Advertisement: WISER Directorship

Saturday, 31 March, 2012 - 11:00

University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
Faculty of Humanities

Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (WISER)
Since its inception in 2000, WISER has established itself as an internationally prominent and innovative interdisciplinary research institute.  WISER has come to play a leading role in shaping debates about the complexities of change in post-apartheid South Africa, and their wider theoretical and global significance.   Its mission is four-fold:  to constitute a leading site of interdisciplinary research; to contribute to the next generation of scholars in South Africa, largely through a doctoral fellowship programme; to create a space of lively and imaginative academic debate; and to provide a forum for public intellectual engagement.  WISER has a collaborative ethos and participatory management style.

Applications are invited for the position of Director.   This is a five-year contract position in the first instance, with the possibility of renewal, subject to an ongoing performance review.  Suitable applicants will be leading scholars with international standing, and strong intellectual networks within the country and abroad.  S/he should have a capacity for energetic and imaginative intellectual leadership across the full range of WISER’s activities and interests.   The capacity to manage a multi-faceted organisation is essential, along with an ability to inspire and support colleagues and students.  Applicants should have the capacity to raise the funding necessary for the next cycle of WISER’s life.  
The Director will report to the Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, but will have considerable autonomy to shape WISER’s activities, in close consultation with WISER staff and the Dean.   S/he will be supported by a Deputy Director. 

  • A PhD in a relevant discipline is essential
  • A substantial track record of research and publications, including in international journals, that demonstrate intellectual versatility as well as established expertise in particular areas of strength
  • Appropriate management and/or administrative experience
  • Previous fund-raising experience would be advantageous


  • Responsible for the day-to-day management of the Institute
  • To sustain WISER’s reputation as a site of innovative and influential research and dialogue
  • To provide an enabling, supportive and collegial environment for WISER staff, students, associates and visitors
  • To represent and advance WISER’s interests within the Faculty of Humanities and the University at large
  • To advance WISER’s international and national networks and partnerships
  • To oversee a diverse and stimulating programme of academic and public events
  • To raise donor funding, to support WISER’s core activities and salaries.

In accordance with experience and qualifications, within the normal University scales
Please submit the following:

  • A letter motivating your application, setting out your interest in the position and suitability for it.
  • A detailed and updated CV, with the names and contact details (email) of 3 referees. 
  • Three publications, that attest to your intellectual range

Send applications to:   The Faculty Human Resources Manager, Humanities, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg P/Bag 3, PO Wits 2050 (
Closing Date: 31 March 2012
The committee will continue to search until a suitable appointment is made.
Further information about WISER is available on the website,