Research Leader – Integrated Biodiversity Research (Reference number: BRAM/2018/001) (Permanent position)

30 April 2018 - 4:00pm


Salary Level: Salary commensurate with a range of inputs and outputs in terms of the SANBI career ladder for scientists

Division: Biodiversity Research, Assessment and Monitoring 

SANBI is seeking to appoint a highly motivated and productive scientist to develop, lead and co-ordinate an integrated programme of research on a permanent basis as a Research Leader - Intergrated Biodiversity Research.


The South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) is looking for a highly motivated and productive scientist to develop, lead and co-ordinate an integrated programme of research that focuses on supporting state of biodiversity reporting and providing knowledge for decision making, particularly relating to the biodiversity economy, ecosystem based adaptation to climate change, and ecological infrastructure.


The position requires someone with an ability to see the ‘big picture’ and conceptualise research projects that increase SANBI’s impact.  The incumbent will be expected to lead an existing team of scientists to develop projects that can compete successfully for funding, contribute to human capital development, and produce outputs that increase SANBI’s impact. The programme of research is expected to strengthen SANBI’s interactions with its network of partners and contribute to the National Biodiversity Research and Evidence Strategy.

The candidate should be in possession of a PhD in a relevant field of biodiversity science. The ability to lead a research programme is essential. The candidate should have at least 10 years’ experience in biodiversity research, of which at least 5 years must be related to the management of research teams and the implementation of research projects. The candidate must be able to demonstrate an ability to develop projects involving different institutions and disciplines in order to develop products that deal comprehensively with key issues affecting biodiversity. A strong record of international peer-reviewed publications demonstrating recognition as an expert, both nationally and internationally is critical. Ability to carry out rigorous analysis of scientific information to provide evidence-based advice for policy and practice would be highly advantageous. Furthermore, the suitable candidate must be in possession of a valid Code B driver’s license, as well as be willing to travel. The ability to maintain sound interpersonal relations and highly effective verbal and written communication capabilities are essential.

Key responsibilities

The appointee will be responsible for:

  • Provide strategic direction and scientific leadership to researchers in the division;
  • Develop and co-ordinate a programme of work for research to support ongoing biodiversity-related assessments, monitoring, and decision making;
  • Contribute to SANBI’s strategic policy level engagement on biodiversity-related topics and mainstreaming biodiversity issues;
  • Promote trans-disciplinary/integrated research to enable delivery of research outcomes of national significance;
  • Ensure delivery of SANBI’s Annual Performance Plan outputs and that reporting structures are in place;
  • Conduct own research to contribute to SANBI’s research goals and source co-funding when required;
  • Support human capital development through mentoring and developing post graduate students and interns;
  • Drive transformation through development and support to underrepresented groups;
  • Work with SANBI’s Biodiversity Information Management team to ensure biodiversity data and information are accessible.


Salary commensurate with a range of inputs and outputs in terms of the SANBI career ladder for scientists.

Read more about SANBI's remuneration and benefits.


Please Note:

  1. Portfolio of evidence (Scientists application form – obtained from our SANBI website and apply on line) must be accompanied by a letter motivating why the applicant should be favorably considered for the position and confirming that the minimum qualifications are met (applicants lacking evidence of relevant qualifications will not be considered).  Portfolio of evidence template can be requested by or at  
  2. A skills test will be conducted as part of the selection process.
  3. Applicants must also provide the full names, address and telephone number and if possible e-mail address of at least three referees.
  4. An application form must accompany the CV and motivational letter. Download Scientist's Application Form.
  5. Failure to submit the requested information may result in your application not being considered.

Persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. SANBI reserves the right not to fill this position.  All applications will be considered with the understanding that, in terms of the SANBI Employment Equity Plan, preference will currently be given to candidates from the designated groups.

Contact Ms Glynnis Webb on (021) 7998635/8800 or preferably, apply on line via the website ( or forward the completed application form, a letter and concise CV and certified qualifications via e-mail to or fax 0865899569. Postal applications are to be addressed to the Deputy Director: Human Resources, South African National Biodiversity Institute, Private Bag X7, Claremont, 7735.

Candidates are expected to be available for selection interviews on a date and time as determined by SANBI. If no response has been received within 30 days of the closing date, candidates may consider their application unsuccessful.

Please note that any emails sent to SANBI must be under 10MB in size.


30 April 2018 - 4:00pm
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