Thursday, 12 May 2016

Masters Research Intern at The Human Sciences Research Council 2016

The Education and Skills Development (ESD) Research Programme conducts research in the domains of education and skills development. The education domain involves research in primary, secondary and tertiary education giving attention to access, quality, relevance and equity in education. The skills development domain encompasses research on labour markets, skills and human resource development to address national imperatives of improving equitable access to skills acquisition, raising employment opportunities and sustaining economic growth.

ESD seeks to appoint a Masters Research Intern on a 24 months contract to be based in the Pretoria office.  The trainee will work on projects in the schooling and skills development teams. The area of specialisation or discipline of the required intern should be in the field of statistics, applied statistics or data management and analysis.

X1 Position

In addition to working towards the completion of their university degrees, interns are required to participate in all aspects of the research process as they work with staff on research projects. Successful candidates will develop their research expertise by working with experts and project specialists. The research trainee experience is intensive and seeks individuals who are able to work independently as well as in a team.

Key responsibilities:
The Research Trainees will participate in the following activities under supervision:
•    Provide technical support in data processing to both internal and external clients;
•    Work with researchers in developing proposals for funding;
•    Collection of data (fieldwork);
•    Validation (cleaning) of research data according to the client’s specifications and within time constraints;
•    Write programmes to produce customized tables, statistics and graphs;
•    Data processing and analysing on large datasets;
•    Data mining;
•    Conversion of data from and into different standard statistics database formats;
•    Reviewing research reports and journal articles and other literature;
•    Writing up and preparing reports for publication and disseminating research findings through seminars, workshops, conferences and the media.

Key Requirements:
Applicants should:
•    Be registered for a Master’s degree in Statistics and/or Computer Science and/or Information Systems;
•    Be prepared to travel to undertake fieldwork;
•    Be curious and enthusiastic about a research career that includes qualitative and quantitative data analysis;
•    Have experience working with and analysing survey type data;
•    Possess data management / data analysis / statistical analysis skills;
•    Have knowledge of and demonstrable working experience in more than one of the following software packages: MS Excel, MS Access, SPSS or Stata or SAS;
•    Be able to work independently as well as in a team;
•    Be able to operate within very tight deadlines;
•    Be prepared to work as part of multi-year, multi-institutional partnership projects between the HSRC, government departments, universities and other partners;
•    Have experience in working with social science research data would be an added advantage.

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

In your application, please include a letter of motivation, your CV, and the names of three contactable referees (with telephone, fax and e-mail contact details), an example of recent academic work (not exceeding 8000 words); and a one-page outline of your Master’s thesis topic (or the abstract of completed work). The HSRC will only consider applications that satisfy the above requirements.

Applicants may be required to undertake a written exercise covering competencies required for the position.

Please submit your application to: The Head: Human Resources, HSRC, Private Bag X41, Pretoria, 0001, or hand-deliver it to 134 Pretorius Street, Pretoria, marked for attention of the HR Generalist or email at indicating the job reference number in the subject line.

(Ref: MRI ESD 05/16)

Enquiries, and not applications, may be directed to Lolita Winnaar +27 (0)12 302 2326 or Mariette Visser +27 (0)12 302 2939 or via e-mail on  or  

Closing date: 23 May 2016. We encourage applicants to submit before 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.


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