Research Communication Officer at National Research Foundation

  • Permanent Senior position

  • Pretoria, Gauteng

  • Market Related salary

  • Job 2111885 | Ref 2586

  • Posted 12 Jun 2017

About the Position

The National Research Foundation (NRF) supports and promotes research and human capital development through the provision of funding, research infrastructure including National Research Facilities and, science advancement platforms and programmes in all fields of science and technology, including natural science, engineering, social science and humanities.

The Corporate Relations Unit of the NRF is looking for a creative, energetic and ambitious individual with a background in science, technology and engineering. The appointed individual will champion the NRF's research communication efforts which entail communicating scientific research funded by the NRF. As part of the Corporate Relation unit, the incumbent will also be expected to contribute in all aspects of communications, content development or enhancement and engagement with stakeholders

Key Responsibilities

The responsibilities of the appointed individual will include:

  • Participating in the development and execution of an integrated communications, and research communication strategy

  • Collaborating and liaising with NRF Business Units in order to develop exciting and engaging scientific content meant for a range of target audiences for use in science engagement activities and applications.

  • Developing and managing relations with NRF funded researchers, educational and scientific institutions for the purpose of science engagement programmes and activities

  • Developing and managing research communication programmes and activities, for specific target audiences or purpose, these will, among others, include lectures, exhibitions, and other forms of events

  • Identifying opportunities and developing angels, pitches/motivations to ensure coverage - print, broadcast, online incl. social media - of scientific topics.

  • Taking responsibility for analyzing data, thinking creatively and developing innovative strategies to make sure science communication and science engagement campaigns reach the right target audience in the most effective way possible

Minimum Requirements:

  • A Bachelor degree or National Diploma in science, technology or engineering or science journalism;

  • Three years' experience in writing scientific content in a manner suitable for consumption by the general public (this could be in journalism, research communication, public outreach).-

  • Advanced functional computer skills in MS Office applications

  • Excellent communication skills ( written and verbal)

  • Excellent project management skills

  • A grasp of science engagement in the national system of innovation (NSI);

  • Ability to take scientific content, e.g. journal articles, and write it in a manner that will be accessible to the general population;

  • Ability to conceptualize and prepare documents for high level discussions;

  • A positive attitude and results oriented logic;

  • Ability to perform under pressure on several project simultaneously;

  • Ability to interact with people of diverse educational, social, cultural and ethnic backgrounds;

  • Ability to work independently and as part of the team

The NRF is committed to employment equity and redress. Correspondence will be conducted with the shortlisted candidates only.

The ideal candidate will have the following competencies:


  • communicate at all levels
  • translate complex technical information for the general public
  • stay abreast of trends in various research areas
  • conceptualise and prepare documents for different audiences


  • project management
  • science journalism/ research communication /public outreach /science engagement


  • biological and physical sciences
  • national system of innovation

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