Postdoctoral Research Fellowship - Department of Economics

Stellenbosch University

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Position type:

Full time

15 Sep 2021
31 Oct 2021

Full details:

Reference number: 2021/09/15/8973

Stellenbosch University

Department of Economics 

Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (One Year)


Examining the economics of the forgotten sector: non-profit organisations in a changing South Africa


Scope of Research: Non-profit organisations (NPOs) remain important players in addressing South Africa’s development needs, building social cohesion and assisting government to provide services in innovative and cost-effective ways. To date, over 250 000 organisations are registered with the Department of Social Development. Despite its importance and significant size, the sector has received scant research attention over the last few years, with a notable absence also of economic research on the impact and importance of the sector. 


This postdoctoral project addresses this knowledge gap to improve the understanding of the sector, with the aim of informing policy-making efforts to create an adequate enabling environment for NPOs. The project will investigate the role and motivation of NPOs, consider their ability to generate funding for their activities and explore the spatial distribution of NPOs within South Africa.  By covering these topics, the objective is to understand the changing role and function of South African NPOs to help shape improved regulation, support and funding for the sector. 


Role: The postdoctoral candidate will work on this research question with the aim of producing two high-quality publications. The candidate will be expected to participate in the research group’s seminars, workshops and conferences. 


Host: Prof. Ronelle Burger at the Department of Economics at Stellenbosch University.




  • PhD in Economics (must have graduated within the last five years);
  • Previous experience: in both survey field work and quantitative research methodology, working with spatial data;
  • Computer literacy, with emphasis on Stata statistical software or R and spatial analysis; 
  • Demonstrated potential and motivation to publish in high-impact international journals. 


Please note that postdoctoral fellows are not appointed as employees and are therefore not eligible for employee benefits. Postdoctoral fellowships are also awarded tax free. 


Commencement of duties: 1 December 2021


Closing date: 31 October 2021


Enquiries: Send a letter of application, accompanied by a comprehensive curriculum vitae, including list of publications and the names and contact details of at least two referees, to Prof. Ronelle Burger:  


Applicants should request their referees to forward confidential reports by the closing date direct to the same address as indicated above.

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