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Manager: Expanded Freshwater and Terrestrial Environmental Observation Network (EFTEON)

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The South African Environmental Observation Network (SAEON) is a research platform funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and managed by the National Research Foundation (NRF). SAEON is mandated to establish and manage long-term environmental observatories; maintain reliable long-term environmental data sets; promote access to data for research and/or informed decision making; and contribute to capacity building.



(Based at SAEON National Office, Pretoria)

The position demands a mid-career scientist with at least three years’ hands-on experience of managing in situ environmental research infrastructures, technical personnel and external stakeholders. The incumbent will drive the development of the large-scale and dispersed EFTEON research infrastructure within the SAEON framework and guidance from advisory structures. EFTEON is funded by the Department of Science and Technology and hosted by SAEON.

Key responsibilities will include:

  • Overall project management of EFTEON: starting with translating the initial phase of the EFTEON proposal into an implementable business plan.
  • Translation of high-level advice and guidance into practical implementation.
  • Execution and continuous updating of the approved business plan, including the science plan.
  • Supervision and development of staff, finances and equipment.
  • Marketing of EFTEON and internal and external stakeholder relations.
  • Proposal writing, reporting, general administration, procurement, financial control and compliance with NRF policies and procedures.
  • Ensuring the data is quality controlled and openly available according to the SAEON/EFTEON data policies.


  • A sound knowledge of freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems’ structure and function and the main social-ecological interactions, with research experience in any of the sub-domains.
  • Demonstrable experience in the installation, running and maintenance of outdoors research instruments, e.g. automatic weather stations, atmospheric flux analysers, pH meters, and others.
  • A completed MSc or equivalent in relevant and related fields.
  • Working knowledge of electronics and mobile technologies.
  • Working knowledge of scientific data capturing and publication.
  • Formal qualification in project planning and execution.
  • A minimum of three years management experience.
  • Analytical and systematic approach with good organisation, planning, problem-solving, self-management, coordination and reporting skills.
  • Strong interpersonal, collaboration and communication skills for interacting with technical and non-technical colleagues and collaborators.
  • Service-delivery orientation towards internal and external stakeholders.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Driver’s license, off-road driving skills and willingness to travel to and work at remote locations.

Applications should include a detailed curriculum vitae, cover letter and contact details of at least three referees (upload as one document).

Interested applicants should study the EFTEON proposal on the SAEON website before applying online.

Closing date for receiving applications: 7 May 2017.

SAEON is committed to employment equity and redress. SAEON reserves the right not to make an appointment to the position as advertised.

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