Strategic Lead

Company Human Sciences Research Council
Reference # Ref: IED SL – Education – 07/2021
Published 30/07/2021
Contract Type Contract
5 Years
Salary Market Related
Location Nationwide, Nationwide, South Africa
Duration 5 Years
The Inclusive Economic Development (IED) division undertakes research to transform educational outcomes and increase economic participation. It recognises that education and the economy have long been linked, and conducts research to understand educational performance and improve learning outcomes and to interrogate wider social, spatial and structural obstacles to economic participation.

IED seeks to appoint a senior scholar in Education to assume leadership responsibilities as Strategic Lead for the Education and Livelihoods theme of work. Our research in this theme engages with the planning, quality, governance, effectiveness, transformation, transitions and outcomes of education at all stages. It is currently focussed on the unequal contexts of learning, assessment of achievement, the acquisition of relevant life and livelihood-ready skills in the context of changing technologies, and the future of work for youth in South Africa, Africa, and in the Global South.

This position supports the Divisional Executive (DE) in implementing the five-year strategic plan of the HSRC that includes implementing the HSRC’s Africa-focus agenda and advancing innovation in the fourth industrial revolution. This position can be based in Cape Town, Durban, or Pretoria
Job Functions Research
Industries Research
Key responsibilities

1.Develop knowledge leadership, and build visible national, continental and international research partnerships in the area of education and livelihoods 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 improving education outcomes with local communities and scientific groups in order to ensure that research 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 Education and Livelihoods 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 Education and Livelihoods 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 Education and Livelihoods 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).

Key Requirements

1.A PhD in the Social Sciences (particularly in Education, Sociology or aligned, preferably with a focus on schooling);
2.Ten (10) years’ experience in managing and leading 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 attractive, market-related packages depending on qualifications and experience.

Applications: In your application, please include: (1) your CV; (2) a letter of motivation; (3) the names of three recent referees (with telephone and e-mail contact details); and (4) three first- or sole-authored publications. The HSRC will only consider applications that comply with the above requirements.

Shortlisted applicants may be required to undertake a written competency exercise for this 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.

For further information please consult the HSRC website. Details of the HSRC can be found on the website (www.hsrc.ac.za) Enquiries about the nature of the position, and NOT applications, may be directed to Professor Sharlene Swartz at email address [email protected] Any C.V’s forwarded to this e-mail address will not be considered.

The HSRC is committed to accelerating the improvement in the proportion of its staff complement who are SA Citizens, black, female or disabled.

Closing date: 11 August 2021. We encourage applicants to submit prior to this date. Applicants who have not been contacted within eight weeks should assume that their application has been unsuccessful. Only applicants who are interviewed will be advised of the outcome of their applications.

The HSRC reserves the right not to make an appointment.


Job Closing Date 11/08/2021
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