Research Assistant @Land Matrix Initiative

Call for applications

27 August 2015


Programme Support Unit (PSU)
Research Assistant

Please note that we have extended the deadline for applications. New deadline: 16 October 2015

The Land Matrix Initiative 

The Land Matrix Initiative (LMI) is a global and independent initiative monitoring competition over land use in the Global South. Its goal is to facilitate an open development community of citizens, researchers, policy-makers and technology specialists to promote transparency and accountability in decisions over land and investment. The LMI has become an international innovative benchmark for its open data and development approach, database structure, web appearance, and multi-stakeholder character, and has received wide interest among policymakers, development practitioners, NGOs, the media, researchers and the informed public.
In view of enhancing the quality of the LMI, and increasing its impact on policy-dialogue and decision making, the LM is presently involved in a process of decentralization and expansion. Five new organizations have joined the network in June 2014 and will act as Regional Focal Points - and regional, national and thematic Land Observatories will complement the well-established LM Global Observatory that monitors and collects data on large-scale land transactions worldwide.

The Project Support Unit

As the LMI expands and decentralizes, project coordination becomes necessary. In the framework of this expansion and decentralization, it has been decided to establish a Project Support Unit (PSU). The PSU will be the coordinating entity of the LMI and will act as an intermediary body coordinating and implementing the decisions taken by the Steering Committee. It will be based at the University of Pretoria, hosted by the Post-Graduate School of Agriculture and Rural Development, in the Department of Agricultural Economics and the Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation.

The Research assistant 

The PSU research assistants will report to the PSU Coordinator. The work will include mainly statistical analysis of the Land Matrix database. After consultation with the candidate and joint assessment of the database precise topics will be agreed up on.

Who should/can apply?

Students with an educational background either in statistics with an interest in land issues or a background in natural sciences with excellent statistical knowledge.
More particularly, we are looking for students excelling in:
Statistical analysis
Remote sensing/GIS/infographics
Students engaged in their Master’s last/thesis year or Postdoctoral Fellows who have completed PhD.

Which fields and topics are focused on? 

Fields and topics are related to large-scale land acquisitions, which include the broad fields of development policy, agriculture, rural development, natural resources governance, water policy, food security, etc.)

How to apply?

A comprehensive motivation letter detailing skills and experience in the listed fields of expertise;
A 2-page Curriculum Vitae with a list of referees and contact details;
Applications should be send to the PSU coordinator Dr Saliou Niassy (, with the candidate’s supervisor in CC at
Postgraduate School of Agriculture & RD IT Building 3-19, University of Pretoria
Tel: +27 12 420-3601
Fax: +27 12 420-3206

Application process and calendar:

Deadline for applications: 16 October 2015
Selection outcome announced by University of Pretoria and BTC: October 2015
Starting date bursary: November 2015

Icon LMI_ResearchAssistant.pdf (270.4 KB)