Human Sciences REsearch Council (HSRC): PhD Research Trainee

Company Human Sciences REsearch Council (HSRC)
Reference # PhD Intern – DCES 10/2021
Published 11/10/2021
Contract Type Contract
36 Months
Location Nationwide, Nationwide, South Africa
Duration 36 Months
The Developmental, Capable and Ethical State (DCES)

In delivering ‘social science that makes a difference’ in South Africa and the region, the Research Programmes of the Human Sciences Research Council initiate and undertake policy-oriented research projects and programmes from its offices in Cape Town, Durban, Pietermaritzburg and Pretoria. Its public-purpose mandate is set out in the Human Sciences Research Council Act of 2008.

The Developmental, Capable and Ethical State (DCES) is a research division within the HSRC and employs a multi-disciplinary group of social scientists who conduct numerous empirical and policy-related studies.

The DCES division is looking to appoint a suitably qualified professional to take on the responsibilities of a Business Development Technical Support Officer. This position supports and assists the Strategic Lead in implementing the five-year strategic plan of the HSRC through fundraising efforts. The Developmental, Capable and Ethical State (DCES) division conducts transdisciplinary, intersectional, policy and programme-relevant research. The two over-arching questions that guide the research interventions are:

•How to strengthen democracy through transparent governance, accountable leadership and reinvigorated public participation/ civic engagement; and
•How to ensure sustainable development through peace, human and social security

A developmental, capable and ethical state is not possible without ensuring peace and sustainable security within South Africa and beyond its borders. In order to work towards a more socially cohesive citizenry and safer and resilient communities, it is necessary to focus on building a “better South Africa, a better Africa and a better world.”

The Vision of DCES is for it to be a national, regional and international hub for transformative research in the interests of a just and equal society.

The Mission of DCES is for it to conduct cutting edge research in the areas of peace, human security, sustainability, democracy, governance and citizenship in an engaged manner that focuses on building a better life for all.

PhD Research Trainee
(Ref: PhD Intern – DCES 10/2021)
3-year contract

DCES seeks to appoint a PhD Research Intern who has studied and has an interest in the field of human and social sciences particularly in areas of democracy, governance, citizenship, developmental state, peace, human security, and sustainable development. The appointment is for a period of three years and is based in Cape Town/Pretoria.

The Research Trainee Programme in the HSRC provides the successful candidates with an opportunity to further develop their research expertise by working with subject experts and project specialists. The research trainee experience is intensive and requires mature individuals who are able to work independently as well as in a team. The successful individual will be required to balance day to day duties and responsibilities in DCES and the HSRC with PhD related work and complete their PhD qualification within 3 years. Time is set aside for this purpose – 60/40 split.

Job Functions Traineeship
Industries Research
Key responsibilities will include:

•Working as required on all aspects of a developmental, capable and ethical state which includes research projects, technical advisory to government, dissemination of results at various fora, and stakeholder engagements;
•Writing reports, fact sheets and policy briefs from survey work and other projects;
•Making demonstrable progress towards the achievement of a Doctoral degree;
•Producing peer reviewed research articles that appear in accredited journals;
•Writing up research results for workshops/conferences/presentations;
•Developing own personal academic competencies through formal and informal training activities;
•Compilation of all specific duties and deliverables assigned in an individual performance based contract.

Key requirements:

•Applicants must be in possession of a Master’s degree in a field of human and social sciences, and should be registered for, or about to register for, a PhD with a registered South African University;
•Experience in and understanding of the concepts of the developmental, capable and ethical state (democracy, governance, citizenship, peace, human security and sustainable development, etc.);
•Sound knowledge of data management and qualitative and quantitative analysis skills will be very advantageous;
•A sound academic record;
•Experience in the preparation of research reports and manuscripts for publication, whilst having peer reviewed articles in recognized journals will be advantageous;
•Experience in communicating research findings at conferences;
•Curiosity, enthusiasm and interest in a research career that includes working with statistics and data analysis;
•Ability to work independently and in a team environment, good communication and leadership skills are required;
•Proficiency in or working experience with some or all of the following programmes: Atlas T, NVIVO, MS Access, Excel, Word, SPSS, STATA;

The HSRC offers attractive, market-related packages depending on qualifications and experience.

Applications: In your application, please include 1) a letter of motivation indicating the position you are applying for, 2) your CV, 3) a copy of current earnings on a cost-to-company basis if applicable 4) a one-page outline of your PhD thesis or proposed PhD thesis, 5) a copy of your academic transcripts as well as 6) the names of three contactable referees (with telephone, fax and e-mail contact details).

The HSRC will only consider applications that include the above requirements. Applicants may be required to undertake a written exercise in the competencies required for the position.
Please submit your application on-line at
Due to the volumes received, the HSRC no longer accepts emailed or hard copy applications.
Please note the following:
•Ensure you use Google Chrome or Firefox from a computer or laptop, and not a cell phone.
•Only your CV can be uploaded on the first page after you have registered/logged in.
•ALL OTHER DOCUMENTS can be uploaded on the “Document” tab on your profile
•Attachments must be less than 2 MB.

Enquiries and not applications may be directed to Dr Charles Hongoro via email at [email protected]

The HSRC is committed to accelerating the improvement in the proportion of its South African senior managers, research leaders and support staff who are black, female or disabled.

Closing date: 18 October 2021. We encourage applicants to submit prior to that date. Applicants who have not been contacted within eight weeks should assume that their application has been unsuccessful. Only applicants who are interviewed will be advised of the outcome of their applications.



Job Closing Date 18/10/2021