Senior Technical Assistant - Medicinal Plant Science

University of Pretoria
South Africa
Apr 04, 2021
Jul 02, 2021
Organization Type
University and College
Full Time

The incumbent will be responsible for duties in the following three Key Performance Areas:
  1. Teaching support:
  • Preparing undergraduate plant biology practicals including the printing and preparation of practical notes and tests;
  • Providing support during, and occasionally leading, practicals;
  • Preparing honours practicals in Medicinal Plant Science (MPS);
  • Assisting MPS lecturers and students during practical classes;
  • Working together with MPS lecturers to review and redesign practicals annually;
  • Assisting with undergraduate course and mark administration;
  • Assisting with Plant Physiology/Biotechnology undergraduate laboratory maintenance and management;
  • Managing the bookings of undergraduate laboratories, the laboratory apparatus booking sheets and overseeing maintenance schedules;

    2. Research Support:
  • Assisting with Medicinal Plant Science laboratory maintenance and management, including maintenance of equipment such as NMR, gas and liquid chromatograph facilities, and other equipment; waste removal, monitoring freezer alarms, chemical storage, etc.;
  • Assisting with weekly filling of the NMR with liquid nitrogen (including over holidays and campus closures);
  • Assisting with research activities in the Medicinal Plant Science section of the Department;
  • Providing research support to postgraduate students;
  • Co-ordinating Medicinal Plant Science bimonthly floor meetings and taking of minutes

    3. Administrative duties:
  • Creating orders for laboratory supplies and equipment for staff, postgraduates and undergraduate labs;
  • Receiving and controlling ordered supplies;
  • Arranging payments of invoices through the UP finance system;
  • Acting as departmental representative on the Faculty Occupational Health and Safety committee, First-Aider for laboratories, laboratory toxic chemical management and waste removal;
  • Assisting with departmental marketing activities and departmental events;
  • Assisting with administration of short courses, field outings and community engagement.
  • Assisting with asset control;
  • Liaising with representatives from laboratory suppliers;
  • Handling quotations from staff, postgraduates and undergraduates labs;

  • BSc Honours in Medicinal Plant Science or a related field;
  • Drivers licence (Code 08);
  • 24 months laboratory experience including laboratory management;
  • Experience and enthusiasm for laboratory work (plant-based studies);
  • Experience in plant chemical analysis (LC-MS, GC-MS and NMR);
  • Experience in lab experiment data analysis and statistical analysis;
  • Experience in laboratory/greenhouse plant growth and tissue culture;
  • Experience in chromatography.

  • Knowledge of the theory of Medical Plant Science and data analysis;
  • Competence in MS Office suite of software;
  • Excellent communication skills.

  • MSc in in Medicinal Plant Science or related field;
  • Three years' laboratory experience including laboratory management;
  • Knowledge of, and training in, health and safety and first aid;
  • One year of experience in laboratory practical preparation;
  • One year of experience in undergraduate tutoring/demonstrating;
  • Experience with procurement and managerial systems;
  • One year of experience with the University of Pretoria PeopleSoft Financial system.

PLEASE NOTE: All shortlisted candidates may be required to participate in relevant skills assessments as part of the selection process.

The annual remuneration package will be commensurate with the incumbent's level of appointment, as determined by UP policy guidelines. UP subscribes to the BESTMED and UMVUZO medical aid schemes and contributes 50% of the applicable monthly premium.

Applicants are requested to apply online at, and follow the link: Careers@UP.

In applying for this post, please attach:
  • A comprehensive CV;
  • Names, e-mail addresses and telephone details of three referees whom we have permission to contact.

No application will be considered after the closing date, or if it does not comply with at least the minimum requirements.


Contact person for application-related enquiries, Ms NA Müller at Tel: (012) 420 5056 and contact person Prof N Barker at Tel: (012) 420 2593 for enquiries relating to post content.

Should you not hear from the University of Pretoria by 30 June 2021, please accept that your application has been unsuccessful.

The University of Pretoria is committed to equality, employment equity and diversity.

In accordance with the Employment Equity Plan of the University and its Employment Equity goals and targets, preference may be given, but is not limited to candidates from under-represented designated groups.

All candidates who comply with the requirements for appointment are invited to apply. All candidates agree to undergo verification of personal credentials.

The University of Pretoria reserves the right to not fill the advertised positions.

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