LLD and PhD in Multilevel Government and Local Government

The Dullah Omar Institute (DOI) hosts a Doctoral Programme, dealing with the law, policy and practice of multilevel government in South Africa, the region and beyond. PhD candidates are supervised by senior academic staff including the South African Research Chair in Multilevel Government, Prof Jaap de Visser and Prof Tinashe Carlton Chigwata.

Doctoral studies have been completed on local government/devolution/federalism in South Africa, Uganda, Ethiopia and Kenya and Zimbabwe. Please note that there are LLD/PhD positions available for the 2025 academic year on the following topics:

Topic 1: Do African cities have the jurisdiction, legal status and authority to respond to climate change?

The study will (1) produce a conceptual framework for the jurisdiction, legal status and authority that African cities require to respond to climate change and (2) assess a select number of African cities for compliance with this conceptual framework.

Topic 2: The impact of colonial legacies on multilevel government in Africa

The study will examine how legal frameworks inherited from colonial regimes in Africa (often premised on centralised control) co-exist with recent post-colonial constitutional and legal frameworks for decentralisation/devolution.

Admission requirements

To be considered for admission, applicants must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • an LLM degree, or Masters degree in political science, economics, public administration or other related social sciences;
  • proven ability to undertake advanced research; and
  • relevant experience, where applicable.

How to apply

Complete this form to submit your application.

Applications must include a current CV, a motivation letter (also addressing your choice for, and interpretation of one of the topics), certified copies of academic records (degree and transcript), and a writing sample, which may include a published article, a research paper or a thesis.

CLOSING DATE FOR APPLICATIONS for ADMISSION TO THE PROGRAMME: 30 September 2024. This deadline applies only for students who do NOT want to apply for an NRF PhD bursary.



How to apply for bursaries

The National Research Foundation (NRF) offers a few PhD bursaries through the South African Research Chair in Multilevel Government in the 2025 academic year.

The NRF minimum academic requirement for postgraduate funding is 65%. Applicants for doctoral funding must not be over 32 years by 31 December 2024. Successful applicants will be funded either at Full Cost of Study (FCS) or Partial Cost of Study (PCS). The FCS funding will be awarded to South African citizens and permanent residents only, who are either financially needy (i.e., those whose combined household family income is less or equal to R350 000 per annum), living with a disability or exceptional academic achievers. However, the PCS funding will be awarded to 5% of international students including South African citizens and permanent residents who could not be funded under FCS but meet other minimum requirements for the NRF scholarship funding.

An application for a bursary must also be accompanied by an application for admission to the programme, as explained above.

Bursaries are available only for full-time students. To be nominated for a PhD bursary, an applicant must have an excellent academic record as well as proven research ability. Nominated students will be advised by the Dullah Omar Institute soonest to apply for an NRF bursary online: Deadline 05 July 2024.