Senior Specialist Scientist

at South African Medical Research Council
Location Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
Date Posted
Category Healthcare
Work Hours Day
Salary 1049947
Salary Units YEAR
Currency ZAR



The South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) strives to improve the nation’s health and quality of life by funding and conducting relevant and leading health research. It further aims to promote equity, career development and progression.




Permanent post

The SAMRC’s Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Research Unit seeks to make an appointment between Senior Specialist Scientist and Chief Specialist Scientist. The goal of the unit is to generate knowledge and propose policy and interventions that will lead to a reduction in alcohol, tobacco and other drug (ATOD) related harm.


We are looking for applicants interested in undertaking world–class research that addresses key knowledge gaps in our understanding of alcohol and substance use and related disorders in South Africa and who will assist the Unit Director in the management of the unit.




Leading research and surveillance projects in the field of alcohol/tobacco/drug research and public health.

Developing research protocols to test innovative approaches to reduce substance-related harms that address policy, societal and individual drivers of substance use disorders (SUDs).

Generating income through grants and contracts as principal investigator and management of project finances.

People management including performance management.

Building networks and interacting with national and international partners.

Capacity development by supervising and mentoring masters and PhD students.

Participating in unit management committees, assisting with unit reporting processes, journal clubs, etc.

Publishing research findings in international peer reviewed journals as first and co-author.

Translating research into policy and action, including media liaison and engagement with policy makers.

Core Requirements:


For the lower level


A PhD in the Health or Social Sciences with at least 5 years’ research experience leading quantitative research in mental health or substance use disorders.

Successful income generation.

National recognition as a research scientist.

Experience in supervising Masters/Doctoral students and co-workers.

Evidence of successful proposal writing as lead investigator.

Experience of managing project budgets.

Ability to present effectively to diverse audiences.

A valid drivers’ license is also essential.

In addition, for the higher level


10 or more years’ experience in mental health or substance abuse research.

Experience in successful management of multiple projects simultaneously.

Income generation – PI on a research grant of more than R600,000.

International recognition as a research scientist.

More than 15 first authored ISI publications and 30 lifetime publications.

10 or more oral presentations at international conferences.

Supervision of 2 or more PhD students to completion



Registration with HPCSA (medical doctor/psychologist)

An NRF B or C rating.

An interest in interventions to prevent/treat alcohol or drug related harm.


Interested candidates can send their CV