[CODATA-international] The African Open Science Platform is Seeking a Director

Asha CODATA asha at codata.org
Mon Jul 20 07:58:24 EDT 2020

*Advertisement: Director, African Open Science Platform (AOSP).*

The African Open Science Platform (AOSP) Office will be hosted by the
National Research Foundation (NRF) for an initial period of 5 years
beginning 2020. The AOSP is a pan-African initiative that aims to position
African scientists at the cutting edge of data intensive science by
stimulating interactivity and creating opportunity through the development
of efficiencies of scale, and building critical mass through shared
capacities. This initiative is supported by South Africa’s Department of
Science and Innovation (DSI), key institutions in Africa, and
the International Science Council (ISC).

The AOSP makes the case for bold action to mobilise the scientific
community in Africa in responding to the imperatives of open science and
the challenges of the digital revolution.  See The Future of Science and
Science of the Future: Vision and Strategy for the African Open
Science Platform: https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.2222418


The NRF seeks to appoint a Director on a 5-year fixed term contract within
the Division for Strategy, Planning and Partnerships to lead and manage the
AOSP. This individual will be joining a cohort of highly talented,
knowledgeable and committed individuals.

The incumbent shall be responsible for leading the further development and
implementation of the scientific and organisational objectives of the AOSP
Strategy in providing effective, responsive and efficient administration
and support. The incumbent will be responsible for staffing and directing
the AOSP programmes based at the NRF in Pretoria, South Africa, and will
take accountability to direct a proactive focus on advancing open science,
data and infrastructure sharing and human capacity development, with the
ultimate goal of building long-term relationships with key stakeholders.


Strategic Responsibilities

   - Exercise strong strategic vision and planning capacity in
   collaboration with the Advisory Council;
   - Establish nodes to drive the AOSP work strands, in close consultation
   with key founding partners;
   - Provide leadership (especially in Africa) in developing and nurturing
   a wide network of stakeholders, including civil society, policymakers, and
   business to support the AOSP position and influence;
   - Promote and mobilise resources from stakeholders (incl. public,
   private and development partners);
   - Promote the concept and profile of the AOSP in Africa and
   - Build an effective governance system, guided by the AOSP Strategy and
   the Advisory Council;
   - Use business intelligence to provide efficient and effective open
   science solutions;
   - In line with the AOSP work strands, develop new and innovative methods
   for measuring, monitoring and evaluating open science outcomes;
   - Identify and address risks, challenges and opportunities central to
   the success of the AOSP;
   - Identify and support ways to address key institutional and partner
   capacity needs that will accelerate progress towards achieving the AOSP’s
   - Coordinate and participate in meetings, workshops, conferences,
   scientific events and launches;
   - Draft, and provide inputs to strategic, contractual and policy

General Management Responsibilities

   - Lead the conceptualisation and development of the AOSP Office, working
   closely with the AOSP Advisory Council and other key stakeholders;
   - Oversee the overall strategic direction, planning, coordination,
   administration and evaluation of the human resources functions of the AOSP
   - Prepare integrated reports for the NRF and the AOSP Advisory Council
   considering financial, forward planning, performance, staff and
   administrative aspects of the Platform;
   - Provide a secretariat function to the AOSP Advisory Council;
   - Ensure the effective development, implementation and review of AOSP
   plans, systems, policies and processes;
   - Comply with any NRF-related statutory reporting criteria.


   - A minimum qualification of a Masters degree is required, with evidence
   of a research background. A PhD qualification will be a strong
   - Additional qualifications in business development, business
   administration or a technology-related degree would be advantageous;
   - At least 6 years’ experience in a senior management position;
   - A proven track record of securing major funding; and an understanding
   of both the corporate responsibility agenda and how to develop strategic
   partnerships that deliver against business objectives;
   - Strong leadership and management skills with the ability to direct
   strategic programmes;
   - Excellent interpersonal skills, with the ability to listen and absorb
   perspectives from stakeholders to synthesise into thoughtful concepts;
   - A proven record of interaction and collaboration on the African
   Continent, as well as with major role players in the global research
   - Verbal and written proficiency in French would be an added advantage.


   - Experience of or acquaintance with high level research or leading-edge
   work in data science, data stewardship or digital technologies would be
   - Demonstrable understanding of, and engagement with open science, and
   the concepts of inter alia open access, and open and FAIR data, as well as
   data science and related developments in the context of the digital
   - Demonstrated ability to design and implement partnership strategies
   between public and private entities aligned with specific programmatic and
   organisational outcomes;
   - Proven experience in diplomacy, developing collaborative relationships
   and effectively engaging with a wide array of stakeholders at the national,
   regional and international levels;
   - Relevant knowledge concerning strategy implementation, information
   management, and management of programmes;
   - Excellent communication skills (oral and written) and the ability to
   effectively facilitate discussions;
   - The ability to travel up to 25% of the time domestically and
   - Experience in working in a matrix and team environment.


Applicants should submit a comprehensive CV to www.nrf.ac.za/vacancies.
Applications should be accompanied by a letter of motivation indicating a
vision statement for the AOSP Office, as well as the applicant’s
suitability for the position, aligned with the afore-mentioned
responsibilities and key competencies. The names and contact details of at
least three referees should be provided.

The NRF offers a challenging career and competitive remuneration package
which is commensurate with qualifications and experience. The NRF is
committed to employment equity and redress and the appointment to the
position will be made in line with the NRF Employment Equity Plan.

CLOSING DATE: 31 July 2020

No application will be considered after the closing date, or if it does not
meet the minimum requirements. Correspondence will be conducted with
short-listed candidates only.

For more information and to apply, kindly visit:





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Asha Law | Program Assistant, CODATA | http://www.codata.org

E-Mail: asha at codata.org
Tel (Office): +33 1 45 25 04 96

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