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The National Research Foundation (NRF) supports and promotes research and human capital development through funding, the provision of National Research Facilities and science outreach platforms and programmes to the broader community in all fields of science and technology, including natural science , engineering, social science and humanities.

The South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement (SAASTA), a business unit of the NRF seeks to appoint a suitably qualified individual for the position of Manager: Science Communication

Key responsibilities:

  • Providing strategic and conceptual input on government's public engagement programmes with emphasis on science communication and public engagement.
  • Participating in developing and designing strategic frameworks of discipline specific government science engagement programmes such as Public Understanding of Biotechnology, Nanotechnology, Hydrogen fuel cells, Space science, Astronomy, etc.
  • Overseeing financial and human resource management of the Science Communication unit.
  • Managing developmental interventions conducted with scientists, content specialists and researchers to ensure that their research outputs achieve the necessary public profile required.
  • Managing projects to ensure improved and more frequent reporting of science and science achievements by the media by creating platforms in which the media may engage with content specialists.
  • Ensuring that science is communicated to the community through the dissemination of scientific information and products which are accurate, responsible and reliable and also end-user focused.
  • Being actively involved in the overall development of the Outreach, Awareness and Science Communication sector in ensuring that science is communicated to the public.
  • Ensuring that there is an alignment in the implementation of the business unit to the Science Engagement strategy within the whole NRF.
  • Consolidating quarterly and annual performance reports for the Science Communication unit.

Key Requirements are:-

  • At least a Master's Degree in Natural Science/ Life Sciences/ Physical Sciences or related fields such as science engagement with extensive knowledge of Science Communication.
  • At least six years' work experience in science engagement, in particular in the science communication environment.
  • Extensive experience in managing and communicating scientific information related to established and emerging research areas.
  • Ability to conceptualise, implements, monitor and evaluate projects and strategic plans.
  • Excellent planning and organisational skills.
  • Excellent communication, business writing and presentation skills.
  • Ability to gather information and accurately work with information.
  • Advanced computer proficiency.
  • Strategic thinking capacity and leadership ability.
  • Analytical thinking and problem solving skills.
  • Extensive project management skills.
  • Stakeholder and network management skills with science journalists, media sector and both well established and emerging researchers.
  • Financial and people management experience.

The NRF is committed to employment equity and redress. Correspondence will be conducted with shortlisted candidates.

The ideal candidate will have the following competencies:

Ability

  • communicate at different levels
  • lead, manage and execute activities of the programme
  • initiate strategic partnerships with the public and private sector

Experience

  • managing projects
  • managing human resources and business finances
  • working in a science and technology environment

Knowledge

  • the South African Higher education landscape
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • the National System of Innovation

Application here


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