UCT and UoB patner to foster elaborate Global Research Initiatives

The University of Cape Town (UCT) and the University of Bristol (UoB) have announced the launch of two initiatives aimed at advancing Africa’s position in global knowledge production. The UCT-UoB professorship programme and a fellowship programme for early career researchers aim to address the extractive and unequal nature of collaborative research between the Global North and South, particularly with Africa. 

According to UCT Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Internationalisation Professor Sue Harrison, the aim is to produce a guide on collaborations between Africa and the Global North that goes beyond the rhetoric of equitable partnerships and leads to a systemic shift enabling Africa to take its rightful place in global knowledge production.

Participating professors and fellows will work on one of three themes jointly identified by the universities: “Hidden histories,” “Climate change impacts and opportunities for health,” and “Environmental and social sustainability.” 

The professors will be awarded three 12-month professorships, while three early to mid-career researchers from each university will be supported through a two-year fellowship programme. The initiative builds on the long-standing partnership between UCT and UoB and their common membership of the Worldwide Universities Network Global Africa Group.

The programme aims to foster true collaboration between universities and researchers in the Global North and South, rather than relying on one side to drive research while the other is relegated to a peripheral role.

 The programme will encourage researchers to explore the production of critical histories, the impacts of climate change on health and identifying solutions to reduce these, and a broad range of fields where the two universities have complementary strengths, including poverty and inequality, educational access, energy use and conservation, wastewater and water quality, and biodiversity and natural resources.

The UCT-UoB Professorship and Fellowship Programme will create opportunities for participating professors and fellows to co-publish and engage in joint activities such as lecturing, which is expected to lead to joint supervision of postgraduate researchers and joint grant applications. 

A call for applications for the UCT–UoB Professorship and Fellowship Programme will follow shortly from the Research Office.


Article by Carolyne Nyokabi