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from hope to action through knowledge

PHD and Postdoctoral Program

CCEDE’s research on the connections between participation and governance to ensure social inclusion and democratic development is enhanced by its integrated PhD programme. The integrated PhD and postdoctoral programme targets students from disadvantaged backgrounds in South Africa and Africa, and aims to help produce a new generation of academics and policy-makers who have been involved in fi eldwork on citizenship, social inclusion and democratic development in poor urban and rural areas in South Africa and elsewhere.

One of the programme’s major benefi ts is that it encourages doctoral and postdoctoral researchers to publish individually or with their supervisors and/or senior colleagues. ACCEDE’s working paper series publishes research in progress and students are encouraged to prepare chapters into working paper format where appropriate, thus helping scholars to hone their publishing skills.

Students are also encouraged to participate in policy dialogue initiatives and help with the generation of policy advocacy material.

PhD programme

The PhD programme is semi structured.

  • Participation in regular ACCEDE academic workshops is the fi rst component, aimed at developing familiarity with key literature, ongoing debates, research methodologies and fi eldwork approaches, as well as the views of diverse senior researchers based at, or in partnership with, ACCEDE.
  • Fieldwork is the critical component of each PhD researcher’s dissertation. This is linked to the overall NFC and DBBS programmes. PhD candidates are selected based on the extent to which their fi eldwork is close to major research areas in ACCEDE. These include forms of citizen participation and mobilisation; the role of social movements (both local and global) in governance; the governance nexus between NGOs, CBOs and local government in achieving democratic development; the role of government created spaces of participation in fostering accountable democratic development processes; the ways in which international norms and development programmes, such as the Millenium Development Goals, affect governance and service delivery; and sustainable, citizen-driven rural development programmes, among others.
  • A PhD seminar series is the fi nal component. Students present each chapter of their PhDs at seminars during the year. Seminars allow students the opportunity to interact with senior colleagues and their peers on their research as it develops, and to become familiar with the research of others in the Centre. The seminar series fosters ongoing engagement and debate and helps to encourage students to work towards completion targets with more collectively generated energy.
  • Students are registered through the School of Government, but receive supervision from within the Centre. ACCEDE offers full-time bursaries with funding from the Ford Foundation and VLIR.

Post-doctoral researchers

ACCEDE also offers postdoctoral bursaries through VLIR and the Canon Collins Trust to researchers who have just completed their PhDs, to encourage young or newly graduated scholars to enhance their academic standing by increasing their publishing output. Postdoctoral researchers also mentor the PhD candidates.