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About the SCIS

Introduction to the Southern Centre for Inequality Studies

The Southern Centre for Inequality Studies (SCIS) is an interdisciplinary research centre focussed on understanding and addressing inequality in the global South, and around the world. The work of the SCIS is founded on principles of intersectionality, interdisciplinarity, and collaboration.

The work of the SCIS is founded on four key approaches:

  • Identifying key areas where inequality shapes the structure of the economy and society.
  • Understanding the production, reproduction and intersection of power relations and inequality, through a focus on the structure of the economy and society, and political, economic, and cultural processes.
  • Imagining an alternative configuration of power relations that generates affirmative state action, provides greater equality of access to relevant resources, and fundamentally alters the structure of power relations in society. 
  • Developing a research and policy agenda for the inclusive growth of productive forces.

These principles find expression in our research projects and work streams. These include wealth inequality, public economies, the future of work, a sustainable and inclusive economy, intersectionality and inequality, climate, sustainability and inequality, and pre-distribution.

The SCIS focuses on research-led teaching and learning. To achieve this, SCIS offers the following opportunities:

  • A Master of Commerce in Inequality Studies, which trains researchers and policy practitioners to understand inequality around the world, with a focus on the global South. It offers a thorough and rigorous grounding in the literature, theory and methods of inequality studies, as well as in-depth exposure to current topics in inequality studies taught by those at the cutting edge of inequality research.
  • PhD fellowship programme which comprises a cohort of PhD students undertaking interdisciplinary research into inequality in the global South. Meet our PhD fellows here
  • Post-Doctoral Fellowship programme which is offered to individuals from South Africa and around the world. The Post-doctoral fellows spend between one and three years at SCIS, undertaking cutting-edge research, and participating in the intellectual life of SCIS. You can meet our post-doctoral fellows here.
  • Internship programme for Wits students undertaking their masters or PhD studies. The programme lasts for six months on a part-time basis and exposes interns to the world of academic research. Each intern is placed in one of our research programmes, and works alongside our senior research team. You can meet our interns here.
  • Cameron Schrier Equality Fellowship, targeted at experienced activists from civil society, senior government officials, and business leaders from across the global South. The programme extends the work of the SCIS beyond academic research, including policy engagement, and collaborations with government, business, and civil society. 

For more information about the Centre and our work, contact us.