Director - Future Africa

South Africa
Apr 04, 2019
Apr 04, 2019
Organization Type
University and College
Full Time


In pursuit of the ideals of excellence and diversity, the University of Pretoria wishes to invite applications for the following vacancy. The University of Pretoria's commitment to quality makes us one of the top research universities in South Africa and Africa. We have a competitive advantage in international science and technology development, which enables us to undertake transdisciplinary research.


Future Africa at the University of Pretoria has been established as a flagship institute, in a dedicated purpose-built campus, to promote transdisciplinary research excellence and capacity development, and to foster the development of research networks, partnerships and training at an advanced level, with the aim of addressing complex societal challenges, thereby contributing to the achievement of Africa's sustainable, inclusive and equitable development. Part of the training of researchers will include the ability to raise funding for collaborative research and to communicate research to multiple audiences to increase impact and influence policy making, as well as leadership in general. Future Africa will carry out its work by seeking to galvanise academia, government, business, donors and civil society across Africa and globally to work collaboratively.

The University now wishes to appoint a Director for Future Africa.


The Director of Future Africa will be an academic of high standing and will take a strategic role, as a senior leader in the University. The Director will serve a term of five years, renewable subject to performance, and will be responsible for providing visionary leadership in all aspects of Future Africa.

These include advancing the objectives of Future Africa to:
  • Stimulate collaborative and transdisciplinary research of the highest possible quality, while at the same time providing implementable solutions to Africa's long-term developmental challenges;
  • Train and develop young researchers in transdisciplinary research and leadership aligned with the human capital development needs of Africa;
  • Actively seek to bring researchers from across the University, the rest of Africa and the global research community together to advance excellence in transdisciplinary research for sustainable development;
  • Establish partnerships with a wide range of stakeholders, including civil society, policy makers, business, as well as the media to produce collaborative transdisciplinary research and training; and
  • Promote and raise funds to support the development of Future Africa and the University of Pretoria.

The Director will report to the Board of Future Africa, under the leadership of the Vice-Chancellor and Principal. Future Africa will also have an Advisory Committee with external members from diverse backgrounds.

Under the leadership of the Director and academic thematic co-ordinators, the objectives of Future Africa will be implemented by a Management Committee, which comprises researchers involved in the Future Africa programmes. The research agenda of Future Africa will cover areas of equity and sustainability, including the life sciences and the bioeconomy, governance, and development, as determined by the Management Committee on the advice of the Advisory Board.

The Director will also oversee the functioning of an Executive Committee of the Management Committee and operational staff, which manages the daily activities of the Institute.

  • A PhD degree in a relevant field;
  • Demonstrated leadership in a higher education or research institution, including managerial experience in a research environment (academia, industry or government);
  • A strong academic track record with research interests in an appropriate field;
  • Analytical and innovating thinking, strategic leadership of new initiatives and proven record of success in nurturing such initiatives;
  • Experience of transdisciplinary research in Africa;
  • Experience and success in fundraising for research;
  • Experience in leading and managing research groups;
  • Experience in training and developing emerging researchers.

  • Knowledge of the African and South African higher education environment;
  • The ability to establish and participate in research networks;
  • An established network of stakeholders relevant to the aspirations of Future Africa;
  • Strong skills in written and interpersonal communication.

  • Experience in academic institutions in more than one African country;
  • Membership of international research organisations.

The annual remuneration package will be commensurate with the incumbent's senior academic 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.

In applying for this post, please attach:
  • A comprehensive CV;
  • A vision statement not longer than 2000 words;
  • Names, email addresses and telephone details of three referees, whom we have permission to contact.

CLOSING DATE: 30 April 2019

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

ENQUIRIES: Mr Stephen Fredericksz, Tel: (0)82 581 3558 for application-related enquiries, and Ms Patience Mushungwa, Tel: (012) 420 2375 for enquiries relating to the post content.

Should you not hear from the University of Pretoria by 30 June 2019, 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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