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Research Officer (Computer Programmer)

Job Summary
Fixed term contract
Modelling and Simulation Hub, Africa (MASHA)
Department of Statistical Sciences
Reference number: E90406

The Modelling and Simulation Hub, Africa (MASHA) in the Department of Statistical Sciences invites applications to fill one post as a full time Research Officer on an 18 month contract starting 1 June 2019 or as soon as is possible. This contract may be renewed if further funding becomes available.

MASHA's research focus is the development and application of mathematical modelling and computer simulation to predict the dynamics and control of infectious diseases to evaluate the impact of policies aimed at reducing morbidity and mortality. Based in the Faculty of Science, MASHA's research is closely integrated with other disciplines resulting in policy-driven and impactful scientific research.

We are looking for a motivated Computer Programmer to support the development and application of mathematical modelling tools to inform disease control strategy. Specific projects include the development of computer applications to support malaria elimination in African countries, and optimising the vaccination schedule to limit pertussis transmission in South Africa.


  • An Honours degree or equivalent in computer programming or related subject
  • Programming proficiency in C++
  • Some knowledge of Javascript
  • Ability to work in an interdisciplinary environment
  • Well-developed and professional interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Effective time-management skills and the ability to organize, prioritize and multi-task.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team


  • Python or R experience (particularly RShiny)
  • Proficient with Github
  • Experience with app development packages (e.g. R ggplot2, Python Dash)
  • Experience with Javascript libraries
  • CSS and HTML
  • Interest in app and web design
  • Experience in cloud computing
  • Exposure to machine learning techniques
  • Exposure to big data tools (e.g. Spark, Hive, Kafka, and Map Reduce)


  • To work with the head of MASHA, Dr Sheetal Silal and the team of modellers and clinicians to develop and optimize the running of epidemiological models
  • To design and launch web applications of models
  • To design R packages
  • To assist with training users on web application tools
  • To manage Github sharing of model files
  • Manuscript and report writing
  • Assist with funding applications
  • Initiate new disease modelling projects
  • Be part of research projects from the design phase to the paper writing phase

The annual cost of employment is between R400 000 and R480 000.

To apply, please e-mail the below documents in a single pdf file to Mrs Celene Jansen-Fielies at celene.jansen-fielies@uct.ac.za:

Please ensure the title and reference number are indicated in the subject line

An application which does not comply with the above requirements will be regarded as incomplete.
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and may be required to undergo a competency test.

Telephone: 021 650 5321/5215
Website: www.hr.uct.ac.za
Reference number: E90406
Closing date: 23 April 2019

UCT is committed to the pursuit of excellence, diversity and redress in achieving its equity targets. Our Employment Equity Policy is available at http://www.uct.ac.za/downloads/uct.ac.za/about/policies/eepolicy.pdf.

UCT reserves the right not to appoint.

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