NRF/SARAO is Accepting Applications for Multiple Positions

SARAO is Recruiting a Procurement Officer

The National Research Foundation / South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRF/SARAO) is recruiting for multiple positions. These positions include a Senior researcher, Diesel Mechanic, and Stakeholder Coordinator. 

Senior Researcher

The position is a long fixed-term contract position. The successful applicant will join the NRF team based at Hartebeesthoek, Gauteng, on a half-time basis (i.e. six months per year). Furthermore, the successful applicant will lead research and supervise postgraduate students in radio astronomy topics associated with global VLBI observations and MeerKAT legacy projects. Thus, the key responsibilities are to increase the scientific value from the Very-long-baseline interferometry (VLBI) observations that use Hartebeesthoek as a station. In addition, they will be responsible for increasing South African scientific participation and leadership in these VLBI experiments.

Other key responsibilities

  • Researching by observing, analysing and interpreting astronomical phenomena requiring VLBI observations;
  • Extracting scientific results from MeerKAT legacy survey data;
  • Collaboration with South African university astronomy groups supported by the SARAO Human Capital Development programme;
  • Contributing to the ongoing assessment of the VLBI operational and science productivity state of the observatory with a view to its enhancement;
  • Developing software, operational procedures and documentation related to astronomical applications.

Key Requirements:


  • PhD in astronomy, astrophysics or related field;
  • Five years working experience in a research environment in the field of radio astronomy, post PhD.


  • Background in radio astronomy observations with at least one radio observatory;
  • Experience in the technical aspects of radio interferometry, particularly VLBI;
  • Proven research record associated with the astrophysics of phenomena requiring radio interferometric observations;
  • Proficiency in radio astronomy data reduction, software and instrumentation, specifically AIPS and CASA;
  • Track record of publications in peer-reviewed journals in physics or astronomy;
  • Mentoring of postgraduate students.


  • Familiarity with AIPS and CASA data reduction packages;
  • Modern programming languages and operating systems;
  • Must have a track record of programming in C/Python/shell scripts and/or other modern languages;
  • Familiarity with the Linux operating system;
  • Technical and academic writing methods and techniques.

Diesel Mechanic

The successful candidate will perform routine work, repairs and maintenance on fleet vehicles and earth moving equipment. Furthermore, the position is a five-year contract position. 

Minimum education required

  • Qualified Diesel Mechanic (Trade Test);
  • Valid Code 10 and PDP;
  • Basic Computer literacy.

Minimum work experience required

  • Five years working experience as a qualified Diesel Mechanic, of which two years should be on earthmoving equipment.

Duties will include but are not limited to

  • Servicing of company vehicles to predefined checklists;
  • Attend to breakdowns and carry out the necessary repairs on fleet vehicles & earthmoving equipment;
  • Apply Health & Safety rules and regulations in all aspects of the job;
  • Ensure vehicles are in line with legal requirements and company policies, i.e. roadworthy etc.;
  • Maintain a safe and clean working place at all times.

Experience in

  • Serving, maintenance & repair of motor vehicles and earth moving equipment;
  • Workshop equipment and tools;
  • Heavy duty and earth-moving equipment;
  • Emergency backup generators;
  • Basic report writing;
  • Auto electrical work (advantageous).

Knowledge of

  • Workshop procedures and automotive repairs;
  • Vehicle malfunctions and diagnoses thereof;
  • Fuel, brake, steering & suspension systems, transmissions, emission-control & exhaust systems;
  • Health & Safety standards & legislation;
  • Technical specifications of various vehicle models;
  • Lifting equipment and hydraulics;
  • Earthmoving equipment (caterpillar, Bell, Terrex, Volvo, etc.).

Stakeholder Coordinator

This fixed-term contract position focuses on coordinating key stakeholder engagement activities and doing stakeholder compliance reporting in the Karoo, Northern Cape. The service area will be in the surrounding area of the SARAO site. Furthermore, it will encompass the towns of Carnarvon, Brandvlei, Williston, and Van Wyksvlei.

Minimum education required

  • National Diploma: Marketing, Communication or related fields;
  • Valid drivers’ license;
  • Computer literacy at an advanced level (Microsoft Office).

Minimum work experience required

  • Three years working experience in a Stakeholder Engagement, Sociology, Marketing or Communications related field.

Duties will include but are not limited to

  • Stakeholder Reporting;
  • Engaging with local stakeholders
  • Planning and assisting with bi-annual community information meetings;
  • Research assistance;
  • Assisting with stakeholder research and media monitoring as and when necessary;
  • All general administrative activities are in line with the position.

Experience in

  • Knowledge of relevant legislation
  • Background in creating databases
  • Financial administration, including budgeting, costing and procurement
  • Background in cost centre control (advantageous).

Knowledge of

  • Stakeholder Management;
  • Construction;

A letter of motivation indicating the applicants’ suitability for the role should accompany the application for all the positions. Furthermore, the applicants should provide the names and contact details of at least three referees.

Please follow these links to apply for the positions; Senior Researcher, Stakeholder Coordinator, Diesel Mechanic.

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