Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Intellectual Property Law

Picture1The Intellectual Property Unit (IP Unit) at the Department of Commercial Law, University of Cape Town invites applications for a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in the area of Intellectual Property Law. The selected fellow will become part of a new project: One Ocean Hub.

Scope and Purpose

This fellowship is intended to support the One Ocean Hub project by contributing towards the understanding of various intellectual property aspects related to the ocean exploration, exploitation and management.

The Research Fellow will be required to:

  • develop research in the area of intellectual property and the maritime environment within the scope of the One Ocean Hub’s objectives;
  • assist the Hub research partners with intellectual property relates queries;
  • liaise with the Hub research partners with a view to promoting collaborative research;
  • implement research findings into the teaching curriculum of the IP Unit; and
  • assist with the identification of further research opportunities and initiate new post-graduate research projects.

The Research Fellow may be requested to participate in departmental activities. In addition, the successful applicant will be encouraged and supported to conduct self-initiated research during the tenure of the Fellowship under the supervision of A/Prof. Tobias Schonwetter.

Tenure and Value

The initial tenure of the fellowship is for one year, from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020, and is renewable, contingent on satisfactory academic progress and availability of funds.

The Fellowship is valued at R240,000 per annum and does not include any benefits or allowances. An application to SARS for tax-exemption will be made by the University on behalf of the successful candidate.


Applicants must:

  • hold a PhD degree specialising in intellectual property law. The PhD must have been granted within the past 5 years (alternatively, satisfactory evidence must be presented that the PhD examination process will be successfully completed within 6 months from the time the fellowship is taken up);
  • provide evidence of strong scholarly performance, including an extended research and publication record, experience of delivering papers at conferences, and research experience as part of a large multi-disciplinary research project;
  • have research and teaching experience at the intersection of intellectual property law and (marine) genetic resources, such as the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Nagoya Protocol;
  • be interested and able to work on social media, writing and posting blogs.

Skills in using technology as a collaborative research tool would be an asset. The successful candidate will be required to register as a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Cape Town and comply with the University’s approved policies, procedures and practices for the postdoctoral sector.

Applicant may not previously have held full-time permanent professional or academic posts.


Required documents:

  • A letter of application expressing research experience and interests;
  • a full CV, including list of publications;
  • copies (or certified transcripts) of academic transcripts; and
  • names and contact details of at least two academics who have taught, supervised or worked alongside the applicant.

Applications should be sent to A/Prof. Tobias Schonwetter, under the heading “Postdoctoral Research Fellowship 2019”.

The deadline for applications is 15 May 2019.

Eligible and complete applications will be considered by the Director of the IP Unit. The University of Cape Town reserves the right to disqualify ineligible, incomplete and/or inappropriate applications, and change the conditions of award or to make no awards at all.