Senior Research Specialist (SRS): Quantitative

Company Human Sciences Research Council
Reference # (Ref No: RIA-Sept 2019-SRS-Q)
Published 11/09/2019
Contract Type Contract
5 Years
Salary Market Related
Location Nationwide, Nationwide, South Africa
RIA’s vision is to contribute to a prosperous, healthy and just society that uses research evidence to improve the quality of life of a people who are all well informed, actively engaged and passionate about civic matters/public policy.

RIA is a cross cutting unit that seeks to extend and enhance the use and impact of scientific research and manage the HSRC’s relationships, reputation and brand. We add value to the core business of the HSRC, which is to conduct basic and applied research, inform public debate, and provide evidence-based policy advice. As knowledge brokers – researchers and practitioners-- we work at the nexus of policy development, programme implementation and social action.

RIA consists of the following sections: Science Communication, Implementation Science & Data Analytics, Systems & Decision Making, Research & Policy Impact, HSRC Press, and Corporate Communications & Stakeholder Relations.

As part of developing the required capacity to achieve its mission, RIA wishes to appoint a suitable candidate to the following position:

Job Functions Research
Industries Research
Re-advertisement – Previous applicants need not apply

Senior Research Specialist (SRS): Quantitative
(One Post)
(Ref No: RIA-Sept 2019-SRS-Q)
Pretoria or Cape Town – Five-year Contract

Potential SRS candidates should have strong analytical skills including good understanding of research methods, advanced data analysis skills, understanding of rigorous impact evaluation methods, systematic reviews, meta-analysis and statistical/mathematical modelling and good analytical thinking. An understanding of programming languages (C+, MATLAB etc) will be an added advantage.

Key Responsibilities:

The SRS will contribute towards all aspects of the research and knowledge-brokering process. He/she is expected to contribute substantially towards or lead in the following activities:

•Conducting high level policy research and analysis which meets the requirements of peer review, and has national and international significance (conceptualisation of research projects, formulate research questions, write research proposals) ;
•Conduct problem-oriented interdisciplinary research (including using appropriate complex methodologies);
•Assist in securing funding, commissions and formulating successful grant applications;
•Network with key research users and funders to understand their research needs, and develop contacts with policy-makers outside the HSRC;
•Communicating research findings; publishing in refereed journals; and producing dialogue reports and policy briefs
•Mentor colleagues, collaborate with institutions of higher education and contribute to the growth of the Implementation Science & Data Analytics in the HSRC.

Key Requirements:

•Applicants must hold a PhD degree in any one of the following areas:
oEconomics and Management Sciences;
oComputer Science/Informatics;
oDemography; or
oAny other relevant quantitative discipline.
•Candidates must have an interest in practices and research that seeks to enhance the use and impact of scientific research;
•Computer literacy including MS Office and appropriate statistical/Mathematics/Econometric packages (R, STATA, SAS, C+ or similar);
•Good planning and organisational skills, including the ability to working well under pressure;
•Good communication skills (verbal as well as report writing);
•Have 7 to 10 research publications in peer review journals (some sole/first authored); and
•A sound conceptual grounding in quantitative research methods.


•An interest in Big Data, or Artificial intelligence (AI), or system analysis will be an additional commendation.


In your application, please include:

(1) a one-page cover letter of motivation indicating your suitability for the position; (2) your CV, that indicates your nationality, citizenship or residency status; (3) three published articles in an academic journal (at least one first authored) (4) the details of three recent referees of which two should be academic referees with telephone, fax or e-mail contact details.

Please indicate the relevant reference number that appears in this advert. The HSRC will only consider applications that include the above requirements. Applicants may be asked to undertake a written competency exercise. The HSRC is committed to accelerating the proportion of its researchers who are black, female or disabled.

Please submit your application on-line at http://hsrc.jb.skillsmapafrica.com/ If you experience problems applying online, please send your applications to recruitment@hsrc.ac.za, with the reference number in the subject line, but please be advised that you will still be required to register via the Skillsmap portal, failing to do so, will result in your application automatically being disqualified. For further information please consult the HSRC website or contact Dr Edmore Marinda emarinda@hsrc.ac.za (Pretoria). Details of the HSRC can be found on the website (www.hsrc.ac.za).

Closing date: 26 September 2019. We encourage applicants to submit before that date.

If you do not receive any response from us within eight weeks, please accept that your application was unsuccessful. Only candidates who are interviewed will be advised of the outcome of their application.

The HSRC reserves the right not to make an appointment


Job Closing Date 26/09/2019
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