Applications for 2023 cohort


We invite applicants wishing to study topics in the following areas to apply for the 2023 cohort:

  • Tertiary science education
  • Postgraduate education
  • Academic staff formation (including academic development, mentoring, and academic careers)
  • Understanding knowledge and epistemological access (including the use of indigenous languages)
  • Sociology of higher education
  • Educational technology in higher education


To apply for the 2023 cohort programme, please email the following documents to Dr. Kirstin Wilmot (

  • A concept note (approx. eight pages) where you outline your proposed research
  • A copy of your CV
  • A copy of your master’s thesis
  • A copy of your master examiners’ reports (if possible)


The application deadline is 14 December 2022.


A selection committee will sit in early January 2023 to consider the applications. Only full applications will be considered.


Candidates will be selected based on the strength of their application and how well-aligned the proposed research is to the current research interests of the department. Applicants will be notified of the outcome by 30 January 2023.


Formal registration for the PhD

If you are invited to do so, formal applications need to be submitted via the Registrar’s office at Rhodes University and must be accompanied by the following documents:

  1. A completed application form.
  2. Full transcripts of previous degrees (unless they are Rhodes University degrees).
  3. An abbreviated CV, highlighting the areas which are of relevance to the proposed study, including publications and conferences attended.
  4. A proposal concept or essay of 5-8 pages in which you provide a motivation for your proposed research drawing on relevant academic literature. This concept paper should articulate your proposed research questions, and situate these in a proposed field of study relevant to education, and should be professionally referenced. This need not contain information on the methodology of the proposed study.


Please indicate the name of the supervisor on your application as this will facilitate internal processing of the application.


Next steps after applying

If you are accepted as a doctoral student your next task will be to develop your research proposal (which can take up to a year of intense work), after which you are required to present a seminar to the Faculty on your proposed research. You will be mentored by your supervisor in preparing the proposal. The purpose of the seminar is to obtain critical feedback in preparation for your final proposal and your research programme. Your final proposal needs to be approved by the Education Faculty Higher Degrees Committee before you may proceed with your research. Ethical clearance from the Rhodes University Ethics Committee is also required before you may commence with the research.

Doctoral students are expected to attend the Faculty of Education Research Methodology course in the first year of study. This course is offered twice a year and lasts for 6 days. The course focuses on research design, and will provide support for the process of preparing a research proposal.

The Faculty of Education also offer three one-week ‘Doc Weeks’ each year, and doctoral students are encouraged to attend these, as they provide an advanced professional learning environment and provide access to a community of scholars. The doctoral study weeks cover the following areas of study, which are offered via an interactive, co-engaged approach:


  • Social Theory, Philosophy, Epistemology and Methodology
  • Advanced Educational Theory and Practice
  • Quality, Ethics, Evidence and Analysis
  • Specialist Study in the field of Higher Education Studies
  • Academic Literacies and Professionalism

Further information on postgraduate studies at Rhodes University can be found on the postgraduate gateway. The gateway provides information on programmes offered by the Centre for Postgraduate Studies, the University Supervision Policy, and the Higher Degrees Guide.


Who to contact for help?








Last Modified: Mon, 31 Oct 2022 10:36:34 SAST