and Agrarian Reform at South African higher education institutions. The fellowship will advance the development of scholars and scholarship in the area of Land and Agrarian Reform in South Africa and the continent by addressing the gaps in South-South focused land and agrarian policy and scholarship, while complementing teaching capacity on land and agrarian subject related areas.  The programme will support full-time research from all humanities and social science disciplines addressing the following broad research areas:

  • Land Reform
  • Agrarian Change
  • Land and Agrarian Social Movements
  • Land and Agrarian Research Networks in the global south
  • Land and the National Question
  • Agricultural and Food Policy
  • Food Security and poverty reduction


The Sam Moyo Land and Agrarian Reform postdoctoral fellowships will support South African scholars, over a three-year period. An applicant may not be in full-time employment for the duration of the funding period.

Applicants will be researchers who have a PhD not older than 4 years in all areas of the humanities and social sciences as long as they address land and agrarian focussed research topics. Researchers will also be encouraged to explore the policy implications of their research findings.

Applicants should meet the following requirements:

  • Relevant academic qualifications
  • Coherence and feasibility of the proposed research project
  • Contribution of the project to the body of knowledge in the field
  • Publication/s in peer-reviewed journals
  • Potential to enhance research activity in the host institution and department


Successful applicants will receive funding for a period of one year valued at R300 000 per annum, but renewable for a further year depending on satisfactory academic progress. The successful applicants will be required to sign conditions of grant before the fellowship is released. The fellowship programme will be administered by the NIHSS and payment will occur in terms of standard NIHSS financial policies and procedures.


An online application form is accessible through the link: https://gms.nihss.ac.za . Candidates should submit the following documentation for application:

  1. Letter of confirmation by the prospective department, faculty and or university that the applicant will be pursuing postdoctoral research.
  2. A motivation letter including the candidate’s areas of research expertise, research interests, and experience (not longer than 1000 words).
  3. A recent intellectual autobiography: a narrative of the major influences in the applicant’s intellectual life (not longer than one A4 page – 500 words).
  4. A research proposal outlining the research project and the contribution it will make to the body of knowledge in the particular field of study
  5. Two letters of recommendation from at least two referees who have taught, supervised, or worked with the applicant.
  6. Certified copies of all academic transcripts and degree certificates.
  7. A certified copy of the applicant’s ID/passport
  8. Sample copies of the applicant’s best writing, e.g. a chapter from their Master’s/PhD study or any published academic work.
  9. A CV including a full list of publications.

Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.

Closing Date: 24 August 2018

The following South African public universities are participating in the programme:

Cape Peninsula University of Technology; Durban University of Technology; Nelson Mandela University; North West University; Rhodes University; Stellenbosch University; Tshwane University of Technology; University of Cape Town; University of Fort Hare; University of the Free State; University of Johannesburg; University of KwaZulu-Natal; University of Limpopo; University of Pretoria; University of South Africa; University of the Western Cape; University of the Witwatersrand; University of Venda; University of Zululand; Vaal University of Technology; and  Walter Sisulu University.


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