Research Director

Company Human Sciences Research Council
Reference # Ref: IED RD PTA 07/2021
Published 30/07/2021
Contract Type Contract
5 Years
Salary Market Related
Location Pretoria, Gauteng, 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 social, spatial and structural obstacles to economic participation. Current research in IED occurs under the themes of Changing Economies and Education and Livelihoods, and includes assessments of the effectiveness of government programmes in maths and science education, skills development, land, housing and economic development; participation of young people in accessing dignified and decent work; the transformation of higher education; and innovation that allows for wider access to services, and supports food security.

IED seeks to appoint an experienced academic leader as a Research Director and the Head of the IED Pretoria office (in either the Changing Economies or Education and Livelihoods theme of work) for a period of 5 years. This position supports the Division Executive and Strategic Leads in implementing the five-year strategic plan of the HSRC.
Job Functions Research
Industries Research
Key responsibilities

1.Identify key research areas in support of national and global development agendas in the area of poverty and equality with a specialty in one of the themes of IED;
2.Network with major users and funders of social science research to understand their research needs;
3.Formulate targeted research proposals and secure funding to enable policy relevant, strategic research projects;
4.Implement and manage high quality, large scale, long-term research studies that has both strategic practice and policy relevance;
5.Lead, manage and coordinate all activities of the IED Pretoria office;
6.Deliver high-quality results and reports to budget and deadline;
7.Stimulate public debate, civil society engagement, and develop communities of practice to ensure uptake of evidence to transform educational outcomes;
8.Produce high quality knowledge outputs through publishing in accredited refereed journals, books, and book chapters;
9.Ensure research impact through government engagement, policy briefs and research reviews;
10.Communicate research findings across media platforms and at academic conferences and forums;
11.Oversee IED staff in the Pretoria office to ensure effective delivery according to designated targets, ensure team welfare and ensure fair conflict and consequence management; and
12.Develop research skills and competences through formal and informal training for self and others.


1.A PhD in Sociology, Economics, Education or in a related social sciences and humanities field;
2.At least eight (8) years research and management experience, preferably in a research institution or a university;
3.Excellent writing skills for drafting briefing papers, reports, academic publications and for wider public dissemination of research findings;
4.At least 20 peer reviewed publications (books, books chapters, journal articles) of which several must be international, and several first or sole authored;
5.Extensive experience of securing large-scale funding for research;
6.Good research project management experience and the ability and enthusiasm to lead research teams in a large multidisciplinary research division;
7.Intellectual leadership in a specified area, personal integrity, imagination and drive;
8.Skilled in managing, mentoring and training team members; and
9.An excellent leader of people and knowledge production and impact.

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 Prof 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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