Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) Recent Job Recruitment

Posted on :

3 Aug, 2021

Category :

Research Jobs in South Africa

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 and Pretoria. Its public-purpose mandate is set out in the Human Sciences Research Council Act of 2008.

The Developmental, Capable and Ethical State (DCES) research Division within the HSRC employs a multi-disciplinary group of social scientists who conduct numerous empirical and policy-related studies.

The DCES division is looking to appoint a suitably qualified professional to take on the responsibilities of a Research Director in the division. The Research Director position supports and assists the Developmental, Capable and Ethical State (DCES) Divisional Executive (DE) and Strategic Leads in implementing the five-year strategic plan of the HSRC. The Developmental, Capable and Ethical State (DCES) division conducts transdisciplinary, intersectional, policy and programme-relevant research. The two over-arching questions that guide the research interventions are:

•How to strengthen democracy through transparent governance, accountable leadership and reinvigorated public participation/ civic engagement; and
•How to ensure sustainable development through peace, human and social security.

The Vision of DCES is for it to be a national, regional and international hub for transformative research in the interests of a just and equal society.

The Mission of DCES is for it to conduct cutting edge research in the areas of peace, human security, sustainability, democracy, governance and citizenship in an engaged manner that focuses on building a better life for all.





Location: Nationwide, Nationwide, South Africa
Reference #: RD-DCES 08/2021
Contract Type: Contract 5 Years

Job Summary:
The Research Director role in DCES demands that the incumbent drives and lead a team of senior researchers in large and strategic research projects, innovating methodologies and coordinating working groups, flagship projects and task teams in order realise the vision of the DCES division and that of the HSRC. The successful candidate’s responsibility will be to ensure that, the quality of research outputs, and enabling dissemination strategies, research partnerships and collaboration which drives the HSRC’s quest for impact in policy-engaged research.

The following are the key responsibilities for the Research Director role in the division:

•Lead, manage and coordinate various research themes, senior researchers and teams in the areas of Democracy, Governance & Citizenship, and Peace & Sustainable Security.
•Build visible national, continental and international research partnerships in the HSC area of specialisation that result in collaborative and multidisciplinary studies, high quality publications, evidence reviews and policy briefs.
•Coordinate and review strategic plans and opportunities for fund raising to meet agreed upon targets for the team.
•Together with the team and supported by the division’s business development team foster concrete plans and activities for meeting the divisional goals and targets.
•Ensure that grants obtained are strategic and focussed on public-oriented research in keeping with the HSRC’s vision.
•Manage the outputs of researchers in the team to ensure maximum impact of the HSRC.
•Together with the Divisional Executive and Strategic Leads, spearhead formal government engagements through joint projects, partnerships, secondments, workshops and research dissemination.
•Drive and enable a relationship of trust and influence in appropriate ways amongst all levels of research staff.
•Actively forge research collaborations with Universities and Science Councils.
•Ensure that each team member aligned to the designated theme of leadership is capacitated, managed, supported, mentored (if they are trainees) and motivated to ensure a high performance team that meets strategic targets.
•Actively promote and support talent management, succession planning, retention strategies and achieve equity targets.
•Ensure that fair conflict and consequence management takes place.
•Oversight for achieving delegated designated targets for the theme / sub-division.
•Contribution to the division’s risk profile and mitigation strategies.
•Ensure that research grants are well managed and that good relationships with collaborators and grant making organisations/institutions are maintained.

Key requirements:
• A doctorate (PhD) in Social Sciences or related disciplines
•Additional Management Qualifications (e.g. MBA) will be an added advantage
•At least ten (10) years’ experience in managing and leading in senior research teams.
•At least 5 years’ experience at a strategic and senior management level in an academic environment or research institution
•An academic leader with an impressive and strong publishing record of at least 20 peer reviewed publications (books, books chapters, journal articles) of which several must be international and first must be first or sole authored.

The HSRC is committed to accelerating the improvement in the proportion of its staff who are SA Citizens, black, female or disabled.

In your application, please include:
•A comprehensive CV,
•a letter of motivation,
•certified copy of your ID;
•three recent referees (with telephone, fax and e-mail contact details).
•photocopies of up to three of your peer reviewed journal articles or an example of recent academic work (not exceeding 8000 words); and
•a one-page outline of your thesis topic (or the abstract of the completed work).

To Apply:

Click Here!

Application Deadline: 17/08/2021

Please indicate the reference number in the subject line, applications that do not adhere to this, will not be considered.

The HSRC will only consider applications that comply with the above requirements. Applicants may be required to undertake a psychometric test, a written exercise or an oral presentation in the competencies required for the position.

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 [email protected] indicate the reference number in the subject line.
•For further information about the HSRC, advert or the post and not for sending applications please e-mail Prof. Narnia Bohler-Muller on [email protected] You can further consult our website (

Only applications that comply with the listed above requirements will be considered.

The HSRC reserves the right not to make an appointment.


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