South Africa

Senior Research Specialist in Education

Company Human Sciences Research Council
Reference # Ref: IED SRS E&L
Published 13/01/2022
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 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 a suitably qualified Senior Research Specialist for a period of 5 years to be based in Cape Town, Durban or Pretoria. The position is in the Education and Livelihoods theme with a focus on the quality, governance, effectiveness, transformation, transitions and outcomes of education at all stages. An interest or expertise in the unequal contexts of learning, assessment of achievement, engagement with science, the effects of discrimination, or the acquisition of relevant life and livelihood-ready skills for youth will be welcomed. Interviews to be held mid-January 2022, for a commencement date from 1 March 2022.
Job Functions Research
Industries Research
Key responsibilities

1.Design, manage and conduct high quality research in the area of education and livelihoods that has both strategic and policy relevance;
2.Stimulate public debate and promote evidence-based policy on issues that relates to education and the alleviation of poverty and inequality;
3.Formulate research proposals and secure funding for research projects;
4.Manage research teams and large-scale long-term research projects;
5.Deliver high-quality results and reports to budget and deadline;
6.Engage civil society and develop communities of practice to ensure uptake of evidence to transform educational outcomes;
7.Produce high quality knowledge outputs through publishing in accredited refereed journals, books, and book chapters;
8.Ensure research impact through government engagement, policy briefs and research reviews;
9.Communicate research findings across media platforms and at academic conferences and forums; and
10.Develop research skills and competences through formal and informal training for self and others.


1.A PhD in education or sociology or a relevant social sciences field;
2.A few years (2-4) research and management experience, preferably in a research institution or a university;
3.At least 7 peer-reviewed publications* (books, books chapters, journal articles), most of which should be sole or first authored;
4.Excellent writing skills for drafting briefing papers, reports, academic publications and for wider public dissemination of research findings;
5.Strong analytical skills for data analysis and management;
6.Innovative methodological and conceptual approaches in a growing area of expertise;
7.Experience of securing funding for research (will be an advantage), or willingness to learn to do so;
8.Project management experience;
9.Intellectual and personal integrity, imagination and drive;
10.Enthusiasm to manage, mentor and train junior researchers; and
11.Ability to work in a team on multidisciplinary research projects and to grow into leadership roles.

* Should this publication target not yet be met, appointment at a lower rank is possible.

The HSRC offers attractive, market-related packages depending on qualifications and experience.

Applications: In your application, please include: (1) your CV coupled with a certified copy of your ID; (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 or oral 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.

Enquiries about the nature of the position, and NOT applications, may be directed to Prof Sharlene Swartz at email address [email protected]

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: Wednesday, 15th December 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 15/01/2022
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Last Updated: 30-6-2021 []
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