Senior scientist / Specialist scientist in Johannesburg

The South African Medical Research Council (MRC) in Johannesburg MRC has a vacancy for a scientist in its Environment and Health Research Unit (E&HRU) at the senior or specialist level. The E&HRU is a growing cross-disciplinary unit that conducts research on key environmental risks to the health of South Africans. Projects currently underway in the E&HRU relate to, for example:

  • urbanisation and health
  • exposure to metals (such as lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic and manganese) and
  • public health aspects of climate change.

The E&HRU has an extensive network of collaborators on key projects, as well as under the umbrella of the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Urban Health, which is managed by the Unit. Prospective applicants are strongly advised to check their interests against the existing projects and direction and tailor their responses accordingly. General requirements for all positions and specific requirements for individual positions are detailed below. Applicants must indicate a specific position in the application.

General position requirements 

All applicants will need to have an appropriate tertiary level qualification, preferably in epidemiology and/or biostatistics. An in- depth knowledge and understanding of environmental health issues would constitute a strong advantage, as would a service-oriented disposition and genuine interest in the project work. As part of the E&HRU, the successful incumbents will become involved in one or more of the projects listed above or in new environmental health initiatives. The positions will only suit highly motivated and independent self- starters. Applicants must have avalid driver’s licence and be able to travel, regionally and internationally, if required. The successful applicant/s will enjoy a highly stimulating work environment and comprehensive group benefits. Simultaneous registration for higher degrees using project work is encouraged. Appointments will be made on a permanent basis.

Specific position requirements

Senior Scientist

The minimum qualification for a Senior Scientist is a Master’s degree with at least two years’ relevant post-qualification experience or a medical degree without experience, or equivalent. As a Senior Researcher, the incumbent will be expected to take full responsibility for managing and initiating research, development and translation activities, reports and publications as well as supervising and training junior staff. A cost-to-company remuneration package between R265 663 – R285 588 per annum will be negotiated in accordance with specific qualifications and experience.

Specialist Scientist

The minimum qualification for appointment on a Specialist Scientist level is a PhD degree in an appropriate discipline or a MMed/ Fellowship in Public Health Medicine. The incumbent will be expected to take a leadership role in initiating and managing research, grantsmanship, and development activities including at least two peer-reviewed publications per annum and also participate in supervising and training senior staff. A cost-to-company remuneration package of R463 089– R497 821 per annum will be negotiated in accordance with specific qualifications and experience.

Application process 

Applications, including a comprehensive CV, contact details of three referees, a covering letter with motivation and certified copies of formal qualifications, should be sent to Ms Glenda Schroeder or Ms Janet Ndimande, Human Capital Management Division, MRC, PO Box 19070, Tygerberg 7505 or fax (021) 938-0829 or via e-mail to

Enquiries concerning the position should be directed to the website above or, in confidence, to Prof Angela Mathee, e-mail: or telephone +27 11 274 6060.

Closing date: 22 June 2011

Please quote the reference number: R364 in all communications. Certified copies of your ID and highest formal qualifications must be submitted with this application. Should your application not contain the required information and documents, it will unfrtunately not be considered. 

Should no feedback be received within 30 days of the closing date, kindly consider your application as unsuccessful. The MRC retains the right not to make an appointment. In accordance with the MRC’s Employment Equity Plan, preference will be given to suitably qualified candidates from the designated groups. For this reason we require Race, Gender and Disability status to be specified. Disabled persons are encouraged to apply.

Please indicate for which position you are applying for.

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