Second call for applications: UCT–Bristol programme

24 January 2024 | Professor Jeff Murugan

Dear colleagues and students

Many of you may remember an initiative launched last year – under the stewardship of our recent Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Internationalisation, Professor Sue Harrison – between the University of Cape Town (UCT) and the University of Bristol (UoB). This exciting initiative, the UCT–UoB Professorship and Fellowship Programme, provides funds and an enabling mechanism to allow successful applicants at each institution to spend time at the other institution over a period of two to three years.

I am writing to announce that we are launching a second round of the call, which will be identical to the previous call except for one important difference: the new call includes mid-career researchers.


The UoB has, over the last few years, become one of the most rewarding and strategic partners for UCT. The relationship was seeded through our mutual membership of the Worldwide University Network (WUN) and joint leadership of the Global Africa Group within the WUN. Since then, a bilateral relationship has strengthened through the highly successful Researchers without Borders initiative (a collaborative PhD programme), and a Vice-Chancellor’s (VC) Open Lecture by UoB VC Professor Evelyn Welch, with a collaborative agreement signed the following day. In July 2023, another joint initiative between the UoB, UCT and the University of South Africa was launched, the Africa charter for equitable partnerships.

The most significant has been the UCT–UoB Professorship and Fellowship Programme. The first strand makes provision for professors from each university to spend a maximum of 12 months over a three-year period at the partner institution, working on one of the following three themes that have been jointly identified by the two universities:

  • hidden histories
  • climate change impacts and opportunities for health
  • environmental and social sustainability.

The second strand makes provision for fellows from each institution to spend a maximum of six months spread over two years at the host institution. UCT fellowships should align either to the three strategic areas listed above or with UCT’s strategic grand challenges.

Launching a second call

The first round of this call saw the selection of two professorships and four fellowships from the UoB, and one professorship and one fellowship from UCT.

We are now renewing the call and invite applicants from UCT to fill the remaining four positions.

Please note: this round introduces a new category – that of senior fellowships, which are equivalent to UCT’s associate professorships.

As before, travel and subsistence for these professors, senior fellows and fellows will be covered by the two universities. In return, they will be expected to co-publish and engage in joint activities such as lecturing. We also hope and believe that, over time, this will lead to co-supervision of postgraduate researchers and joint grant applications.

The call for applications to round two of this programme is now open and relevant documents are as follows:

An update on round one

I am delighted to announce that several of the UoB professors and fellows have already begun their time at UCT, with others to follow shortly:

  • Professor Susan Parnell, Chair in Human Geography in the School of Geographical Sciences.
    Programme title: Mobilising sustainable global alternatives through African cities.
    Hosted by Professor Edgar Pieterse, Director of the African Centre for Cities and Professor Frank Eckardt, Head of the Department of Environmental & Geographical Science.
  • Professor Leon Tikly, UNESCO Chair in Inclusive, Good Quality Education.
    Programme title: Transforming knowledge and research for just and sustainable futures in Africa.
    Hosted by Professor Azeem Badroodien, Director of the School of Education.
  • Dr James Duminy, Senior Lecturer in the School of Geographical Sciences.
    Programme title: Life-course cities: planning for long-term human health and wellbeing in the Anthropocene.
    Hosted by Professor Andy Tucker, Deputy Director of the African Centre for Cities.
  • Dr Francesca Bartoli-Leonard, Senior Research Associate in the Bristol Medical School.
    Programme title: Novel markers to risk-stratify paediatric patients with congenital heart disease.
    Hosted by Professor Tim Pennel, Chris Barnard Chair of Cardiothoracic Surgery and Head of the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery.
  • Dr Ailish Craig, Research Associate in the School of Geographical Sciences.
    Programme title: Characterising and communicating climate information for climate resilient decision making in the health sector in southern African cities.
    Hosted by Alice McClure, Researcher and Academic Coordinator in the Department of Environmental & Geographical Science.
  • Dr Eyob Balcha Gebremariam, Research Associate in the School of Policy Studies and the Perivoli Africa Research Centre.
    Programme title: A comparative study on the multiple layers of power imbalances in scientific knowledge production: the case of public health in Ethiopia and South Africa.
    Hosted by Associate Professor Divine Fuh, Director, Institute for Humanities in Africa.

Two UCT researchers are setting off for UoB in March this year:

  • Professor Mark New, Professor in the Department of Geographical Sciences and the African Climate and Development Initiative.
    Programme title: Operational climate impacts attribution.
  • Dr Shanaaz Hoosain, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Social Work and Social Development.
    Programme title: Co-creating knowledge with communities who have a hidden history of slavery.

Please join me in extending a warm welcome to our colleagues from the UoB. We look forward to the relationships that will be built by them and our outgoing researchers, in a programme that will deepen one of our very strongest of strategic partnerships.


Professor Jeff Murugan
Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Internationalisation

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