South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC)
Building a healthy nation through research and innovation

Job opportunities

The South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) strives to improve the nation’s health and quality of life by funding and conducting relevant and leading health research.  It further aims to promote equity, career development and progression.  The organisation prides itself on three core values: being pioneering, striving for excellence and working collaboratively.

Individuals are invited to submit applications in response to the following position:

Public Engagement Specialist

DST/MRC- South African Population Research Infrastructure Network (SAPRIN)
BASED: initially Johannesburg, then relocate to Pretoria

3 Year Contract

The SAPRIN is a national research infrastructure that will produce data, knowledge and evidence for policy makers as well as participating in the development of Science in the country at large. The person in this position will play a leading role in knowledge translation and public engagement. The national research platform will be linked with multiple universities and research councils, covering a breadth of rural and urban settings, with relationships to key government ministries, including health and social development, and will closely interact with cross-cutting public institutions like Statistics-SA and Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation in the Presidency.

The person in this position will be responsible for leadership and strategy with respect to knowledge translation of SAPRIN findings in a variety of ways that improve the impact and influence of the science produced by the network. This will include public engagement, engagement with policy-makers and service delivery professionals. The work will involve developing and fostering good stakeholder relationships and partnerships. It will also require the management of operational aspects of knowledge translation and public engagement activities.

The incumbent will report to the SAPRIN Director and will be responsible for the following strategic and core key result areas:

  • Work with the Director, members of the research leadership team and external stakeholders to set the strategic direction of our public engagement work, including knowledge exchange activities with policy and delivery partners; including but not limited to educational institutions, science funders, science stakeholders, civic authorities, and the local tribal/traditional leadership,
  • Lead the development and delivery of outstanding SAPRIN public engagement work in South Africa and internationally, maximising the quality, impact and influence of this work.
  • Develop a national and international profile on public engagement with science
  • Develop and foster good stakeholder relationships and links that help to progress SAPRIN goals
  • Organise activities and workshops that involve  public engagement and promote knowledge translation
  • Ensure expert evaluation, analysis and critical review of public engagement activities
  • Oversee and be accountable for an annual budget.

Core Requirements:

  • Masters level qualification or higher in Public Health, Social Science, or other related field’ PhD an advantage
  • 5 years’ experience mid/senior level management position in national or international institution/organisation, supervising groups 8+
  • 3 years’ experience working in health, development or biomedical research sectors
  • Implement stakeholder engagement strategies to promote the value proposition of SAPRIN
  • Enhance SAPRIN’s strategic communication ability
  • Experience in working with different forms of communication (interpersonal, participatory learning, mass media) a major advantage
  • Responsibility for managing budgets at a senior management level
  • High competency in use of Microsoft Office applications
  • Fluency in English speaking and writing
  • Fluency in any other South African language a major advantage
  • A driver’s license

A competitive salary will be negotiated in consideration of experience and qualifications.

In accordance with the SAMRC’s Employment Equity Plan, preference will be given to suitably qualified candidates from the designated groups. For this reason, we require race, gender and disability status to be specified. Disabled persons are encouraged to apply.


The SAMRC retains the right not to make an appointment.

Closing date: 18 November 2017

Should no feedback be received within 30 days of the closing date,
kindly consider your application as unsuccessful.

Please go to the following Web Site to complete an online application.

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Last updated:
10 November, 2017
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