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Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa



Job Opportunity: Research Director at Africa Institute of South Africa (AISA)

Company: Human Sciences Research Council
Reference #: Ref. No: RD-AISA 09/19
Published: 13/08/2019
Contract Type: 5 Years Contract
Salary: Market Related
Location: Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa


The Africa Institute of South Africa (AISA) in the HSRC undertakes basic, applied and comparative research devoted to the study of African development challenges and opportunities. The Institute’s mission is to conduct research and produce evidence-based knowledge that informs African public and private policy and practice, with special emphasis on sustainable development processes; good governance, peace and security; as well as science, technology and innovation. In this work, the Institute collaborates with key players on the continent and provides research-based policy advice to African multilateral organisations and government departments on public affairs. The work of the Institute makes a direct contribution to addressing the many dimensions of the study of Africa by Africans seeking to reverse the continent’s marginalization in the global knowledge economy. AISA seeks to invite highly motivated individuals, who are interested in pursuing a career in research, to apply for the position of Research Director.

Job Functions: Research
Industries: Research

Specification: Key responsibilities for this post comprise of, but are not limited to:

  • Support the Executive Director in implementing strategic objectives as well as an Africa Agenda/Strategy;
  • Management of a diverse research team;
  • Conduct quality research, analyse data, interpret and report research findings and recommendations in high-level forums;
  • Lead large, multi-year, collaborative research projects, with partners in Africa and globally;
  • Develop research proposals that are in line with AISA’s research agenda;
  • Respond to and secure tenders and commissions and formulate grant applications;
  • Network with major stakeholders, policy-makers, African researchers and those financing research;
  • Build national and international research links and facilitate African research partnerships;
  • Communicate research findings and publish in peer-reviewed accredited journals;
  • Mentor the professional development and the publishing output of colleagues and contribute towards the capacity development of research interns.

Requirements: Key requirements:

  • A PhD in Social Sciences/Humanities with at least 10 years’ experience in research;
  • Heading towards 20 publications in peer reviewed journals, several international including sole/first-authored; Intellectual and personal integrity, imagination and drive; conflict management and negotiation skills;
  • Excellent writing skills necessary for publication in high-impact, peer reviewed, international journals, and for drafting content-heavy memos, briefing papers and reports;
  • The ability and enthusiasm to engage as a team player in large scale multi-disciplinary research, to manage research teams and to mentor and train research trainees to ensure staff retention;
  • A sound grounding in research methods, including quantitative approaches;
  • The versatility to apply quantitative and/or qualitative methodologies to subject matter across disciplinary boundaries, including the humanities;
  • Demonstrated project management and organisational skills;
  • Excellent record of proposal writing and raising funds for research;
  • High level of computer literacy;
  • The ability to work well under pressure and to meet deadlines.

The HSRC offers attractive, market-related packages depending on qualifications and experience.

Applications: In your application, please include: A copy of your CV, a letter of motivation, and the details of three recent referees (with telephone, fax and e-mail contact details). Ensure that you indicate the reference number. The HSRC will only consider applications that comply with the above requirements. Applicants may be required to undertake a written exercise in the competencies required for the position.

Please submit your application on-line at http://hsrc.jb.skillsmapafrica.com. Only applications adhering to these requirements will be considered.

For further information please consult the HSRC website. Details of the HSRC can be found on the website (www.hsrc.ac.za). For enquiries (and not applications) please contact Prof Cheryl Hendricks on chendricks@hsrc.ac.za or +27(0)12 316 9755

The HSRC is committed to accelerating the improvement in the proportion of its senior managers and research leaders who are black, female or disabled.

Closing Date: 27 August 2019. We encourage applicants to submit prior to that date. Applicants who have not been contacted within eight weeks should assume that their application has been unsuccessful. Only candidates who are interviewed will be advised of the outcome of the interview.

The HSRC reserves the right to not make an appointment


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