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The Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) at the University of the Western Cape is currently seeking a Research Manager.

Research Manager (Grade 8) (1-year contract)

The Research Manager is responsible for all aspects of high-level research management, fundraising support, project support, coordination and implementation in PLAAS’s regional research projects on food system change and land governance in sub-Saharan Africa.


The Research  Manager  will  work under the supervision of the PLAAS Director to support Principal Investigators (PIs) in the implementation of a range of donor-funded projects concerned with investigating food system change, tenure regimes, land administration and natural resource management on the continent.  She or he will be responsible for the management of all logistics and operational aspects of project implementation including liaison with both internal partners (within UWC) and external ones.

Her/his responsibilities will include:

Project Planning and Co-ordination

  • Assisting PIs  in the development and implementation of project plans, including organising events, meetings, workshops, and field research
  • Liaising effectively and building strong relationships with project partners
  • Developing and nurturing networks and external and internal partnerships with clients across Africa and internationally

Management of SLAs and subcontracts

  • Developing Terms of Reference and drawing up subcontracts and Service Level Agreements with external partners and consultants
  • Managing the implementation of project activities by partners, subcontracted agencies and consultants

Communication and Reporting

  • Assisting with the timeous finalisation of narrative and financial reports to external donors in line with contract requirements
  • Working with project teams and the PLAAS communications officer to ensure the timeous and effective delivery of communications with project partners and the dissemination of project outputs


  • A Masters Degree in a relevant field (Development Studies, Geography, Rural Sociology, Agro-food Systems)
  • At least three years’ relevant experience in applied social science research or project management
  • A drivers’ licence


  • Strong project management, fundraising, interpersonal and organisational skills
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English
  • A demonstrable grasp of key policy and political questions relating to land governance, rural development, food systems or natural resource management in the African context
  • A willingness to travel within sub-Saharan Africa

To apply, please e-mail your cover letter and CV to Bahihah Mohamed at

Closing date: 13 August 2021