Strategic Lead – National, Regional & Local Economies

Company Human Sciences Research Council
Reference # SL IED/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 Divisions 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 Inclusive Economic Development (IED) division undertakes research that aims to transform educational outcomes and increase economic participation. It recognises that education and the economy have long been linked, and thus conducts research in both areas, sometimes discreetly, often overlapping, and through a multidisciplinary lens. With regards to improving educational outcomes, in a theme entitled Education and Livelihoods, we research ways to improve the context of learning. Under our National, Regional & Local Economies (Changing Economies) theme, our research investigates the social, spatial and structural obstacles to economic participation to bring about the gains and growth South Africa needs. Here we attempt to understand the social dynamics of economies with a focus on how more communities might benefit from people-centred innovation and spatial planning that allows greater inclusion. An important focus here is the strengthening of social trust, and the eradication of exclusionary practices at the level of households and in macroeconomic policy choices.

IED is looking to appoint a suitably qualified professional to take on the responsibilities of a Strategic Lead in the National, Regional & Local Economies theme. This position supports the Divisional Executive (DE) in implementing the five-year strategic plan of the HSRC that includes promoting its Africa-focus agenda and advancing innovation in the fourth industrial revolution.


Re-advertisement – Previous Applicants need not apply
Strategic Lead – National, Regional & Local Economies
1 Position
Five (5) Year, Fixed Term Contract
Office Base: Durban/Pretoria or Cape Town
REF: SL IED/09/20
Job Functions Research
Industries Research
1.Develop knowledge leadership, and build visible national, continental and international research partnerships in the area of inclusive economic development that result in collaborative and multidisciplinary studies, high quality publications, evidence reviews and policy briefs;
2.Provide practical leadership in the areas of quality assurance, 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);
3.Spearhead formal government engagements, along with the Divisional Executive, to help guide and inform policy through joint projects, partnerships, secondments, workshops and research dissemination;
4.Oversee a programme of engaged science in economic inclusion with local communities and scientific groups in order to ensure that research outcomes result in innovative solutions for South Africa (and Africa’s) challenges;
5.Engage in strategic action to ensure transformed research capabilities through recruiting, training and retaining staff to meet equity targets and nurture a new generation of capable researchers;
6.Ensure that each team member aligned to the theme of Changing Economies are strategically on-boarded, capacitated, managed, supported, mentored (if they are trainees) and motivated to ensure a high performance team that meets strategic targets;
7.Develop sustainable income streams for research through expanding partnerships with funders and institutions within South Africa, in the rest of the African continent and elsewhere in the world;
8.Lead, coordinate and review opportunities for focused fund raising in the theme of Changing Economies to meet agreed upon targets for your team together with directors, senior staff, and supported by the division’s business development team; and
9.Ensure delegated designated targets for the Changing Economies theme are met, and that all work done is in compliance with applicable legislation, guidelines and HSRC policies (e.g. Ethics, PFMA and National Treasury).

1.A PhD in the Social Sciences (particularly in Economics or aligned) (NQF 10);
2.Ten (10) years’ experience in managing and leading senior research teams with demonstrable impact outcomes;
3.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;
4.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;
5.Above average grant proposal writing skills along with a verifiable record of raising large scale project funds for research;
6.Additional management and leadership qualifications will be an added advantage;
7.Advanced business acumen with skills in the design and management of large and complicated budgets, according to relevant financial, human and statutory requirements;
8.Personal qualities that include intellectual and personal integrity, imagination, drive, and the ability to work well under pressure and meet deadlines;
9.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
10.Excellent computer literacy including a knowledge of contemporary ways of communicating research outcomes.

The HSRC offers a fixed salary package. 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:
1.A letter of motivation that includes the reference number in the subject line.
2.A comprehensive CV together with a complete list of publications and the details of three recent referees (with telephone and e-mail details).
3.An example of three recent peer reviewed academic publications (not exceeding 8000 words each).

The HSRC will only consider applications that comply with the above requirements.
Applicants may be required to undertake 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, not applications please e-mail Prof Sharlene Swartz on [email protected]

Details about the HSRC can be found at 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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