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Call for Papers: Resilient Urban Communities PhD Seminar

Resilient Urban Communities (RUC) Social Enterprises and Nonprofits as Service Providers and Vehicles for Participation in African Megacities

Venue and location:


University of the Witwatersrand, Wits Business School, 2 St David’s Place, Parktown, Johannesburg, South Africa, 2193



Tuesday 5th to Wednesday 6th March 2024, 2 days

Enquiries and submissions:


  • Submission of Abstracts Deadline: January 14th
  • Acceptance of the Abstracts Deadline: January 29th


The RUC seminar at the University of the Witwatersrand is part of a series of PhD/ECR seminars, workshops, and conferences within the African-German project “Resilient Urban Communities” funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education. It addresses PhD candidates and early career researchers (ECR). RUC is a collaborative African-German project that speaks to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals “sustainable cities and communities” and “quality education” through research and dissemination of knowledge related to the subject areas “good governance” and “local government”. Encompassing a research, networking and education component, RUC aims to improve urban supply systems and infrastructure for vulnerable groups in deprived local communities and enhance the governance of African megacities. The research program of RUC focuses on social enterprises (SEs) and nonprofit organizations (NPOs) as social service providers and vehicles for participation and integration that contribute to the resilience of urban communities. The RUC meetings and adjunct PhD/ECR seminars are stepping-stones for the development of a network of current and future experts (scholars and practitioners) on social economy, good governance, and philanthropy in Africa.

The Call:

The PhD/ECR seminar aims to improve the research and careers of current PhD candidates and early career researchers (post-docs) by giving them the opportunity to discuss their work in a supportive environment. Participants receive feedback from peers and leading senior researchers, advice on career strategies and the opportunity to network with the international RUC community. The Call 2024 is open to all enrolled doctoral candidates and ECRs doing research in social entrepreneurship, non-profit studies, urban studies, development economics, philanthropy, or related fields.

The seminar includes workshops on research approaches, methodology, and on publishing high-quality articles. There will be small group sessions: each student is allotted time to discuss her/his work and obtain feedback from peers and faculty.  The seminar also includes opening   and   closing   plenary   sessions, at  least one professional development session with presentations by leading scholars in the field , and for the PhD-candidates a 3-minute Thesis Competition.

RUC provides limited financial support to attend the seminar.



Each application for the PhD/ECR seminar must include:

  • A research paper not exceeding one 750 words that refers to the stage of your thesis.
  • A personal motivation statement of about 400 words explaining what you hope to get from the seminar.
  • An official document confirming your status as a doctoral candidate or a post-doc researcher at your university or similar institution.

Eligibility for Applicants:



  • Applicants must be researchers (PhD candidates or postdoc scholars) with at most five years PhD qualification.
  • Applicants are expected to conduct research connected to the fields of non-profit studies, social entrepreneurship, urban studies, development economics, or civil society studies as well as to the local context of Africa.
  • Applicants should be able to participate in the entire seminar to be held in Johannesburg, South Africa.
  • Applicants should be prepared to present and discuss their work with peers and faculty, and to actively participate in group discussions.
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mott foundation

The Charles mott foundation

An automotive pioneer, philanthropist, and leader in the community, Charles Stewart Mott cared about innovation, fairness, and communities. By working toward a world where each individual’s quality of life is connected to the well-being of the community, both locally and globally, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation continues this legacy.

A founding funder of the Centre, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation supported the establishment of the Chair and continues to support our programmes.

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