Executive Director: ESD

Company Human Sciences Research Council
Reference # ED of ESD 2017
Published 22/12/2017
Contract Type Contract
5 Years
Salary Market Related
Location Nationwide, Nationwide, South Africa
The HSRC was established by an act of Parliament in 1968 for the purpose of conducting human and social science research. The democratically elected government confirmed its support for the HSRC by providing for its continued existence and legislating its public purpose and objectives in a new HSRC Act (Act 17 of 2008), which repealed and replaced the 1968 Act. It is science council dedicated to conducting human and social science research, thus contributing to the pool of global knowledge and thereby improving the quality of life of people on the African continent, particularly South Africans. Few countries in the world have the benefit of such an agency.

To fulfil the mandate provided by current legislation, the HSRC is tasked with promoting research which advances South Africa and Africa’s understanding of, and engagement with, the social conditions and the particular context within which they occur. The knowledge it generates therefore seeks to contribute to local, regional and global understanding of the human and social conditions of people, and the processes which will assist to improve their social standing. Its primary role, in terms of this mandate, is to be a hub of knowledge production and knowledge translation and dissemination for policy-makers as well as the broader public. The primary function of the HSRC is research and the effective communication of research findings in support of efforts to effect social improvement. The organisation currently has offices in four of South Africa’s nine provinces, namely Gauteng (Pretoria), KwaZulu-Natal (Durban and Sweetwaters), Western Cape (Cape Town) and Eastern Cape (Port Elizabeth).

The HSRC is organised around research programmes. The Education and Skills Development Research Programme undertakes research in the areas of (i) Schooling and (ii) Skills Development (in all post-school sectors). The current research trajectory of the ESD is around effective learning and skills development. The purpose of this research is to develop a better understanding of the factors which sit behind learning and skills development and how these may be improved to promote human development and support an inclusive economic growth path.

We are looking to appoint a dynamic candidate, in the following senior leadership position.

Job Functions Research
Industries Research
This is a contract position for five years. The contract is renewable for another five-year term subject to achieving of satisfactory performance. The successful applicant will be based in either Pretoria, Durban or Cape Town.

Key Responsibilities:

•In partnership with the CEO and DCEO: Research, develop and implement an evolving medium-term plan, including high-level financial model, that will successfully advance the mandate and vision of the programme and the HSRC;
•Contribute to the development and implementation of the HSRC’s strategic plan;
•Establish mutually beneficial partnerships with key stakeholders in the research, academic, government, and non-state sectors in South Africa, the African continent and globally.

Specific responsibilities include:

Leadership and Management:
•Provide strategic direction and management of the programme to ensure the viability of research programme;
•Enhance the research and policy presence/visibility of the programme both domestically and internationally;
•Lead strategy development processes within area of responsibility;
•Lead the team in formulating a research agenda for the programme;
•Lead in the development of research proposals and grant applications that build and profile a portfolio of high impact work done by multidisciplinary teams across the organization;
•Provide oversight, direction and leadership for grant maintenance, renewal, and new grant acquisition successes through pre-award and post-award grant process improvement;
•Ensure, within delegated authority, the adequate staffing of the research programme with appropriate competencies;
•Support the overall process of corporate management and organizational decision making to ensure that HSRC meets its mandated objectives;
•Development of a risk matrix for the research programme and implementation of prudent risk management.

Research Management
•Develop innovative strategies in understanding the relationship between education and poverty and inequality and participate in developing evidence-based innovations to deal with poverty and inequality;
•Responsible for the quality assurance of all reports and publications from the research programme;
•Build and maintain high performance teams and cultures within area of responsibility to ensure achievement of organizational targets;
•Work closely with other research programmes in the HSRC around key research initiatives;
•Collaborate with external researchers both within South Africa, on the African continent and elsewhere throughout the world;
•Build national, continental and international research dissemination partnerships;
•Promote the communication of research findings in high impact peer-reviewed journals, and the production of policy briefs with HSRC staff, relevant clients and stakeholders.

Financial management
•Financial analysis, budgeting (operational & Capex), financial management and reporting.

Contract management
•Contract negotiations with sponsors and strategic partners; tender process management; contract processing and management within his/her programme;
•Providing direction to and ensuring integrity in data management, mining, dissemination and analysis within area of responsibility;
•Interfacing and ensuring compliance with the requirements of granting organizations, regulatory agencies, and collaborating institutions;
•Business development and marketing within area of responsibility as well as other programmes of the HSRC to ensure that external targets are met.

Regulatory functions
•Ensure adherence to and compliance with applicable legislation/regulations/HSRC policies, and the expectations of other regulatory agencies and funding;
•Manage media relations of the research programme to preserve the integrity and promote the reputation of the HSRC.
Key requirements:
•A PhD or equivalent degree in education and skills development or related disciplines;
•Additional management qualifications will be an advantage;
•An academic leader with a strong record of published research and not less than 30 peer-reviewed journal articles – some of which should be first authored;
•At least 15 years’ senior research and management experience, preferably in a research institution or at a university at associate professor or full professorial level;
•Good networking skills and experience in working with senior policy makers;
•A sound grounding and competencies in quantitative research methodologies and proposal writing;
•Above average writing skills with a publication record of high impact refereed journal articles, reports and briefing papers;
•Have an international profile;
•A record of raising funds for research;
•Skills in the preparation and management of large budgets, according to relevant financial, human and statutory requirements;
•A track record of experience in leading large-scale projects;
•Intellectual and personal integrity, imagination and drive;
•Dedication to outstanding service excellence;
•A strategic team player;
•Record of low staff attrition;
•Strong business acumen and strategic advisory experience;
•The ability to lead multidisciplinary research teams;
•Ability to work well under pressure and deliver to tight deadlines; and
•Good computer literacy.

It is likely that the successful applicant will have at some point functioned at professorial level, headed a unit or department, and successfully led research collaborations on large-scale local and international grants.

Package: Given these demanding requirements, the HSRC offers a competitive Executive Director package designed to be suitable for a position of this stature; to compete with the current earnings of qualifying candidates, and which is negotiable depending on research-management, scientific and grant-raising experience.
Applications: In your application, please include: your CV, a letter of motivation, the details of three recent referees (with telephone and e-mail contact details), and photocopies of up to three of your first-authored peer reviewed journal articles. Ensure that you indicate the applicable reference number. 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. Shortlisted candidates in senior and critical positions will be required to undergo an integrity assessment.

Please submit your application on-line at http://hsrc.jb.skillsmapafrica.com or hand deliver to the HSRC Building, 134 Pretorius Street, Pretoria. For further enquiries regarding the Executive Director position, please contact Professor Leickness Simbayi at +27 21 466 7910 or via e-mail: lsimbayi@hsrc.ac.za.

The HSRC is committed to accelerating the improvement in the proportion of its senior managers and research leaders who are black, female or disabled.

Closing date: 19 January 2017. Applicants who have not been contacted within eight weeks should assume that their application has been unsuccessful. Only candidates who are interviewed will be advised of the outcome of the interview.

Details about the HSRC can be found on: www.hsrc.ac.za


Job Closing Date 26/01/2018
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