Organisation of Southern Cooperation Senior Research and Policy Specialist (Physical and Environmental Science) Jobs in South Africa

Organisation of Southern Cooperation Senior Research and Policy Specialist (Physical and Environmental Science) Jobs in South Africa

The Organisation of Southern Cooperation (OSC) is an international intergovernmental organisation, founded in January 2020 by countries from across the Global South, to “contribute to the equitable, just, and prosperous social transformation of societies by promoting balanced and inclusive education, in order to attain the fundamental rights to liberty, justice, dignity, sustainability, social cohesion, and material and immaterial security for the peoples of the world”.

The main functions of the Department of Research, Evaluation, and Foresight (REEF) are, accordingly, to:

  • Act as the think tank of the OEC, publishing reports and policy papers, and foster the exchange of ideas, perspectives, and best practices.

  • Collect, analyse, monitor, and evaluate data to inform policy and practice.

  • Facilitate transdisciplinary research opportunities and access to knowledge.

    The Transdisciplinary Research Section of REEF is responsible for producing high quality transdisciplinary research and resources, including epistemological frameworks, System Diagnostic and Monitoring and Evaluation tools, as well as evidence-led recommendations to support Member States in defining, revitalising, diagnosing, monitoring and evaluating their knowledge and education systems in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Balanced and Inclusive Education(UDBIE).

    Under the overall authority of the Secretary General, the guidance of the UnderSecretary-General for REEF, and the direct supervision of the Chief of Section of Transdisciplinary Research, Senior Research and Policy Specialists are responsible for developing transdisciplinary knowledge across various areas of expertise, providing policy advice and technical assistance to Member States and Associate Members.

    The Senior Research & Policy Specialist for Physical and Environmental Science (SPRS-PES) will be responsible for applying scientific thinking in the critical production, evaluation and exchange of scientific information to advance transdisciplinary dialogue.

    Duties :

  • Conduct research, provide policy advice and technical assistance on the application of the principles and techniques of scientific thinking to advance transdisciplinarity.

  • Contribute to the development of a contextually relevant balanced and inclusive education system diagnostic, monitoring and evaluation tool.

  • Evaluate science education systems, policies and programmes, interpret and report findings.

  • Support REEF activities on the establishment of transdisciplinary regional research centres and institutes.

  • Support the selection and collection of appropriate academic references and endogenous knowledge for hosting in an OEC digital database for use by higher education institutions and researchers of Member States and Associate Members.

  • Identify new challenges and emerging issues in transdisciplinary research and practice on which to provide timely, relevant commentary and guidance for stakeholders.

  • Develop and implement monitoring and evaluation frameworks, including the establishment of performance indicators and measurement techniques.

  • Manage the collection, analysis, reporting and visualization of data and information collected through monitoring and evaluation activities.

  • Write policy notes and research/evaluation briefs for various audience groups.

  • Contribute to the overall strategy and vision of the Transdisciplinary Research Section of REEF.

  • Effectively project manage their activities, including public events and publications.

  • Produce high-quality knowledge products.

  • Perform other duties as requested by the Chief of Section, the USG-REEF or the Secretary-General.


  • Experience of research and teaching in a subject area relevant to the physical and environmental sciences.

  • A demonstrable knowledge of developments in the field.

  • A good record of demonstrable research impact, engagement, and transdisciplinary collaborations, commensurate with career stage.

  • Demonstrated knowledge of educational policies, assessment systems, outcomes, and/or issues of the Global South.

  • Demonstrated understanding of contemporary debates, issues and constraints in transdisciplinary scholarship and practice.

  • Knowledge and experience in systematically synthesising and interpreting evidence from quantitative and qualitative data,demonstrated through high-quality publications.

  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and as part of a team.

  • Demonstrated ability to conduct independent research that can shape scholarship, policy and practice and engages various audiences.

  • Demonstrated experience with editorial work or peer review for a reputable international journal.

  • Strong oral and written communication skills.

  • Demonstrated ability to systematise information and prepare executive reports.

  • Political astuteness and demonstrated ability to work in a diverse and multicultural environment.

  • Strong commitment to the mission and goals of the OEC.

  • Ability to withstand and work effectively within a highly demanding environment.

  • Flexibility and adaptability to work effectively across different topics and themes.


  • A doctoral degree in any of the Physical and Environmental Science disciplines.

  • A minimum of five years of research, policy or practice experience beyond the doctoral degree.

  • This experience may be in a university, think tank, government department, laboratory, a non-governmental organisation or in the private sector.

    Language Requirements

  • Candidates must be fluent in English language. Knowledge of one or more of the OEC’s other official languages (French, Arabic, Spanish) is a distinct advantage.

    How to Apply

    All applications must be sent to HRE@OEC-OCE.ORG and must include:

  • Subject line: “REEF-SRPS-PES – Application”

  • Curriculum Vitae

  • Letter of Motivation

  • Two writing samples, one of which must be single authored (article in a refereed journal; book chapter; policy papers, etc)

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