Deadline: 29 April 2021

The Foundational Biodiversity Information Programme (FBIP), which is funded by the Department of Science & Innovation (DSI), is offering four (4) two-year postdoctoral fellowships for South African foundational biodiversity information research projects. The objective of the postdoctoral grants is to enhance capacity in the foundational biodiversity field.  

The FBIP is a long-term programme to generate, manage and disseminate foundational biodiversity information and knowledge so that this can be managed, secured, disseminated and applied to address the needs of society. The programme is funded by the Department of Science & Innovation (DSI), and managed by the National Research Foundation (NRF) and the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI).More information about the FBIP can be found at www.fbip.co.za.

Fellowship details

  • Two years, commencing 1 August 2021 (latest).
  • The fellowship is valued at R220 000 per annum.
  • The grant does not include running costs, and it is the responsibility of the host institution to provide adequate running costs and other resources to enable the postdoctoral fellow to conduct his/her research for the entire period of the fellowship.

Eligibility criteria:

  • Applicants must have been awarded their PhD in the last five years. 
  • Applicants must have completed a PhD in the following fields:
    • taxonomy or systematics of organisms including plants, animals and micro-organisms, or
    • a field that involved the generation and analysis of foundational biodiversity data (specimen or observation records or DNA barcodes), or
    • application of foundational biodiversity data to address issues of relevance to global change or the bioeconomy.
  • Fellowships are open to South African citizens and permanent residents only.
  • Applicants may not hold full-time salaried employment during the tenure of the award.
  • Applicants must be available to take up the award by the latest 1 August 2021.

Expectations from the FBIP:

  • Recipients will be required to be based at any South African public research institution, including Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), Science Councils and National Research Facilities, recognised by the National Research Foundation (NRF).
  • Recipients will be expected to do research in the foundational biodiversity information field in South Africa, i.e. projects in taxonomy, DNA barcoding, generation of species occurrence records/data or the application/use of such data in addressing questions relevant to global change or the bioeconomy. Applicants interested in investigating the use of foundational biodiversity information and associated value chains and impacts are also invited to apply for these grants.
  • Details of the research outline of the fellowship must be agreed with the intended supervisor/host before applying.
  • Recipients will be expected to sign a tripartite agreement with the FBIP through SANBI and the host institution.
  • Recipients will be expected to use their host institution’s address for any publications generated while carrying out the postdoctoral research.
  • Recipients will be expected to contribute to capacity development by assisting with postgraduate students and interns’ supervision if possible and passing on skills to host institution staff.
  • Should the agreement signed not be complied with, the FBIP / SANBI reserves the right to withdraw the scholarship.
  • SANBI/FBIP will monitor performance on a six-month basis.

Details of the postdoctoral fellowships:

  • The fellowships are offered for two years, at a value of R220 000 per annum. Payment will be made to the host institution.
  • The grant does not include running costs, and it is the responsibility of the host institution to provide adequate running costs and other resources to enable the postdoctoral fellow to conduct his/her research for the entire period of the fellowship.
  • Recipients may not hold other personal fellowships/scholarships or grants that exceed R50 000 at the same time as the FBIP postdoctoral. Applicants who hold an existing full scholarship or grant extending beyond July 2021 are not eligible for the FBIP postdoctoral fellowship grant.

Application requirements:

To apply, please follow the link to complete the application form and submit the form with the required documents listed below. Please name each document clearly. Files must be <10MB. Applications close at 18:00 on 29 April 2021.

Please submit the following documents:

  • Full Curriculum Vitae (CV), clearly indicating your study field, qualifications and marks achieved, list of research publications, conference presentations, mentoring and teaching history, employment history, awards and achievements, etc.;  
  • Full transcripts of academic records;
  • Certified copy of PhD degree certificate;
  • A proposal for the research that will be carried out, highlighting the research objectives, research questions and research methodology, its relevance to the objectives of the FBIP, details of potential supervisor, and a clear timeframe indicating particular research outputs with anticipated start and end dates (maximum of 3 pages);
  • Signed letter of acceptance from the intended supervisor and/or host institution detailing financial support for the candidate;
  • Contact details of three academic references;
  • Certified copy of South African identity document / permanent resident;

Note that these documents will be used exclusively for the evaluation of applications and verification of eligibility, and will be not be distributed or used for any other purpose.

The fellowships will be awarded on a competitive basis, taking into account the following criteria:

1. Relevance of PhD study to the FBIP objectives30
2. Previous performance of applicant (peer-reviewed publications, conference presentations, teaching, mentoring)20
3. Quality of research proposal (presentation, clear aim, objectives, activities and timeframes, innovation)30
4. Proposed institution where postdoctoral fellow would be hosted – potential to contribute to capacity development and transformation20
TOTAL100

Note: Preference will be given to applicants whose proposals meet the required standard in terms of quality and strategic importance, and South African citizens and permanent residents who are from designated groups (viz. black (African, Indian, Coloured), female and persons with disabilities).

Contact person: Lita Pauw at l.pauw@sanbi.org.za.

Information about the FBIP can be found at www.fbip.co.za

Download PDF below:

FBIP-postdoctoral Fellowship 2021 by Dane McDonald on Scribd

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