SANSA Is Recruiting For A Chair In Space Weather

The South African National Space Agency (SANSA) has a mandate, as outlined in the South African National Space Agency Act, 2008 (Act No 36 of 2008), to co-ordinate and integrate national space science and technology programmes and conduct long-term planning and implementation of space-related activities in South Africa, for the benefit of the citizens of South Africa.

SANSA has a Research Chair opportunity available within the Space Science Programme situated in Hermanus, Western Cape to be filled by an individual with the relevant skills, drive, competencies, and qualifications. SANSA forms part of the worldwide network of magnetic observatories, undertakes fundamental and applied Space Science research, maintains the infrastructure required to monitor the near Earth space environment, and provides space weather and other applied science services. This opportunity is part of the South African Research Chair Initiative (SARChI).

The successful candidate will be responsible for growing capacity and capability in the general field of space weather research. Although the position is open to all fields within the domain of space weather research, preference will be given to a specialist in Solar Physics research.

The successful candidate will:

• Have an extensive research track record within an area of Space Weather (preferably Solar Physics)

• high and sustained publication record in reputable research journals

• International collaborations

• lead large projects

• raise and manage research funds

• lead research groups and postgraduate student supervision and training.

The ideal candidate must have:

  • PhD in Physics, Space Physics, or related field (preferably with Solar Physics specialization)
  • Minimum 7 – 10 years post PhD experience in research
  • Equivalent credentials for University Professor level or ability to make that level if required
  • Demonstrated international leadership within research field with extensive recent (past 5 years) research track record
  • Demonstrated student mentorship and supervision (graduated students over the past 5 years)
  • A passion for research and particularly Space Weather
  • Good communication skills
  • Willingness to travel both nationally and internationally
  • An NRF rating would be advantageous (successful applicants who do not have an NRF rating will be required to apply for a rating after appointment)

Please note that this position is based in HERMANUS, SOUTH AFRICA, and is for an initial term of five (5) years with the option for a 2nd term dependent on performance.  The successful candidate will be required to relocate to Hermanus, South Africa for this position. This position is open to ALL applicants who meet the above criteria irrespective of demographics, gender, or nationality.

The recruitment process involves a number of steps including the requirement for shortlisted applicants to apply via the National Research Foundation (NRF) application process after screening by SANSA.

Background verification, including criminal record, credit checks, security clearances, qualification, and citizenship checks, as well as competency assessment and psychometric testing, may form part of the selection process.

Should you meet the above requirements, please e-mail your detailed CV, a copy of your Passport, qualification certificates, the names, telephone numbers, and email addresses of at least three contactable referees and a covering letter summarizing the reasons for applying to with “SANSA SARCHI CHAIR” as the subject.

Enquiries on the requirements for the position can be addressed to Dr Lee-Anne McKinnell, at

Closing date: 1 September 2019

Communication will only be conducted with short-listed candidates. If applicants have not heard from us within 4 weeks of the closing date, they must assume that their applications were unsuccessful.

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