The Southern African Young Scientists Summer Program (SA-YSSP) is a new three-month program for talented young researchers to work with scientists from South Africa and IIASA. The second SA-YSSP session will take place from 24 November 2013 to 22 February 2014. The call for applications is open from 2 August 2013 until 1 September 2013.
The SA-YSSP is organized jointly by the South African National Research Foundation, the South African Department of Science and Technology, the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein, South Africa, and IIASA. The new program has been inspired by the success of IIASA’s YSSP, which since 1977 has enabled more than 1,500 young scientists to work together with IIASA researchers on problems of global significance.
From 24 November 2013 to 22 February 2014, participants will carry out collaborative research projects at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein, South Africa. The projects will relate both to their doctoral studies and to IIASA research that uses systems analysis methods to address major societal problems.
Each young scientist will work with a collaborating team of advanced researchers, including one researcher from South Africa and the other from IIASA or IIASA’s research network. South African advisors will be resident for 3-4 weeks, while IIASA advisors will be in attendance for 1-2 weeks. When advisors are off-site, they are connected with the young scientists via videoconferencing on a regular basis.
Option (a) refers to participants registered at a public South African institution, irrespective of their nationality; option (b) refers to participants registered at an institution in a SADC country other than South Africa, irrespective of their nationality; and option (c) refers to participants registered at an institution in an IIASA member country other than South Africa, irrespective of their nationality, as well as to participants being a national of an IIASA member country other than South Africa, irrespective of the country of their registration.
To be eligible for the SA-YSSP, applicants should meet the following criteria:
- Current registration for a doctoral program.
- Ability to work independently and to interact with other scientists.
- Fluency in English and ability to communicate in a scientific environment.
- Willingness to participate in a range of interdisciplinary scientific activities.
- Commitment to completing the SA-YSSP research by submitting a resultant manuscript to an international scientific journal.
Cluster 1: Risk and Governance
- Towards equitable and ecologically sound governance of mining and drilling
- Systems analysis for sustainable green city development
- Resilience in individual and community responses to slow- and sudden-onset change
Cluster 2: Energy and Climate System
- Transformation of the South African energy system
- Energy efficiency in a sustainable mining industry
- Economic growth in South Africa under low carbon constraints
- Mitigation of air pollution and greenhouse gases
- Domestic energy access at the bottom of the pyrami
Cluster 3: Ecosystems and Water
- Assessing competing land use options for fuel, food and fibre
- Resilience measures in ecosystems and networks
- Stability and complexity of adaptive ecological networks
- Dynamical systems in ecology
- Modeling mechanisms influencing plant diversity and productivity
- World Water Scenarios Initiative: Southern Africa case study
- Water futures and solutions
Cluster 4: Population, Health and Aging
- Integrating Indigenous Knowledge into maternal and child health programs
- New approaches to measuring aging in South Africa
- Educational reform and social justice
- Exploring the population-environment-development nexus in marula harvesting regions
Conditions of participation
Participants are expected to be resident at the University of the Free State for the SA-YSSP’s entire 3-month period and to engage in the necessary preparations and follow-up activities. With approval by the SA-YSSP supervisors, participants are allowed to take up to five days of leave for personal or professional reasons, potentially including the December holiday break. Participants commit to the timely submission of their SA-YSSP research reports and to working towards submitting a resultant manuscript to an international scientific journal after the SA-YSSP.
PhD students from South Africa, sub-Saharan African countries, and other IIASA member countries are eligible to apply.
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