Research Officer Vacancy on CUP Project


Closing date: 7 April 2015

The ACC has been awarded funding for a research project on urban food security and poverty. The governance work package of this research project includes research on the externalities of food supply chains and on informal food production and preparation processes in the case study cities, viz. Kisumu (Kenya), Kitwe (Zambia) and Epworth (outside Harare, Zimbabwe). Professor Harro von Blottnitz of the Chemical Engineering Department at UCT will oversee this systems analysis and cleaner production research. A contract researcher (for two and a half years) is required, to work under his guidance and as part of the ACC project team.

The ACC therefore invites applications for a full-time contract research officer post, to undertake primary research and analysis aiming to quantitatively describe social and environmental externalities of the food systems in the case study cities.


  • A PhD or almost completed PhD, or a master’s degree with at least 3 years of relevant research experience.
  • Degree in a cognate field and a nascent publication record.
  • The researcher will need to be able to read and work from both the “geography of food” literature (including the body of work on urban food poverty) and the “production systems and supply chains” literature (incl. the field of food life cycle assessment).


  • Planning for data gathering and alignment with other project activities, particularly in the governance package but also in the larger project
  • Interfacing with colleagues in the food systems work package
  • Data gathering on ‘foreground’ systems (i.e. food systems in the case study cities), supporting also a research assistant doing a detailed analysis of a specific informal food preparation activity in Kitwe
  • Data gathering and manipulation of background systems (e.g. national energy and transport systems)
  • Life cycle modelling (social and environmental) including data validation and storage
  • Interpretation, also in relation to other project aims and results in the governance package and beyond, but also in relation to the food life cycle assessment research in the group of Professor von Blottnitz
  • Taking a lead in publication of research results

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