PhD Intern

Reference # Ref No: IM/PhD/0721
Published 29/07/2021
Contract Type Contract
36 Months
Salary Market Related
Location Nationwide, Nationwide, South Africa
Duration 36 Months
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, Port Elizabeth and Pretoria. Its public-purpose mandate is set out in the Human Sciences Research Council Act of 2008.

The Impact Centre draws on diverse perspectives, skills and partnerships to generate, measure and communicate impactful research on critical challenges facing South Africa and the world.
In fulfilling the HSRC’s public good mandate, the Impact Centre will conduct rigorous, creative and relevant impact research for the public good; conduct large-scale quantitative and representative surveys that are the basis for complex data analytics, modelling and simulations and leverage a wide range of expertise, convene multi-stakeholder forums, promote and produce evidence-informed understanding on impact.

The focus of the Science in Society unit is to undertake research about the science/society interface, and to generate knowledge resources and tools to build the HSRC’s impact capabilities. Knowledge resources include databases, research outputs, expertise, and new ideas about impact in the social sciences and humanities generally, and also as relevant to the HSRC. The unit undertakes both research and praxis, which form a mutually reinforcing knowledge and skills base. Research requires a multi-disciplinary approach that encompasses, inter-alia, scholarship related to impact assessment, the research/policy nexus, and science communication. Praxis includes the development of the HSRC’s Policy Briefs, management of the HSRC Seminar series, and the implementation of a formal research/policy engagement structure (the Policy Action Network).

PhD Intern in the Science in Society Unit
Cape Town or Pretoria to be based
X 1 Position
3 - year contract appointment
Ref No: IM/PhD/0721

The Impact Centre seeks to appoint one PhD Research Intern who has studied and has an interest in the fields of research impact, science communication, the public understanding of science, science policy, or innovation systems. The Research Trainee Programme in the HSRC provides the successful candidate with an opportunity to further develop their research expertise by working with subject experts and project specialists.
The research trainee experience is intensive and requires a mature individual who is able to work independently as well as in a team. The successful individual will be required to balance day to day duties and responsibilities in the Impact Centre and the HSRC with PhD related work and complete their PhD qualification within 3 years.
Job Functions Programme Assistant
Industries Research
Key Responsibilities:
•Working as required on all aspects of research impact, science communication, the public understanding of science, science
policy, or innovation systems, which includes research projects, technical advisory to government, dissemination of results at
various fora, and stakeholder engagements;
•Writing reports, fact sheets and policy briefs from survey work and other projects;
•Making demonstrable progress towards the achievement of a Doctoral degree;
•Producing peer-reviewed research articles that appear in accredited journals;
•Writing up research results for workshops/conferences/presentations;
•Developing their own personal academic competencies through formal and informal training activities; and
•Compilation of all specific duties and deliverables assigned in an individual performance based contract.
Key Requirements:
•Applicants must be in possession of a Master’s degree in a field of human and social sciences, and should be registered for, or about to register for, a PhD with a registered South African University;
•Experience in and understanding of the concepts of research impact, science communication, the public understanding of science, science policy, or innovation systems;
•Sound knowledge of data management and qualitative and quantitative analysis skills will be very advantageous;
•A sound academic record;
•Experience in the preparation of research reports and manuscripts for publication, whilst having peer reviewed articles in recognized journals will be advantageous;
•Experience in communicating research findings at conferences;
•Curiosity, enthusiasm and interest in a research career that includes working with statistics and data analysis;
•Ability to work independently and in a team environment - good communication and leadership skills are required; and
•Proficiency in or working experience with some or all of the following programmes: Atlas T, NVIVO, MS Access, Excel, Word, SPSS, STATA;

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 (1) a letter of motivation; (2) a comprehensive CV; (3) the names of three contactable referees (with mobile/telephone, e-mail and fax contact details). Please indicate the specific position you are applying for and include the reference number. The HSRC will only consider applications that comply with the above requirements. Applicants may be required to undertake a written exercise 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 experience problems applying online, please send your applications to recruitment@hsrc.ac.za. Clearly indicate the reference number in the subject line.

For further enquiries, and not applications, please contact Prof Heidi van Rooyen on email hvanrooyen@hsrc.ac.za
The HSRC is committed to accelerating the improvement in the proportion of its senior managers and research and administrative staff who are black, female or disabled.

Closing date: 06 August 2021. We encourage applicants to submit applications before that date.

Applicants who have not been contacted within eight weeks after the closing date should assume that their applications have been unsuccessful. Only interviewed candidates will be notified of the outcome of their applications.


Job Closing Date 06/08/2021
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Last Updated: 30-6-2021 []
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