Job Details

  • Reference number: TGB16/265/0923
  • Province: Western Cape
  • Type of engagement: Permanent appointment
  • Posted: October 9th

Background to Position

Stellenbosch University

Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences

Department of Global Health

Institute for Life Course Health Research

Researcher (Job Level 8)

Ref. TGB16/265/0923

Stellenbosch University is an inclusive, innovative and future focused institution, a place of discovery and excellence where both staff and students are thought  leaders in advancing knowledge in the service of all stakeholders. We are seeking an incumbent who will enhance our position as a leading Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.

The Institute for Life Course Health Research (ILCHR) is housed within the Department of Global Health in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at Stellenbosch University. We conduct research to provide evidence about what works to improve health and wellbeing outcomes for people across the life course ¿ parents, children, adolescents, and adults - in South African settings, as well as other low-resourced communities in the Southern African region and globally.

The ILCHR is seeking to appoint an experienced researcher to manage a series of community-based research and intervention activities, focused on projects to support adolescent mental health and wellbeing in sub-Saharan African settings. This role involves evidence synthesis through systematic or realist reviews to inform the development of interventions that support adolescent mental health in settings of adversity, as well as extensive engagement with adolescents in the co-creation of interventions. It also involves the planning, implementation and management of rigorous, mixed-methods research activities such as randomised controlled trials and qualitative, participatory research. Due to the Institute¿s focus on research to improve adolescent mental health and support vulnerable populations, the researcher will be required to have a relevant background in social work or counselling, as well as substantial experience in working with adolescents. 

Job Description


  • Identifying opportunities for routine youth engagement and integration of youth preferences into programming and research;
  • Engaging key stakeholders, including adolescents and youth, in co-creating psychosocial and community-based interventions for adolescent mental health;
  • Undertaking relevant systematic reviews, realist reviews, and other preparatory research linked to ongoing and new intervention studies;
  • Planning, organising and facilitating research activities, including developing study procedures, protocols, and informed consent processes, compiling questionnaires and overseeing 
  • translation and piloting of tools;
  • Overseeing and coordinating the set-up and implementation of research projects (in South Africa as well as other country sites) including formative stakeholder engagements, negotiating 
  • entry into recruitment sites such as schools, and setting up referral pathways and links;
  • Coordinating and conducting training of data collection and intervention teams (virtually and in-person), piloting intervention and/or research processes;
  • Providing support and supervision to the data collection and/or intervention teams and overseeing the referral process of the participants who require psychosocial support;
  • Facilitating and participating in community engagement activities, such as serving as a liaison between the Institute and key stakeholders within the community and broader adolescent 
  • mental health field (including, but not limited to, NGOs, schools, health care facilities, community forums or government entities);
  • Conducting academic administration activities such as the development and submission of ethics applications, grant applications and progress reports;
  • Helping to manage and conduct research activities across the Institute, including monitoring policy issues and trends that may impact or enhance the Institute's research;
  • Identifying opportunities for dissemination, community engagement, and social policy advocacy at community, district, and national level;
  • Contributing to research outputs such as publications, conference presentations and other knowledge products;
  • Engaging in development of new research projects, including proposal development, budgeting, methodology and measurement selection, and training research staff;
  • Engaging with research project partners in planning phases of new studies.

Inherent Criteria


  • A Master's degree in a relevant field of study, i.e., Psychology / Social Work / Social Policy and Management / Public Health / Global Health;
  • Registered as a PhD student in Public Health;
  • If applicable, registration with the relevant Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA), or SA Council for Social Service Professions (SACSSP);
  • Demonstrated project management experience related to mental health, adolescence, trauma, working with refugees, substance use, and school- and/or community-based services for 
  • adolescents;
  • Demonstrated experience in engaging communities, including adolescents and youth, in co-designing and developing psychosocial interventions;
  • Previous experience in conducting reviews using systematic and realist review methodologies;
  • At least two years' experience overseeing and conducting rigorous field research, including using quantitative, qualitative and/or mixed methods, and collecting and analysing quantitative 
  • and/or qualitative data;
  • Practical work experience as a researcher in community-based research, with the ability to engage with various stakeholders such as school leadership, clinic and hospital teams, NGO 
  • partners, community members and adolescent advisory boards. Proven experience and involvement in service to the community would be taken into account;
  • Relevant experience in conducting multi-country research, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa;
  • Experience in training and supervising research or intervention teams working with adolescent populations;
  • Effective communicator;
  • A valid driver's license; 
  • Must be prepared to travel for extended periods



  • Relevant experience in initiating and managing stakeholder relationships;
  • The ability to work independently and as part of a team;
  • Advanced writing and verbal presentation skills, particularly the ability to communicate technical research considerations in a non-technical manner;
  • A track record of presentations at international and regional conferences.

Application Requirement

Enquiries regarding this post: Ms Zena Jacobs on 021 938 9758, or at

Enquiries regarding remuneration/benefits, as well as technical assistance with the electronic application process: Human Resources Client Services Centre on 021 808 2753, or at

Commencement Date:  1 January 2024

Closing Date:  16 October 2023

Stellebosch University is committed to employment equity (EE), and appointments will be made in line with the EE plan for the specific environment as well as the institutional EE Plan of the University.


Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to make an appointment.


Your application, comprising a comprehensive curriculum vitae (including the names and email addresses of at least three referees), must reach the University before or on the closing date of the advertised post.


The University reserves the right to investigate qualifications and conduct background checks on all candidates.


The Occupational Health and Safety Act requires people in occupations that entail potential exposure to certain hazards (such as, but not limited to: noise, hazardous chemical substances and hazardous biological agents) to be subjected to medical screening, to determine their fitness to work in the said occupations.


Should no feedback be received from the University within four to six weeks of the closing date, kindly accept that your application did not succeed.

About Stellenbosch University

Stellenbosch University (SU) is home to an academic community of 29 000 students (including 4 000 foreign students from 100 countries) as well as 3 000 permanent staff members (including 1 000 academics) on five campuses. ​The historical oak-lined university town amongst the Boland Mountains in the winelands of the Western Cape creates a unique campus atmosphere, which attracts local and foreign students alike. On the main campus, paved walkways wind between campus buildings – some dating from previous centuries; others just a few years old. Architecture from various eras attests to the sound academic foundation and establishment of an institution of excellence. This, together with the scenic beauty of the area; state-of-the-art, environmentally friendly facilities and technology, as well as visionary thinking about the creation of a sustainable 21st-century institution, makes for the unique character of Stellenbosch University.