Conservation South Africa Latest Available Job Opportunity

Posted on :

27 Nov, 2019

Category :

Research Jobs in South Africa

Conservation South Africa is committed to helping society to adopt a more sustainable approach to development, one that considers and values nature at every turn.


Job Title: Post – doctoral Research Fellow
Location: Matatiele – Eastern Cape
Position type: Full time
Salary: ZAR Equivalent of  £33,208 per annum
Reference number: REQ007457
Fixed Term for 16 months
South Africa Based Role / Split between UK and South Africa
Requires a PhD

Evaluating people-environment trade-offs through low-tech intensification of livestock management in communal grazing systems in South Africa. Coventry University has a vacancy for a Research Fellow (1 FTE, 16 months) at Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience (CAWR).  The RF will be working with Dr James Bennett as part of this two-year project, funded through a BBSRC-GCRF Agri-systems award (

The project is a collaboration between CAWR, Rothamsted Research and three partner organisations in South Africa (Conservation South Africa, Stellenbosch University and Rhodes University), which aims to work with local stakeholders in South Africa to explore alternative rangeland management strategies that yield livelihood benefits for local people as well as improved ecosystem outcomes.

The primary role of the RF will be to coordinate between CAWR and the three partners in South Africa in the delivery of the fieldwork.  Each partner is responsible for a different work package within the project, linked to three key strands of the biophysical fieldwork, namely: (i) Evaluating livestock grazing and corralling as tools to restore degraded rangelands; (ii) Quantifying improved water availability after removing woody invasive plants; (iii) Testing the feasibility of woody invasive plants as a livestock feed and biochar.

Key Responsibilities

The successful candidate will be expected to spend at least half of their time in South Africa and will: –

  • Liaise with each work package coordinator within South Africa in the delivery of each of the three work packages.
  • As part of this liaise with local communities in the design and delivery of local field experiments and data collection protocols.
  • Assist with analysis of biophysical data as required.
  • Be responsible for coordinating the management and archiving of the biophysical and associated modelling data, as part of the agreed data management plan.
  • Organise and participate in the workshops that help to define the land use scenarios and present the project findings to the local stakeholders.
  • Participate in relevant training events, conferences and other network events for dissemination of project findings.
  • Support other project activities including organising meetings between partners, organisation of final stakeholder conference in UK and drafting of progress reports.

Requirements for successful application

The role is necessarily broad and requires a self-starter, comfortable working for extended periods in the field and with a wide range of suitable skills, including:-

  • PhD in an appropriate discipline.
  • A good conceptual understanding of livestock grazing systems and different approaches to grazing management.
  • An understanding of communal rangeland systems and their provision of goods and services to local people.
  • Experience in planning and delivering ecological trials in grassland systems and associated data collection.
  • Confidence in handling and processing large quantitative data sets and their analysis including statistical analysis of field trials.
  • Experience of undertaking fieldwork in the developing world, preferably associated with livestock systems.
  • Full driver’s licence essential, preferably with some experience of driving off-road.
  • Some basic understanding of the local language (Xhosa) would be helpful but not essential.

The candidate must either be a South African national or be legally qualified to work in South Africa for the full duration of the project, if not a South African citizen. Enquiries may be addressed to Dr James Bennett (

Application Deadline:  Thursday, 12 December, 2019

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