Junior Researcher: Scientific Programming

South Africa
Mar 20, 2019
Mar 20, 2019
Organization Type
University and College
Full Time
Faculty of Science


Junior Researcher: Scientific Programming

(One-year contract)

(Ref. NW11/057/0219)

The South African Centre for Epidemiological Modelling & Analysis (SACEMA) is a national research centre established under the Centre of Excellence programme of the Department of Science and Technology and the National Research Foundation, and based at Stellenbosch University in Stellenbosch, South Africa. SACEMA specialises in model-based analysis to improve health in South Africa and across the African continent.

Trained in mathematics, biology, physics, economics, statistics, and epidemiology, our researchers bridge disciplines to understand disease dynamics and improve real-world outcomes. SACEMA is hiring a Junior Researcher: Scientific Programming, reporting to the Director: SACEMA. The ideal candidate would have excellent programming skills, a passion for conducting quantitative research to improve health in Africa, a desire to learn new things, and the ability to work effectively in a team. Salary support will be provided from the SACEMA core grant and other external funds. The position will be based at the SACEMA offices in Stellenbosch.

  • Providing programming assistance for new and ongoing research projects of priority to SACEMA, using best practices in software development and scientific computing;
  • Providing regular updates to the Director on ongoing work and training needs;
  • Publishing research findings in peer-reviewed journals;
  • Contributing to grant proposals to support the above-mentioned research programme and activities;
  • Contributing to SACEMA's training workshops and short courses, on an as-needed basis;
  • Peer-mentoring of other junior researchers (including students);
  • Contributing positively to the SACEMA community through service and regular engagement with students, other researchers, and support staff;
  • Promoting the reputation of SACEMA and Stellenbosch University through positive engagement of stakeholders and publication of high-quality, relevant research.

  • A Master's degree in Epidemiology, Mathematical Epidemiology, or another relevant quantitative discipline, or at least three (3) years of experience working as a professional programmer;
  • A good academic record, as evidenced by transcripts and academic references;
  • Experience with best-practices in scientific computing, including use of version control systems;
  • Proficiency in at least two (2) of the following three (3) programming languages, commonly used within the field of epidemiological modelling and analysis: R, C (or C++ or C#), and/or Python;
  • Good written and verbal communication skills in English;
  • A demonstrated ability to quickly acquire new skills and work in a collaborative environment.

  • Fluency in word processing and data management skills;
  • At least one co-authored publication in a recognised, peer-reviewed journal;
  • A record of successful collaboration;
  • A demonstrated ability to quickly produce readable, reliable, and maintainable code;
  • Experience with 'test-driven development' and other best practices in software development;
  • Experience with the 'Shiny' web application framework.

The University will consider all applications in terms of its Employment Equity Plan, which acknowledges the need to diversify the demographic composition of the staff corps, especially with regard to the appointment of suitable candidates from the designated groups. The University reserves the right not to make an appointment.

Your application, comprising a comprehensive curriculum vitae (including the names and e-mail address of at least three referees) and copies of up to three publications, must reach the University before or on the closing date of the advertised post.

Applicants should request their referees to send confidential reports by the closing date directly to the following address: The Manager: Personnel Provisioning & Planning, Stellenbosch University, Private Bag X1, Matieland 7602; e-mail : sun-e-hr@sun.ac.za ; f ax :021 808 2484.

Candidates may be subjected to appropriate psychometric testing and other selection instruments. The University reserves the right to investigate qualifications and conduct background checks on all candidates. Should no feedback be received from the University within six weeks of the closing date, kindly accept that your application did not succeed.

Enquiries regarding job content: Prof. Juliet Pulliam on 021 808 2589, or at pulliam@sun.ac.za

Enquiries regarding remuneration/benefits as well as technical assistance with the electronic application process: Human Resources Client Service Centre on 021 808 2753

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