International PhD Training Partnership

JohannesburgIn 2016 we established a PhD training partnership with the School of Architecture and Planning at Witwatersrand University in South Africa to further develop our PhD training programme.

Funded by Research Councils UK (UK), the Newton Fund (UK) and the National Research Foundation (South Africa), our training partnership will develop an international cohort of researchers in South Africa and the UK with the skills and capacities to conduct high quality urban research. At the heart of the programme is a series of short exchanges between South Africa and the UK, in order to draw on the strengths of each department in interdisciplinary and co-produced research. Exchange visits are structured around key stages in the PhD process from research design to write-up and dissemination. In between exchange visits participants are supported via online communication and further engagement activities.

The Training Partnership is coordinated by USP staff members Glyn Williams, Paula Meth and Steve Connelly. At Witwatersrand University, key contacts are Claire Benit-Gbaffou, Sarah Charlton and Alison Todes. The partnership grows out of shared interests among the core team in comparative research, particularly across Africa and South Asia, which investigates the impact of urban policy and state practices on social justice.

All students who join our PhD programme will have the opportunity to participate in the Training Partnership programme, either by participating in sessions delivered here in Sheffield or by undertaking a visit to Johannesburg. In doing so, you will join an international community of early career researchers able to share and discuss issues relevant to research in the field of urban planning and governance.

Wits studentsIn April 2016, we hosted the visits of Kate Tissington, Boitumelo Matlala, Mamokete Matjomame and Darlington Mushongera from Witwatersrand University. Kate said - "The visit has been a great opportunity to engage with other PhD students on their research, and to discuss common insights and challenges across our projects. Sheffield is a fun city and the University, particularly the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, has been a great place to be learn and share. We're all looking forward to reciprocating the warm welcome we've received, and hosting the Sheffield PhD students later in the year."

This project is part of the Economic and Social Research Council's Urban transformations portfolio.