Strategic Lead: Identity and Belonging

Company Human Sciences Research Council
Reference # SL HSC/09/20
Published 22/12/2020
Contract Type Contract
5 Years
Salary Market Related
Location Nationwide, Nationwide, South Africa
In delivering ‘social science that makes a difference’, the Research Programmes of the Human Sciences Research Council initiate and undertake policy-oriented research projects and programmes from its offices in Cape Town, Durban, Pietermaritzburg and Pretoria. Its public-purpose mandate is set out in the Human Sciences Research Council Act of 2008.

The Human and Social Capabilities division within the HSRC employs a multi-disciplinary group of social scientists and public health specialists who conduct numerous empirical and policy-related studies each year, three-quarters of which are donor-funded. The Human and Social Capabilities division is a strong, multi-disciplinary consolidated team that responds to the countries’ challenges in the broad area of human and social capabilities as they intersect between health and wellbeing and identity and belonging. This is done with a strategic intent to actively explore the way in which agency, attitudes, aspirations, capabilities and other psychosocial factors reinforce or liberate people from the constraints imposed by their social environments.

HSC division is looking to appoint a suitably qualified professional to take on the responsibilities of a strategic lead in the division. The Strategic Lead position supports and assists the Human and Social Capabilities Divisional Executive (DE) in implementing the five-year strategic plan of the HSRC. The Human and Social Capabilities (HSC) division conducts transdisciplinary, intersectional, policy and programme-relevant research to improve health, well-being and promote a socially just and cohesive society.

Re-advertisement – Previous Applicants need not apply
Strategic Lead: Identity and Belonging
Five Year (5) Fixed Term Contract
Office base: Durban, Pretoria or Cape Town
REF: SL HSC/09/20

The Strategic Lead’s role in HSC demands that the incumbent drives and lead a team of senior researchers in large and strategic research projects, innovating methodologies and coordinating working groups, flagship projects and task teams in order to realise the vision of the HSC division and that of the HSRC. The successful candidate’s responsibility will be to ensure that, the quality of research outputs, and enabling dissemination strategies, research partnerships and collaboration which drives the HSRC’s quest for impact in policy-engaged research.

Job Functions Research
Industries Research
•Lead, manage and coordinate various research themes, senior researchers and teams in the areas of Race, Culture and identity in societies and systems transition; Genders and Sexualities; under-served, vulnerable and marginalised communities and other division’s research activities to achieve the vision of the HSRC;
•Build visible national, continental and international research partnerships in the HSC area of specialisation that result in collaborative and multidisciplinary studies, high quality publications, evidence reviews and policy briefs;
•Coordinate and review strategic plans and opportunities for fund raising to meet agreed upon targets for the team;
•Together with the team of directors, senior research staff, and supported by the division’s business development team foster concrete plans and activities for meeting the divisional goals and targets;
•Ensure that grants obtained are strategic and focussed on public-oriented research in keeping with the HSRC’s vision; and
•Provide practical leadership in the areas of quality assurance (QA), science communication, impact assessment and dissemination for research outputs along with designated staff and HSRC resources (e.g. Impact Centre, Africa Institute of South Africa, Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators); and
•Manage the outputs of researchers in the team to ensure maximum impact of the HSRC.
•As a strategic lead, the candidate is required to be visible and engage with government entities and activities on a continuous basis; and
•Together with the Divisional Executive, spearhead formal government engagements through joint projects, partnerships, secondments, workshops and research dissemination; and
•Drive and enable a relationship of trust and influence in appropriate ways amongst all levels of research staff.
•Oversee a programme of engaged science in their designated theme of responsibility with local communities and scientific groups in order to ensure that research outcomes result in innovative solutions for South Africa (and Africa’s) challenges.
•Actively forge research collaborations with Universities and Science Councils
•Ensure that each team member aligned to the designated theme of leadership is capacitated, managed, supported, mentored (if they are trainees) and motivated to ensure a high performance team that meets strategic targets;
•Actively promote and support the HSRC’s attraction, talent management, succession planning and retention policy focus, and achieve equity targets; and
•Ensure that fair conflict and consequence management takes place.
•Oversight for achieving delegated designated targets for the theme / sub division and;
•Contribution to the division’s risk profile and mitigation strategies.
•Ensure that research grants are well managed and that good relationships with collaborators and grant making organisations/institutions are maintained.
•A PhD in either Social Sciences, Public health or other related fields (NQF 10)
•Ten (10) years’ experience in managing and leading senior research teams with demonstrable impact outcomes;
•At least 5 years’ experience at a strategic and senior management level in an academic environment or research institution e.g. Associate Professor or Professor Level;
•An academic leader with an impressive and strong publishing record of at least 30 peer reviewed publications (books, books chapters, journal articles) of which several must be international and first or sole authored;
•Above average grant proposal writing skills along with a verifiable record of raising large scale project funds for research;
•Additional management and leadership qualifications will be an added advantage;
•Advanced business acumen with skills in the design and management of large and complicated budgets, according to relevant financial, human and statutory requirements;
•Personal qualities that include intellectual and personal integrity, imagination, drive, and the ability to work well under pressure and meet deadlines;
•Leadership qualities that include humility, a commitment to excellence, strategic advisory experience, the ability to work as part of a management team and to capacitate more junior researchers and lead multidisciplinary teams; and
•Excellent computer literacy including a knowledge of contemporary ways of communicating research outcomes.

The HSRC offers a fixed salary packages on internships and fellowships positions. Applicants must be South African citizens. The HSRC is committed to accelerating the improvement in the proportion of its staff who are black, female or disabled.

In your application, please include:
•A comprehensive CV, a letter of motivation, publications and the details of three recent referees (with telephone, fax and e-mail contact details).
•An example of three recent peer reviewed academic work (not exceeding 8000 words each).
•Please indicate the reference number in the subject line, applications that do not adhere to this, will not be considered.
The HSRC will only consider applications that comply with the above requirements. Applicants may be required to undertake a psychometric test, a written exercise or an oral presentation in the competencies required for the position.

Please submit your application on-line at http://hsrc.jb.skillsmapafrica.com

Please note the following:

•Ensure you use Google Chrome or Firefox from a computer or laptop, and not a cell phone
•Only your CV can be uploaded on the first page after you have registered/logged in.
•ALL OTHER DOCUMENTS can be uploaded on the “Document” tab on your profile
•Attachments must be less than 2 MB.
•Should you have any HR enquiries please send your query citing reference number to [email protected]
•Should you experience problems applying online, please send your applications to [email protected] Clearly indicate the reference number in the subject line.
•For further information about the HSRC, advert or the post and not for sending applications please e-mail Prof. Khangelani Zuma on [email protected] You can further consult our website (www.hsrc.ac.za).

Only applications that comply with the listed above requirements will be considered.

Closing date: 22 January 2021. We encourage applicants to submit prior to the closing 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 22/01/2021
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Last Updated: 30-7-2020 []
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