The Rhodes University Research Fellowship/ Oxford Human Rights Hub Travelling Fellowship (‘the Fellowship’) is a new partnership between the Faculty of Law at Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa and the Oxford Human Rights Hub at the Faculty of Law at the University of Oxford (OxHRH), United Kingdom, and the Legal Resource Centre, Grahamstown, South Africa (LRC) (‘the Partner Organisations’) designed to match needs with resources.
South Africa, and the Eastern Cape in particular, provide fertile ground for legal intervention to benefit of poor and vulnerable inhabitants. Rhodes University is a university situated in the Eastern Cape and it is committed to the people and development needs of this province. The Faculty of Law at Rhodes University seeks to inculcate a culture of engaged research among its staff and students and believes that impetus can be provided through this fellowship. The OxHRH, based in the Faculty of Law at the University of Oxford provides a network with access to Oxford law students and graduates who, as part of their studies or at the end thereof, wish to engage with human rights issues at the coalface and in a scholarly fashion. The needs of the Faculty of Law at Rhodes university and its university and community partners, in particular the LRC Grahmanstown, can be met by bringing Oxford Law Faculty graduates to Grahamstown, with reciprocal benefits to the graduates and to the OxHRH through the work and research experience gained by the graduates.
The Faculty of Law at Rhodes University and the LRC, Grahamstown will jointly host up to two Fellows at a time for a period of six months. Graduate students and recent graduate students of the Faculty of Law, University of Oxford are invited to apply for the Fellowship.
1. Description of Fellowship
The Fellowship will be jointly based at the Faculty of Law, Rhodes University and the LRC in Grahamstown. It is envisaged that the Fellow will spend four days per week at the LRC and one day per week at Rhodes University. Office space will be provided by the Faculty of Law, Rhodes University and LRC in order to accommodate the Fellow. Fellows will also have access to library and IT resources at Rhodes University during the Fellowship.
Fellows will be expected to perform independent research leading to publication, participate in the research community and foster collaborative links during the Fellowship.
1.1 Perform Independent Research
Fellows are to undertake independent but supervised research in relation to one or more of the following research questions:
- How can litigants ensure compliance with court orders against the state, especially when these are not sounding in money?
- How can one realise the right to education in the absence of the political will to do so?
- What happens after the certification of a class action to assert constitutional rights?
- How do class actions compare with litigation in which the court was approach in the public interest without named applicants when considering the outcome (sections 38(c) and (d) of the Constitution of the RSA respectively)?
- Other research questions, tied to work of the LRC as they arise.
- Other research questions, identified by the Fellow, in consultation and with the agreement of the Partner Organisations.
Based on this research, Fellows will be required to prepare at least one piece of quality writing (either sole authored or in collaboration with a member of one of the Partner Organisations) for publication in a peer reviewed and accredited journal in the name of Rhodes University Law Faculty, during or immediately after their term ends. Additional publications and writing partnerships are strongly encouraged.
1.2 Participate in Research Community
Fellows will be expected to participate in, and contribute to the research community at Rhodes University. Fellows are expected to participate in faculty seminars at Rhodes University and give at least one guest lecture based on their research. Interaction between the research fellows and postgraduate and undergraduate law students will be encouraged.
Fellows will be offered four formalised mentor relationships during the Fellowship:
- Senior Mentor (Rhodes University). A senior member of the Faculty of Law at Rhodes University will meet the Fellow at least once every two weeks to provide advice, support and guidance on research and other matters related to the Fellowship;
- Senior Mentor (LRC). A senior member of the LRC Grahamstown will supervise the daily research work of the Fellow while in residence at LRC;
- Senior Mentor (OxHRH). A senior member of the OxHRH virtually ‘meet’ with the Fellow at least once per month (via Skype or email) to provide advice, support and guidance on research and other matters related to the Fellowship;
- Junior Mentor (Rhodes University/ LRC). A junior member of the Faculty of Law at Rhodes University or LRC Grahamstown will meet with the Fellow on a regular basis to provide ‘peer-to-peer’ advice, support and guidance on research and other matters related to the Fellowship.
Fellows will also have the opportunity to establish mentoring relationships with two Eastern Cape High Court judges.
1.3 Foster Collaborative Links
Fellows will be expected to make efforts to foster collaborative links between the Partner Organisations. Fellows are encouraged to write a monthly blog for the OxHRH based upon their Grahamstown experience and their research. The OxHRH will provide Fellows with opportunities to publicise their work and to tap into extensive network of human rights lawyers and academics.
4. Accommodation and Meals
Research Office at Rhodes University will provide for the accommodation and living expenses of the Fellows. Should a Fellow elect to find his or her own accommodation, he/she will be entitled to the cash value of the cost to the Faculty, which will be half a year’s postgraduate residence fee inclusive of meals (ie Celeste, Oakdene, currently R 52800 pa thus R 26400 for 6 months).
No additional stipend will be provided, however Fellows will be strongly encouraged to apply for external sources of funding for this Fellowship and will be eligible to apply to the Oxford Pro Bono Publico Internship Programme.
5. Travel costs
Travel costs to and from Grahamstown are not included in the fellowship. Fellows are encouraged to apply external sources of funding (for example, Oxford Colleges) to cover this cost. If a Fellow cannot independent meet the cost of travel to and from Grahamstown, and can demonstrate that reasonable efforts have been made to acquire additional funding assistance from external sources, the Fellow may apply to the Executive Committee of the Faculty of Law, Rhodes University for financial assistance towards these costs.
Fellows will be appointed jointly by representatives of the Partner Organisations. Interview for the Fellowship will take place in Oxford and the Fellows will be based full time in Grahamstown, South Africa during the Fellowship period.
Recent graduates and/or students of the Faculty of Law at Oxford University will be invited to apply for the Fellowship by submitting a CV and motivation letter (highlighting the particular research question the candidate wishes to address) addressed to Professor Sandra Fredman, Director of the Oxford Human Rights Hub at firstname.lastname@example.org by March 14, 2015.
Fellows will ideally commence their term from either July 2016 and remain in residence for a six month period. However, start dates are flexible and can be determined jointly between successful candidates and the Partner Organisations.