Afromontane Research Unit, University of the Free State, Phuthaditjhaba, South Africa. 

The Afromontane Research Unit (ARU), University of the Free State (UFS), is inviting applications for a post-doctoral fellowship in biodiversity that will include leading and managing a remote, high-elevation experiment site on the summit of the Maloti-Drakensberg; widespread interaction with local managers and policy-makers on mountainous range-expanding species (native and non-native); and leading/participating in associated workshops and events. 

Application deadline 15 March 2021. 

The Afromontane Research Unit (ARU), University of the Free State (UFS), is a Strategic Research Hub in the UFS, and an international player in mountain research. The ARU – as part of the Mountain Invasion Research Network (MIREN) – has successfully secured an EU Horizon 2020 BiodivERsA Project: Mechanisms underlying the success and impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning of range-expanding species under climate change (“RangeX”).

The ARU is inviting applications from suitable candidates for a three-year POST-DOCTORAL FELLOWSHIP (2021–2023) that will drive the ARU contribution to this project. This will include leading and managing a remote, high-elevation experiment site on the summit of the Maloti-Drakensberg; widespread interaction with local managers and policy-makers on mountainous range-expanding species (native and non-native); and leading/participating in associated workshops and events. The Fellow will also be linked to the rest of the Consortium, with opportunities to travel and to interact with visiting Consortium members. In addition to the above, the Fellow will also have the opportunity to be exposed to – and contribute to – the wide range of mountain-related activities being driven by the ARU as a Continental Leader in African Mountain Research.  

FELLOWSHIP DETAILS: 

  • Three years, commencing as soon as possible.  
  • The Fellowship is valued at R220,000 per annum, with R30,000 running costs per annum (UFS rates) (total R250,000 per annum).  
  • Costs of the project will be covered by the project budget. 

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA: 

  • Candidates will need to have completed their doctorates in the past 2 years (i.e. 2019) in order to comply with SARS regulations for Fellowships to remain eligible through to 2023. 
  • Applications from South African and international candidates are welcomed.  
  • Candidates may not hold full-time salaried employment during the tenure of the award.  
  • The following intellectual/experience background is essential: 
  1. Independence.  
  2. Attention to detail. 
  3. Excellent project management skills. 
  4. Excellent scientific writing skills. 
  5. Comfortable and competent with extended stays in a remote region of the Maloti-Drakensberg. 
  6. Driver’s Licence. 
  7. Valid passport.  

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS: 

  • Detailed Motivation Letter. 
  • Full Curriculum Vitae (CV) (including a list of academic outputs to date). 
  • Full transcripts of Academic Record.  
  • Copy of degree certificates. 
  • Copy of South African identity document, or Passport (international candidates). 
  • Signed letters of recommendation from three Academic References. 

A Fellowship is currently available for this position, and will be awarded on a competitive basis, taking into account the applicants' academic achievements, research prowess, and mountain competency. Performance will be monitored on an annual basis, as per UFS processes.  

Applications should be submitted electronically to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 15th March 2021. 

Contact Person:  

Dr Ralph Clark: Director: Afromontane Research Unit 
University of the Free State: QwaQwa Campus 
Private Bag X13, Phuthaditjhaba, 9866, South Africa 
Tel: +27 72 439 8981; Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

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Cover image by fietzfotos

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