Director - Future Africa Institute

South Africa
Nov 27, 2017
Jan 01, 2018
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 the country and gives us a competitive advantage in international science and technology development.



The University of Pretoria’s Future Africa Institute has been established to promote transdisciplinary research excellence and capacity development, and to foster the development of research networks and training at an advanced level, with the aim of contributing to Africa’s sustainable and equitable development.

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



The Director of the Future Africa Institute will be an academic of high standing, will serve a term of four years, renewable subject to performance, and will be responsible for providing leadership in all aspects of the Future Africa Institute operations.

These include advancing the objectives of Future Africa, to:

  • Promote the broad field of ‘convergence science’ through a transdisciplinary approach and with linkages among a wide range of academic disciplines and institutions;
  • Stimulate collaborative and transdisciplinary research of the highest possible calibre, while at the same time providing workable solutions to Africa’s long-term developmental challenges;
  • Train and develop young scientists in transdisciplinary research and science leadership aligned with the human capital development needs of Africa;
  • Actively seek to bring researchers from the University, the rest of Africa and the global scientific community together to advance excellence in transdisciplinary research for sustainable development;
  • Establish partnerships with a wide range of stakeholders, including civil society, policymakers, business, as well as the media to produce collaborative transdisciplinary research and training;
  • Promote and raise funds to support the future development of the Future Africa Institute and the University of Pretoria.


The Director of Future Africa will report to the Board of the Institute, under the leadership of the Vice-Chancellor, members of the Executive team of the University and Deans, as well as an external Advisory Committee.

Under the leadership of the Director and four academic thematic co-ordinators, the objectives of Future Africa will be implemented by a Management Committee, which comprises researchers involved in the Institute’s programmes. The research activities of the Institute will include areas of the life sciences and the bioeconomy, governance, development, and sustainability, as determined by the 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;
  • At least 10 years’ experience in higher education, with at least five years’ managerial experience in a research environment (industry, government or academic);
  • A strong academic track record with research interests in an appropriate field;
  • Experience of transdisciplinary research in Africa;
  • Experience in leading and managing research groups;
  • Senior management experience in a research environment (industry, government or academic);
  • Experience in training and developing emerging researchers;
  • An established network of stakeholders relevant to the aspirations of Future Africa;
  • Experience and success in fundraising for research.



  • Relevant knowledge of the African and South African higher education environment;
  • Knowledge of relevant legislation pertaining to research and higher education.
  • Relevant knowledge concerning strategy implementation, information management, and management of international programmes;
  • Analytical and innovating thinking, strategic leadership in new initiatives and proven record of success in such initiatives; 
  • Ability to execute network, liaison and negotiation responsibilities at senior level;
  • Strong leadership and management abilities;
  • Resource management skills (HR, finance, etc);
  • Appropriate language, writing and communication skills;
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills at individual and group level;
  • Project management skills



  • 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 level of appointment, as determined by UP policy guidelines. UP subscribes to the BESTMED medical aid scheme and contributes 50% of the applicable monthly premium.



31 January 2018

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



Mr F Vorster, Tel: (012) 420 2277


Should you not hear from the University of Pretoria by 31 March 2018, 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.

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

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