The Institute of Resource Assessment (IRA) of the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) invites applications for one (1) 4-year full-time PhD study within the research project “Young People’s Climate Change Engagement in Tanzania (Y-ENGAGE)”.

The research project is funded by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The successful candidate will be expected to start on May 1, 2022, or as soon as possible thereafter.

The Y-ENGAGE Project

Climate Change (CC) is one of the greatest threats facing humanity, and a defining issue of our time. Young people in sub-Saharan Africa are on the frontline of this crisis. They constitute both the largest and most vulnerable group to experience the harmful effects of CC. It is critical that we learn from and engage young people in the fight against the effects of CC. However, much current knowledge on young people’s climate engagement reflects the experiences of young people in the global North. By generating insights from Tanzania, Y-ENGAGE seeks to diversify our understandings of young people’s engagement with CC and galvanise the activism potential of young people in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Y-ENGAGE project thus draws on qualitative and participatory research methods, including photography, to explore: 1) young people’s experiences, conceptions, struggles, and ways of coping with CC in Tanzania; 2) opportunities and challenges for young people to exert influence and transform climate-related practices; and 3) the role of teachers and schools in facilitating engagement with CC.

The project is a collaboration between Ardhi University, the University of Dar es Salaam, the University of Copenhagen, the Tanzania Youth Coalition and Save the Children.

The PhD Position

The PhD will co-lead an empirical sub-study within the project looking to explore how a diverse group of young people experience and conceive the relationship between human activity, climate-related events, and local resource availability (e.g. water, food, energy). The analytical focus should be on how young people engage with this nexus in embodied, day-to-day, and emotional senses, recognising the many competing priorities that exist for young people, as well as other concerns and worries that may be more pressing than climate change. Attention should also be paid to their sources of climate change knowledge, including their (dis)trust in these sources, as well as their psychological responses (e.g., distancing, feelings of powerlessness) to climate change encounters. Methodologically, the study will draw on the Photovoice methodology with 48 young people. The young people will take photos and write down their reflections on a selection of the photos. Photos and their written essays will be discussed in in-depth interviews and focus group discussions.

Specifically, the PhD candidate will be involved in the study design, training and research as follows:


  • Support the recruitment of young people as co-researchers
  • Formulate a recruitment strategy of young participants
  • Develop topic guides and tools for data collection
  • Work with the research team to develop strategies for disseminating photos and stories to local decision makers.


  • Introduce the Y-ENGAGE methodology to local communities in open sessions,
  • Train a group of young people to become co-researchers
  • Support and train research assistants.


  • Recruitment of study participants
  • Pilot test the different methods used
  • Conduct the research
  • Thematically analyse data
  • Write peer-reviewed articles that report on key findings in line with the study objectives.

Also, the candidate will as part of the PhD training at UDSM be expected to:

  • Participate in dissemination of findings emanating from the project to stakeholders,
  • Prepare quarterly and annual progress reports of the project,
  • Support and manage administrative research tasks
  • Participate in active research environments including a stay in another research environment. In this project it includes 2 x 13-week stays at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • Write a PhD thesis

Essential qualifications

Prospective applicant must have:

  • A Master’s degree in social psychology or sociology or anthropology or human geography or global public health or similar relevant qualification,
  • Experience of working with qualitative methods,
  • Practical experience of working with children and young people, either in public health, education or climate change contexts,
  • Strong written and oral communication skills in both English and Kiswahili languages,

Desired qualifications

  • Experience of participatory research methodologies, such as Photovoice,
  • Knowledge of climate change challenges in Tanzania,
  • Experience of publishing peer-reviewed papers.

Additional Attributes

In addition to the above qualifications, applicants should be able to demonstrate their interest in the project, as well as their ability to work independently, take initiative and be team players. The project is looking for detail-oriented Tanzanian candidate with strong analytical skills, outstanding organizational skills and a drive to be part of a research project and the climate response. The candidate must be willing to travel to Copenhagen, Denmark, as part of their PhD training. The candidate should also be willing to register at the Institute of Resource Assessment (IRA) of the UDSM for the PhD studies.

Appointment Conditions

The position is a full-time 4-year post and the candidate will be based at UDSM in Dar es Salaam. Please contact Dr. Catherine A. Masao ( for any enquiry pertaining the application and more information about the position.

Application Procedures

Eligible candidates should submit their application in English to Project Co-PI Tanzania, Dr. Catherine A. Masao ( and copy to IRA Director (Dr. Joel Nobert -

The deadline for submission of application is 28th March 2022 midnight East African Time.

Applications must include:

  • Cover letter explaining a clear motivation for contributing to the project,
  • Curriculum vitae – detailing experience in conducting qualitative research,
  • Copy of relevant certificates,
  • PhD Proposal Concept Note,
  • Names and contact information of three (3) referees, with associated letters of recommendation

Shortlisted applicants shall be required to write a more detailed protocol/project description and shall be invited to a face to face and/or Zoom interview on a date to be announced to them. Respective remuneration will be paid to the successful candidate for the time spent in the project in line with the project’s set budget.

Issued on 22 December 2021

Please click the link to download the Call for PhD Position 1

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