Social Behavioural Scientist/Anthropologist

The HIV Prevention Research Unit (HPRU) aims to conduct relevant and responsive research on methods to prevent the sexual acquisition of HIV, with the primary focus on preventing HIV and other co-morbidities in women.  The Unit, which is the largest of the MRC units, is based in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, and has in the past collaborated with most of the major players in HIV/AIDS prevention research.   The HPRU is internationally recognized for its community partnerships, excellent clinical trial infrastructure, well-trained staff, high recruitment and retention rates, excellent data quality, innovative operational systems, and deliverability. These attributes have attracted numerous partnerships with international organizations worldwide and have garnered investor confidence due to its high deliverable capacity. The Unit has established strong interactive relationships with community stakeholders, and health care providers. 

We wish to appoint an experienced Social Behavioural Scientist/Anthropologist with a background in HIV/Public Health research. The incumbent will be responsible for conducting socio/behavioural research on HIV and other co-morbidities and disease prevention in general. S/He will also engage in epidemiological/public health research as well as conduct research to develop methodologies for biomedical application, analyse both qualitative and quantitative data and present findings.

The post is a contract position based in Durban. The successful candidate will be required to take up the position as soon as possible.  The position will also involve some international travel. 

The level at which the appointment will be made will depend on the experience, and expertise of the successful candidate. 


  • Develop innovative quantitative and qualitative research methods to address current national health priorities with a special emphasis on social behavioural research
  • Work with internal and external collaborators in the development of grant funding applications
  • Promote the academic profile of the Unit through contribution to publications in peer-reviewed journals and write and deliver presentations on the Unit’s research programme at local, national and international meetings and conferences. Integrate socio/behavioural science within all clinical research studies through development of key research questions
  • Conduct independent research using novel socio-behavioural models for HIV prevention
  • Ability to work independently, and to work effectively and collaboratively in a multi-disciplinary team
  • Provide social/behavioural science research support for all other studies conducted in the Unit


  • PhD in Behavioural Science with a strong background in public health, epidemiology, population studies or a relevant related field
  • Minimum of five years’ experience in behavioural research or a relevant related field
  • Experience in quantitative methodology and analysis using various statistical software packages
  • A track record of publications in peer reviewed journals
  • A proven track record of successful research funding and postgraduate students mentored/supervised

Added Advantage:

  • Experience in HIV prevention research among woman

A salary in the region of R833 976 per annum, cost-to-company will be negotiated in compliance with experience/qualifications.

Forward your application, comprising a full CV, covering letter of motivation stating how you meet each of the requirements and contact details of three referees, to Mrs Janet Ndimande, Human Capital Management Division, MRC, P.O. Box 19070, Tygerberg 7505 or fax 082 742 8365 or via e-mail to

Closing Date : 29 August 2014

Please quote the reference number (R761) 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 unfortunately, not be considered.

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.  

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