PhD scholarship on Multiple Waterscapes in Urban Ghana at the Centre of African Studies

Applications are invited for a PhD scholarship on Multiple Waterscapes in Urban Ghana at the Centre of African Studies, University of Copenhagen. The scholarship is for three years and is available from 1 January 2025 or as soon as possible thereafter. The granting of the scholarship carries with it enrolment as a PhD student at the PhD school of the Faculty of Theology where the Centre of African Studies is administratively located.

The PhD scholarship is part of a DANIDA funded research project entitled ‘Multiple Waterscapes in Urban Ghana (MUWUG)’. MUWUG is an international research collaboration between the University of Copenhagen, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, the Danish Institute for International Studies and the Geneva Water Hub. The project investigates how poorer residents in different parts of Ghana’s second city, Kumasi, access clean drinking water under conditions of climate change.

The project examines what poorer people in Kumasi (Ghana) do to get clean water, and whether this depends on which part of the city they live in. It focuses on three types of urban sites that represent different configurations of residents and businesses, and different social histories and dynamics i: 1. the downtown older areas of the city where many residents are originally migrants, 2. areas that are both industrial and residential and where poorer people compete with water intensive industries and 3. sites on the edge of the city where long term residents compete with middle class people that buy land at the outskirts of the city. The study of these sites employs a combination of ethnographic and archival methods and draws from a range of disciplinary backgrounds.

The proposed PhD project (developed in the project description that is submitted as part of the PhD application) should reflect the broad aims of the project and situate itself within one of the site typologies.  The proposed PhD project should also reflect the applicant’s background and could focus on for example local politics, gender, urban studies, urban history and political ecology.

The PhD project involves conducting fieldwork in Ghana as well as conference participation, both of which is funded by the project. It requires presence and teaching at the University of Copenhagen, as well as participation in project meetings and workshops.

Read more about the project here. You are welcome to contact the Principal Investigator Karen Lauterbach for further information on the academic content of the project (email:

PhD programme
The PhD programme provides PhD students with strong research training, at an international level, to undertake research, development and teaching assignments. These qualifications open a window of opportunity to a variety of careers within the private and public sectors. The programme includes the drafting of a PhD thesis, active participation in research networks, the scholarly life of the Centre of African Studies and the research project (MUWUG), PhD courses, teaching, and other forms of knowledge dissemination.

The standard duration of the PhD programme is three years of full-time studies, which equals 180 ECTS credits.

Qualification requirements
To be considered, applicants must have a Master’s degree in African Studies, anthropology, development studies, geography, urban studies (120 ECTS or equivalent) or any other relevant Master’s degree or similar qualifications. Besides attention to the scientific quality and the feasibility of the proposed PhD project, the assessment will put emphasis on the talent for independent research demonstrated by the applicant usually through a Master’s thesis or similar.

The qualifications of applicants with non-Danish Master’s degrees will be assessed to ascertain whether they correspond to the Danish level. For further information, please refer to the website of the Ministry of Education and Research:

Applicants must possess skills in written and spoken academic English at a high levelIf deemed necessary, the Faculty may request that applicants document their English skills.

Duties and Responsibilities
Further information about the PhD programme is available on our website:

For information about the guidelines for PhD studies at UCPH, please refer to:
PhD Programs - Guide to studies and admission – University of Copenhagen (

The Danish Ministerial Order on the PhD programme at the Universities can be found here:

Equal opportunity workplace
The University of Copenhagen wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications for the scholarship from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.

How to apply
All applications must be submitted online, in PDF or Microsoft Word format, via the link “Apply now” at the bottom of the page. The application must be written in English and include the following enclosures:  

  • Project abstract (please fill in the ‘project abstract’ box in the application form, it must not exceed 1,200 characters)
  • Cover letter detailing your motivation and background for applying for the specific PhD project.
  • Project description (maximum 5 pages/12,000 keystrokes including space, but excluding bibliography)
  • CV
  • Diploma and transcripts of records (both Master’s degree and Bachelor’s degree)
  • Time schedule
  • Tentative budget for the three years of study including fieldwork
  • Other information for consideration, e.g. list of publications, documentation of English language qualifications (if relevant)

If available, the following documents should also be submitted as appendices:   

  • Master’s thesis
  • Master’s thesis assessment

The project description must contain a description of the planned research project (max. 5 pages/12,000 keystrokes incl. spaces), and the draft outline of the study programme must be a realistic plan for the fulfillment of requirements under the Ministerial Order on PhD degrees with regard to participation in courses and periods of study at other institutions.   

Please note that it is only possible to upload one document per attachment category. If more than one document must be uploaded in the same category, please make sure that they are scanned, and collected into one file.

The recruitment process
After the deadline for applications, the Dean selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Appointment Committee. The following criteria are used when shortlisting candidates for assessment:

  • Research qualifications as reflected in the project description.
  • Quality and feasibility of the project.
  • Qualifications and knowledge in the relevant disciplines.
  • Performance (grades obtained) in graduate and post-graduate studies.

All applicants will be notified whether they have been shortlisted for assessment. Selected applicants are notified of the composition of the assessment committee. Each applicant has the opportunity to comment on the committee’s assessment of their application. You can read about the recruitment process at:  Recruitment process – University of Copenhagen (

Terms of employment

PhD students are paid a salary in accordance with the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State. Depending on seniority, the monthly salary starts at approximately 30,700 DKK/roughly 4,100 EUR plus 17.1% pension. The PhD student has a work obligation of up to 840 hours over the 3-year period without additional pay. The work obligation can include for instance teaching.

International applicant?
The University of Copenhagen offers a broad variety of services for international researchers and accompanying families, including support before and during your relocation and career counselling to expat partners. Please find more information about these services as well as information on entering and working in Denmark here:

Contact information
For further information about the structure and rules of the PhD program, please email the PhD administration at South and City Campuses, e-mail: Please refer to case number 211-1864/24-2H #1on request.

Information about the recruitment process is available from HR, email: Please refer to case number 211-1864/24-2H #1 on request.

If you have questions concerning the academic content of the PhD scholarship, please contact the Director of the Centre of African Studies and PI of MUWUG Karen Lauterbach (

The application deadline is 1 September 2024, 23:59 CEST

Any applications sent by regular mail, by email or received after the deadline will not be considered. However, changes may be made to the submitted application right up until the deadline.


Part of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and among Europe’s top-ranking universities, the University of Copenhagen promotes research and teaching of the highest international standard. Rich in tradition and modern in outlook, the University gives students and staff the opportunity to cultivate their talent in an ambitious and informal environment. An effective organisation – with good working conditions and a collaborative work culture – creates the ideal framework for a successful academic career.


Application deadline: 01-09-2024
Employment start: 01-01-2025
Department/Location: Centre of African Studies
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