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Doctoral Study with the South African DST/NRF Research Chair in Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies

by Ben Cousins in 2015

Professor Ben Cousins holds a South African Research Chair in Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (funded by the National Research Foundation), at the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS), at the University of the Western Cape. This allows him to support and supervise doctoral students some of whom have now been recruited. Two positions are still available, and applications for these are invited.

Professor Cousins has initiated a new five-year research programme on the underlying dynamics of change and growth within commercial agriculture and agribusiness in South Africa, including geographic expansion in Africa. Another focus is emerging elite investments in communal areas, in agricultural projects, mining, tourism and property development. Also of interest is agrarian change more broadly.

A key criterion for selection of students will be the fit between their interests and abilities and the focus of the programme. They will be encouraged to contribute to the details of research project design, including the framing of research questions and objectives, choice of research methods, and selection of particular research sites. Generous stipends are available for successful applicants, who will receive intensive training in social theory and research methods.

To apply, send your CV, the names and contact details of three academic referees, academic transcripts, a brief concept note and a letter of motivation to Carla Henry at and Professor Ben Cousins at In addition, please send a sample of your academic writing (e.g. a chapter from a Master’s thesis).

The closing date is 24th April 2015. For more information, contact Professor Ben Cousins at or 021 959 3733.