Senior Research Scientist

Listing reference: ukzn_000244
Listing status: Under Review
Apply by: 26 February 2024
Position summary
Industry: Education & Training
Job category: Research and Development
Location: Pietermaritzburg
Contract: Fixed Term Contract
Remuneration: Market Related
EE position: Yes
The University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) is committed to Employment Equity with the intention to promote representivity within the Institution. Preference will be given to applicants from the designated groups in accordance with our Employment Equity Plan.
Job description

The Sustainable and Healthy Food Systems – Southern Africa is a Wellcome Trust Funded six-year research programme that is based at UKZN, with multiple partners. These include the Institute of Natural Resources in PMB, the University of Zimbabwe, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University College London, Aberdeen University, and Royal Veterinary College.

 SHEFS-SA will catalyse the transformation of Southern African food systems and communities towards systems and communities that are healthy and resilient to climate risks. We will do this by:

1.     Undertaking SHEFS transdisciplinary research to shift understanding of complex climate change (CC)challenges for health, as mediated by food systems, within particular contexts, translated into scalable solutions and policy recommendations with high impact;

2.     Developing a transdisciplinary Community of Practice (CoP), led by the Global South, that contextualises and applies systems thinking within an expanded climate sensitive SHEFS Framework, to improve food security, food safety, nutrition, and health, including mental health; and

3.     Developing a Global South-led cohort programme to train emerging scholars and practitioners in transdisciplinary research approaches at the intersection of Climate and Health.

The SHEFS-SA consortium will focus on providing actionable evidence for informed decision-making and identifying and developing practical solutions for CC mitigation and/or adaptation, while evaluating in detail how their effects connect to health, including mental health, through food security, food safety and nutrition (public health areas of concern identified our previous SHEFS grant). The programme deepens our work in South Africa, and will expand to include Zimbabwe and Malawi to ensure regional policy impact.

 The SHEFS-SA seeks to appoint someone who can take the lead for research into climate change impacts on livestock production, livestock health, meat production, meat safety, and the livestock derived for system. This work will be in partnership with the team from the Royal Veterinary College in the United Kingdom, who are global leaders in this area. The incumbent will undertake collaborative research on livestock derived food systems in southern Africa, with a focus on Climate Change and Health, as proposed by the SHEFS-SA Consortium. The incumbent will be part of a broader Community of Practice, and will be expected to participate strongly in this, including in the PhD Cohort training programme and the Post-Doctoral fellows cohort. The incumbent will be expected to publish outcomes in high impact peer reviewed journals, and to translate this work into policy briefs for policy-makers and practitioners. The position is for the period of the SHEFS-SA project, and is dependent on the availability of external funds.

 The successful incumbent will report to Prof Rob Slotow, the SHEFS-SA Principal Investigator.

Minimum requirements

·       PhD in Veterinary Science.

·       At least 3 years post PhD experience in research in Climate Change in Africa, including involving livestock.

·       Five years’ experience working in internationally funded projects.

·       Substantial record of recent peer reviewed publications, including in High Impact International Journals.

·       Demonstrated ability to apply for research grants, either as the Principal Investigator or as a member of a team.

·       Strong collaboration record, as evidenced by co-authors on publications.

·       Valid Code 8 Driver’s licence with at least 2 years’ experience.

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