Job Details

  • Reference number: E230264
  • Province: Western Cape
  • Type of engagement: Fixed term contract
  • Posted: June 30th

Background to Position

The Ethics Lab is looking for a supportive colleague to participate in the development of a solidarity index for global health research and funding. Working with colleagues around the world, we are aiming to push actors in the global health space to go beyond rhetoric to thinking and enacting measures for the practice of solidarity in global health. The Senior Research Officer will contribute to the development of a solidarity index. They will: lead on an empirical and conceptual interrogation of the concept and practice of solidarity in healthcare in South Africa; conduct an empirical interview study on solidarity with African healthcare practitioners; participate in the development of measurable items for the solidarity index; and help apply the index to specific funders.

We are looking for a motivated person who is able to work both independently and collaboratively within a dynamic research environment. We specifically welcome applications from people experienced in an engagement or advocacy role in the NGO or civil society sector and who are keen to return to an academic environment. 

The Senior Research Officer will be based at the UCT Neuroscience Institute at Groote Schuur Hospital. They will work closely with the UCT lead A/Prof Jantina de Vries as well as with the project team based at the University of Ghana and collaborators around the world. They will have opportunities to travel to project meetings and to build a network with scholars and organisations involved in global health research and funding. Furthermore, they will be part of the convivial academic environment of The Ethics Lab and the Neuroscience Institute. We are looking to appoint as soon as possible.

Job Description


  • Map existing initiatives (projects, NGOs etc) in the health arena in South Africa that aim to pursue or promote solidarity and conduct an analysis of the account of solidarity that is applied by those initiatives
  • Lead and publish interpretative syntheses of accounts of solidarity prevalent in the African humanities
  • Participate in the identification of shared actionable solidarity goals that inform the solidarity index
  • Lead on the hosting of one international workshop in Cape Town
  • Draft all financial and progress reports and reimbursement requests to the University of Ghana
  • Assist in the development and execution of 70 in-depth interviews with individuals involved in leading or supporting specific global health strategies, programs or projects that feature explicit commitments to solidarity across national borders
  • Supervise or co-supervise MSc and possibly PhD students and teach selected courses on a new MSc in Global Health Ethics program that is under development
  • Mentor junior members of the research team, including postgraduate students where appropriate
  • Liaison with finance and procurement offices for administration of financial aspects of research projects
  • Liaison with Contracts and Innovation Office for grants and research projects

Inherent Criteria


  • A PhD in the humanities, a closely related discipline such as bioethics, or in the health sciences 
  • Experience with the design and conduct of qualitative research including data analysis and write up
  • At least 2 years of relevant work/post-doctoral experience in (global) health and/or solidarity
  • Demonstrable knowledge of ideas of solidarity for instance in African humanities literature or in healthcare practice in (South) Africa
  • Ability to write academic-level texts, as evidenced for instance through a track record of publications (for people 
  • with a solely academic background) or high-level reports or policy outputs (for people coming from the NGO and civil society sector)
  • Computer literacy in Microsoft Office (Teams, Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
  • Ability to work independently as well as within a team
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Candidate must be able to legally work in South Africa


  • Experience with grant writing and management
  • Experience in postgraduate supervision and teaching
  • Work experience in the NGO or civil society sector
  • Experience with administration and coordination of research projects (Admin, Ethics, HR, effective people management)
  • Strong grasp of social science methodology

This position is dependent on research funding. The annual cost of employment, including benefits, for this funded full-time, 5-year contract position is between    

R712 437 and R933 000.

Application Requirement

Enquiries about this post should be directed to A/Prof Jantina de Vries at 

To apply, please e-mail the below documents in a single pdf file to Ms Tracy Moore at

  • UCT Application Form (download at 
  • Motivation letter that speaks to the requirement of the position
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV) 

Please ensure the title and reference number are indicated in the subject line.

An application which does not comply with the above requirements will be regarded as incomplete.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and may be required to undergo an assessment.

Telephone: 021 650 5405 Website:

Reference number: E230264

Closing date: 23 July 2023

About University of Cape Town

The University of Cape Town (UCT) is South Africa's oldest university, and is one of Africa's leading teaching and research institutions. UCT was founded in 1829 as the South African College, a high school for boys. The College had a small tertiary-education facility that grew substantially after 1880, when the discovery of gold and diamonds in the north – and the resulting demand for skills in mining – gave it the financial boost it needed to grow. The College developed into a fully fledged university during the period 1880 to 1900, thanks to increased funding from private sources and the government.