the 2021/2022 Wits-TUB-UNILAG Urban lab phD program in urban studies

Wits-TUB-UNILAG Urban Lab PhD Program
Key details
  • Host: DAAD
  • Open to: Africans
  • Target: Graduates
  • Deadline: 31st August, 2021

Applications for Wits-TUB-UNILAG Urban Lab PhD Program In Urban Studies for 2021/2022 are currently ongoing.

About the Wits-TUB-UNILAG Urban Lab PhD Program
Wits-TUB-UNILAG Urban Lab PhD Program

The Wits-TUB-UNILAG Urban Lab program, funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), aims to strengthen graduate education in urban disciplines across Sub-Saharan Africa.

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It is one of seven SDG Graduate Schools funded by the DAAD worldwide The lead partners, the Technische Universität Berlin’s Habitat Unit, Wits University’s School of Architecture and Planning in Johannesburg, and the University of Lagos, collaborate to offer an urban-oriented graduate training and capacity building program at Wits University that aims to effectively address the challenges and needs of modern urban studies.

Successful PhD candidates will be based at Wits University’s School of Architecture and Planning. The university offers a structured PhD program. This will include monthly support and networking events for the school’s PhD students.

Eligibility Criteria
  • The Wits-TUB-UNILAG Urban Lab PhD Program is interdisciplinary, but they place a special emphasis on a portfolio that is inter-and transdisciplinary, cutting across the fields of development planning, housing, sustainable urban development, urban management, and urban design. Candidates in architecture and urban planning as well as in the humanities, cultural studies, urban geography, or social sciences with a focus on urban studies and planning as well as candidates in related fields such as landscape architecture are also welcome to apply.
  • Only South African citizens and citizens of other African countries can apply.
  • Applicants must hold a master’s degree that is equivalent to a master’s degree (NQF level 9) in the South African Qualification System (SAQA).
  • They must also meet the PhD admission requirements of the School, which include proven ability of excellent academic writing in English, and an academic transcript at masters level with marks averaging at least 70%.
  • The program language is English. Proficiency in any other language necessary for the proposed geographic location of their fieldwork is recommended.
  • There is no age limit applying to the scholarships for study purposes. However, at the time of the application, no more than 6 years should have passed since an applicant graduated from his/ her previous master’s studies.

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Application Procedure

Applications for the Wits-TUB-UNILAG Urban Lab PhD Program In Urban Studies are accepted by the school until August 31, 2021. Applicants with non-South Africa university qualification must keep the pre-screening deadline of May 31, 2021 in mind.

In order for the scholarship application to be complete, the following documents must be included:

  • A cover letter explaining why you qualify for the scholarship.
  • Additionally, this letter should speak to the qualification criteria, and should also provide a connection between the project themes and your envisaged topic.
  • A 4-page research proposal indicating the intended area of research and topic, research question and methods. The main supervisors are Prof Mfaniseni Sihlongonyane and Prof Marie Huchzermeyer. Applicants’ research proposals should engage with at least one of the project’s research areas set out above (resilience, urban justice, solidarity) in the context of urban development on the African continent (the proposal needs to state the geographical area of the research), while also aligning to one of the main areas of expertise of either of the two main supervisors.
  • A CV
  • A copy of all degree certificates and official academic transcripts indicating marks for all degrees.
  • An electronic copy of any previous research undertaken (if available).
  • Letters of recommendations from two referees. At least one referee must be an academic under whom the applicant has studied.
  • For masters degree obtained outside of South Africa, a South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) certificate ranking the applicant’s masters degree at NQF level 9.


All the listed documents must be submitted by e-mail to Ms. Taki Sithagu at by 31 August 2021. As stated above, those without a SAQA certificate must submit items 1-7 to Ms. Taki Sithagu for pre-screening by 31 May 2021. These applicants may refine or update the written part of their proposals subsequently and will submit their final full application including item 8 (SAQA certificate) by 31st August 2021.

For more information visit the official website of Wits-TUB-UNILAG Urban Lab PhD Program

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