Global Change Social Sciences (GCSS) call

UFS strip research

The GCCSSRP seeks to address societal transformations and sustainability challenges facing South Africa. In doing so, it responds to the South African National Development Plan (NPC 2012), the African Union 2063 Agenda (AU 2014), and the UN 2030 Agenda (UN 2014), all of which underscore the urgency for an approach of sustainability with, in, and for societal transformation (SWIFT).

These development plans, together with the Department of Science and Innovation’s (DSI, 2019) White Paper on Science and Technology innovation, all emphasise the need for actions that will enable society to better cope with global challenges to move towards a more liveable, just, and ecologically sustainable future.

Since no single perspective or approach can work on its own and both academic and non-academic actors need to co-produce transformative change, multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, and transdisciplinary approaches are required. In this context, the SWIFT approach proposed here aims to catalyse transformative research led by the social sciences and humanities, while also working across disciplines and knowledge domains, enabling social innovation and progress towards social-ecological justice, transformed political ecologies, and well-being for society and their natural environment.

While interdisciplinarity is encouraged, the projects should be informed by the social sciences or the arts and humanities and should be led by researchers from these disciplines. The following five knowledge areas should be addressed:

  • Knowledge Area 1: Global change systemic perspectives, social and sustainability transformations
  • Knowledge Area 2: Transformations in development, economics, and technologies and practices in global change / sustainability contexts
  • Knowledge Area 3: Global change and transformative social learning, multi-dimensional meanings and values
  • Knowledge Area 4: Global change, transformative social movements for change, and social system change
  • Knowledge Area 5: Transforming institutions to respond to global change challenges and opportunities – politics, governance, and institutions.

Extended UFS internal closing date: 8 June 2023.

Detailed information regarding this call is available in the framework document.


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