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Call for Tenders - Research Associate South Africa (m/f/x) - Job - T

Call for Tenders - Research Associate South Africa (m/f/x)

Are you passionate about cities and food? Do you have experience working in food governance, urban planning and civil society-led interventions? Then you are the one we are looking for!

TMG Research is currently recruiting a Research Associate South Africa (m/f/x) (75-100%) (consultancy contract) to implement our applied research program on inclusive and climate-resilient urban and peri-urban food systems. Cities hold a great potential for food system transformation. Current urbanization trends make cities a focus of food security policies, embedding cities in landscape approaches is key to achieving climate resilience. This new program is also a response to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, as physical distancing measures reduced food access. On-going efforts to mitigate the impact of the pandemic offer the opportunity to contribute to more sustainable and inclusive urban and peri-urban food systems. This project is financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

About TMG Research

We are a Berlin-based research organisation, with a team in Nairobi, Kenya and research sites in Benin, Burkina Faso, Malawi and South Africa, among others. We work on responsible governance and sustainability issues in land, agricultural and food systems, and address the nexus between sustainable development, climate and energy. We are dedicated to the analysis of new and complex challenges in national, European and international contexts and processes, and identifying novel solutions based on sound knowledge and our strong collaboration with a wide range of actors and communities in various fields and locations. Our research projects are developed, conducted and evaluated jointly with actors from science, politics, the private sector and civil society.  

To strengthen our project operations in Cape Town, Nairobi and other selected cities in Africa, our Project Team is currently recruiting a

Research Associate South Africa (m/f/x) (75%-100%), ideally based in Cape Town
Ref.: 22-03

Your tasks

Under the supervision of the Programme Lead, the successful candidate would:

  • Implement and coordinate the project’s workstream on Food Governance, community-led dialogues, urban planning, including ensuring process and output quality, budget controlling, and reporting, in close collaboration with the Programme Lead and partner organisations
  • Plan and conduct research activities in Cape Town and Nairobi in collaboration with local partner organisations from civil society and science
  • Initiate or further develop our collaboration with decision-makers, grassroot movements and other actors in South Africa and Kenya
  • Write scientific publications, blogs and short positioning pieces, as a leading author, and in close collaboration with other staff on the project and in TMG
  • Strategically position TMG and the project in the relevant (policy) debates on urban food systems and food governance through various types of publications and events
  • Coordinate, facilitate and lead stakeholder and partner workshops both in Africa and in Europe, in close collaboration with other staff and our partners
  • Actively engage in other on-going projects, support project development and the expansion of TMG’s project portfolio
  • Contribute to TMG’s outreach activities (social media, website, etc.)

Your profile 

  • Master’s degree (or higher) in international development, geography or urban planning, politics, or a related field
  • Expertise and a minimum of 3 years’ experience working in the areas of sustainable and inclusive development, food systems, urban planning
  • In-depth knowledge on issues of socially inclusive food security policies, sustainable urban development and transdisciplinary research
  • Experienced in writing academic publications as well as blogs and opinion pieces
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English (isiXhosa or Afrikaans language skills are an asset)
  • Experience (working) in other Southern African cities would be a further advantage
  • Excellent management and organisational skills
  • Experience in participatory research tools is an asset
  • Ability to work effectively, diplomatically, and sensitively with a wide range of partners from science, policy, and civil society
  • Willingness to travel regionally and internationally is required

What we offer

  • A two-year consultancy contract – ideally starting from March 2022 - with a possibility of extension
  • A competitive daily rate
  • Work in an applied research organisation with a truly international work programme and the aspiration to enable sustainability transformations
  • The opportunity to shape the development of activities aiming to create sustainable, food secure urban landscapes
  • A dynamic, diverse and family-friendly working environment

How to apply

Applications including a cover letter, CV with two references (contact persons) and reference letters as well as links to selected publications (academic and non-academic publications are equally welcome) should be submitted in one PDF document (max. 5 MB) by 31.01.2022. The cover letter should indicate the daily rate expectations for this consultancy position. Please upload your application online via the application button and refer in your application to the website where the job ad was published. Please note that only short-listed candidates meeting the requirements will be contacted. For details on the application process, please send an email to

We are looking forward to hearing from you!