The DSI-NRF Centre for Excellence in Human Development seeks to appoint a full-time postdoctoral researcher for 2 years to work with Dr Michelle Pentecost on the UKRI funded Future Leaders Fellowship project ‘Trajectories: The social science of developmental pathways to health from preconception to childhood in South Africa’.
This UKRI-funded project partners with the South African Healthy Life Trajectories Initiative (HeLTI-SA), hosted by the SAMRC Developmental Pathways for Health Unit at the University of the Witwatersrand. A World Health Organisation-supported study, HeLTI cohorts in Canada, India, China and South Africa aim to test preconception interventions for the prevention of childhood obesity.
The primary participants in the HELTI trial are women aged 18-28 in Soweto. However, understanding the interaction of biological and social factors that shape health outcomes from preconception and across the life course requires qualitative research that encompasses the broader social contexts of young adulthood, pregnancy and child-rearing in this setting. One component is the role of partners and/or fathers, and how their own trajectories contribute to this picture.
The successful candidate will work with the Trajectories and HeLTI-SA teams to conduct a qualitative longitudinal study with partners and/or fathers of participants in the HeLTI-SA trial.
Position title: Postdoctoral Research Associate
Department: MRC/Wits Developmental Pathways for Health Research Unit, University of the Witwatersrand
• Conduct 3-4 sets of qualitative interviews over a 12-month period with a cohort of partners and/or fathers linked to the HeLTI trial
• Lead on a minimum of two qualitative research articles that will offer a qualitative longitudinal snapshot and analysis of themes generated
The successful candidate will work closely with the Trajectories and HeLTI teams in a highly interdisciplinary research environment. The postdoctoral researcher will be based at the DPHRU offices and in addition to the primary objective will be expected to attend project meetings, writing retreats, training workshops and conferences, with significant opportunities to receive further training and establish academic networks.
1. The successful candidate will be within 5 years of obtaining their PhD in a relevant social science discipline, with ethnographic and/or qualitative research experience in Sub-Saharan Africa at the doctoral or postdoctoral level.
2. They will demonstrate previous experience of conducting high quality research 3. They will have excellent interpersonal communication skills
4. They will demonstrate excellent organisational, analytical and problem-solving skills 5. The successful candidate should demonstrate collegiality and willingness to work as part of a team
6. The successful candidate should demonstrate their ability to use own initiative and think critically
1. Prior research focused on masculinities, fatherhood, gender and related themes
2. Fluency in one or more of South Africa’s eleven official languages in addition to English language
Please note that this is a PhD level role but candidates who have submitted their thesis and are awaiting award of their PhDs will be considered. They may not previously have held full time permanent professional or academic posts. The successful candidate will be required
to register for and comply with the COE’s approved policies, procedures and practises for the postdoctoral sector. The candidate will need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to comply with the university’s vaccination policy.
The postdoctoral grant is valued at R300 000 per annum (tax free stipend), renewable for a total of 2 years on the basis of satisfactory academic progress. In addition to this stipend, the candidate is funded for one international conference per year and benefits from a suite of training opportunities.
To apply, please send the following to firstname.lastname@example.org:
• Curriculum Vitae
• Application letter describing your interest in the project, how you meet eligibility criteria and how your prior work might fit with the role
• Academic transcripts
• 2 academic references
Shortlisted candidates will be asked for a writing sample and the selection process will include an interview.
Queries may be addressed to Dr Michelle Pentecost (email@example.com).
Application deadline: 13 May 2022.
Incomplete or late applications will not be considered. The COE reserves the right to disqualify ineligible, incomplete and/or inappropriate applications and to change the conditions of award or to make no awards at all.