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:

Specialist Scientist

HIV Prevention Research Unit
Durban Office

Two-Year Contract

The SAMRC’s HIV Prevention Research Unit seeks to appoint an experienced scientist with a strong background in either HIV biomedical and socio-behavioral research. The incumbent will be responsible for providing expertise in the design, management and evaluation of study protocols and research tools; supporting the development of new funding proposals; analysing qualitative and/or quantitative data; and leading scientific papers, reports and policy or issue briefs. S/He will support existing projects and will be expected to lead her/his own area of research.

The HIV Prevention Research Unit (HPRU) conducts research to prevent the sexual acquisition of HIV in vulnerable populations, in particular women and girls, older people and people with disabilities. The Unit is based in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, and collaborates with key stakeholders in HIV/AIDS prevention research in South Africa as well as internationally.

The successful candidate will be required to assume duty immediately.


  • Conduct high level scholarly research that has both strategic and policy relevance
  • Conceptualize and write self-initiated research protocols
  • Respond to research grant calls and tenders
  • Formulate grant applications that respond to the challenges of a competitive funding environment
  • Deliver high-quality results and reports
  • Develop scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals that have both strategic and policy relevance
  • Develop other scientific outcomes to translate knowledge to a diverse group of people (e.g. policy or issue brief, reports, information brochures for participants)
  • Mentor junior scientists and supervise Masters or PHDs students
  • Project manage funded projects within budget and timelines
  • Network with major stakeholders and research funders
  • Communicate research findings in public and scientific fora
  • Work collaboratively with internal and external scientists in:
    • Grant funding applications
    • Study protocols/documentation
    • Data collection instruments/tools
    • Data analysis and publications

Core Requirements:

  • PhD in epidemiological, biomedical or social science
  • A minimum of five (5) years senior research and management experience is needed, preferably in a research institution or a university
  • Excellent publication record in peer-reviewed journals over the last 5 years.
  • Experience in design, analysis, interpretation and reporting of epidemiological, clinical, applied or observational research
  • Evidence of grant applications and proposal writing
  • Proficient understanding of basic qualitative and/or quantitative research methods
  • Proficiency in a quantitative or qualitative analysis package (e.g. STATA , SPSS, SAS, NVIVO)

Additional Advantage:

  • Experience in public health research; HIV co-morbidities; or clinical trial implementation, design and analysis
  • Experience in writing scientific reports and other forms of knowledge translation
  • Experience in multi-disciplinary collaboration.
  • Ability to manage multiple concurrent projects

A salary in the region of R691 000.00 per annum, cost-to-company 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: 22 September 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:
8 September, 2017
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