VACANCY: Research Officer



(3 year contract)




The Centre for Public Mental Health in the Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health has been awarded a  research grant: HeAlth System StrEngThening in Sub-Saharan Africa (ASSET). ASSET is a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) funded study working in four countries: Ethiopia, South Africa, Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe; and across three healthcare platforms: integrated primary health care; maternal care and surgical care.

The lead institution is King’s College London with UCT as a sub-contracted partner. The UCT team will be led by Prof Crick Lund, and will focus on maternal care in the Western Cape. This will include scaling up routine screening for common mental disorders and violence against women during the antenatal period, with referral to appropriate counselling and statutory services in all midwife-obstetric units (MOUs) in the Cape Town metropolitan area.

The role of the UCT Research Officer will be to coordinate the research of this health system strengthening intervention in the Western Cape, and will include contributing to the design of the study, overseeing the collection of data (including supervision of fieldwork staff and processes), assistance with the analysis of data and writing up of study findings for publication in peer reviewed scientific journal articles and policy briefs. The position is for 36 months starting in April 2018 and concluding on 31 March 2021.

Requirements include:

  • Masters or PhD in a relevant field (e.g. psychology, public health, social science).
  • At least 3 years of experience working in public health or psychology research in low resource settings.
  • Fluency in English


  • Specific experience or interest in maternal health, maternal mental health, intimate partner violence or mobile and digital health technologies.
  • Proficiency in either isiXhosa or Afrikaans.
  • Proficiency in both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies.

Responsibilities include:

  • Conducting relevant tasks at country level as required by the ASSET programme. This includes, conducting qualitative research and a situational analysis of MOUs in Cape Town, identifying suitable research tools/instruments to assess major outcomes, training and supervising fieldworkers stationed at the MOUs, and supervising the overall data collection system and processes during the course of the diagnostic, piloting and experimental phases of the ASSET study.
  • Preparing all required materials for these tasks
  • Collecting, cleaning and analysing data and preparing reports and journal articles based on these findings.
  • Publishing research findings in peer reviewed journal articles, either as lead author or co-author.
  • Presenting research findings at conferences.
  • Reporting to the UCT ASSET Principal Investigator
  • Monitoring relevant indicators of project progress, as set out in the terms of reference in the contract with King’s College London
  • Preparing reports on indicators of progress with South African maternal care Work package
  • Submitting reports to the UCT ASSET PI for submission to the ASSET Director at KCL.
  • Working with the UCT ASSET PI and administrator to ensure the smooth running of the research tasks, including but not limited to making travel arrangements, maintaining project files, and organizing meetings of the community advisory group.
  • Attending weekly meetings of the UCT ASSET team and working in a collaborative collegial manner with colleagues.
  • Assisting with setting up the community advisory group
  • Keeping all members of the advisory group informed of project progress, new developments and meetings
  • Preparing communications material for knowledge exchange within country and to other ASSET partners.
  • Participating in all relevant early career related capacity building activities within the ASSET project.

The annual remuneration package, including benefits, is negotiable between R478,207 and R639,848.

To apply, please e-mail the below documents in a single pdf file to Ms Vathiswa Mbangi at

Please ensure the title and reference number are indicated in the subject line.

An application which does not comply with the above requirements will be regarded as incomplete.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and may be required to undergo an assessment.

Telephone:                    021 650 3003

Reference number:        E18173

Closing date:               12 April 2018

UCT is committed to the pursuit of excellence, diversity and redress in achieving its equity targets. Our Employment Equity Policy is available at  For this post we seek particularly to attract black South African (i.e. African, Coloured, Indian) candidates.

UCT reserves the right not to appoint.