Research Project Coordinator  for CST

The Centre for Complex Systems in Transition (CST) is a research flagship initiative at Stellenbosch University (SU), that brings together research on transdisciplinary, complexity, sustainability and resilience at SU. The CST hosts leading scientists and students from diverse disciplinary backgrounds, and fosters collaborations with a variety of departments across the University, nationally and globally, providing a vibrant hub for solution-orientated, transdisciplinary sustainability science. The primary objective of the CST is to co-produce transformational knowledge on the dynamics of multi-scale, social-ecological change in partnership with key stakeholders, integrating across food, energy, water and urban systems, and thereby provide strategic insight into the new modes of research and governance that brings about a just transition to a more equitable and sustainable society, in southern Africa and globally.

The CST seeks a Research Project Coordinator to support academic staff to develop research proposals, support contracting, report writing and project administration, and to build institutional processes to support these functions. The Project Coordinator will work in close collaboration with the CST office manager and communications coordinator, report to the CST co-directors, and work with a dynamic group of researchers.

A self-starter with an ability to work well with people is required, as this person will play the key role in further building the CST as a nationally and internationally leading research centre. This is a two-year contract position at academic post level 8, with the possibility of extension.

The candidate should hold at least an Honours degree, preferably a Master’s degree and have five years Project Management experience. The candidate should have strong communication skills and a good understanding of South African University systems is required. Applications are particularly invited from South African nationals, especially women and candidates from previously disadvantaged groups.

Primary tasks:

  • Support in writing funding proposals: The Project Coordinator will assist in flagging potential  projects, and work closely with relevant Principle Investigator (PI)s to develop funding  proposals. In collaboration with the PI for each project, the Project Coordinator will drive the  proposal application process, develop a plan of action and budget, and prepare a schedule for  the project. The Project Coordinator will be responsible for sourcing relevant documentation,  working in close collaboration with various SU departments and supporting the PI.  Support in setting up projects: The Project Coordinator will work with the CST Office Manager  and co‐directors to assist in dealing with contractual matters, i.e., compile contracts; generate  cost centres, communicate with SU administration, including financial and legal offices; and  organise project meetings. The Project Coordinator will be responsible for following up on  administrative procedures regarding the project, including expense reports and records of all  project documents.
  • Support for reporting: The Project Coordinator will assist PIs to monitor the implementation  and progress of projects according to approved objectives and deliverables. The Project  Coordinator will assist in compiling progress reports, financial reports, stats, and all relevant  documentation ensuring adherence to deadlines. The Project Coordinator will also be  responsible for assisting with monitoring and evaluation processes. The project coordinator  will also assist with general reporting and evaluation processes of the CST as a whole, and  liaise with the CST communications coordinator to communicate project outcomes.


  • At least Honours, ideally Master’s degree
  • Have an understanding of the sustainable development field
  • Experience in writing proposals
  • Financial literacy
  • At least five years’ experience in Project Management
  • Knowledge of South African University Systems
  • Fluency in English (mastery of additional languages appreciated e.g. Afrikaans / Xhosa)
  • Administrative experience

To apply:

Please send the following to by 15 August 2018:

  • Covering letter motivating your interest and suitability for the position
  • CV, including 3 references
  • Copies of degree certificates
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