Job Details

3927: Associate Professor/ Professor and Academic Head of Department : Biostatistics

Job Summary
• Provide academic leadership by creating and executing strategies to establish the Department as a leader in the discipline vis-à-vis competing international entities.

Faculty Health Sciences

School of Biomedical Sciences

Department of Biostatistics

Associate Professor/ Professor and Academic Head of Department

Job ID: 3927

Applications are invited for the post of Academic Head of Department in the Faculty of Health Sciences, School of Biomedical Sciences. The tenure for Academic Head of Department is a fixed-term leadership appointment for a period of five (5) years, with a possibility of renewal for another term. External Candidates will also be considered for a permanent substantive appointment at the appropriate level of Associate Professor or Professor (Please specify level for consideration).

KINDLY TAKE NOTE: Applications may only be submitted online through the official UFS vacancy website: Applications submitted through any other platform will not be considered.

Please ensure that all relevant documentation is attached to your application. INCOMPLETE APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED. Please note: Combine all the below documents as one document (PDF or Word), when uploading it on the online applications system.
  • A detailed curriculum vitae and cover letter (please note that the first three (3) referees on your CV will be contacted with regard to reference checking);
  • Certified copies (not older than 6 months) of all academic records;
  • Certified copies (not older than 6 months) of qualifications (please provide the SAQA accreditation in the case of foreign qualifications);
  • A certified copy (not older than 6 months) of your identity document (ID);
  • Proof of registration with a Professional Body (if applicable);
  • A copy of your driver's license (if applicable).
Duties and responsibilities:
  • Provide strategic leadership in the department and contribute to a strong academic identity.
  • Supervise undergraduate and postgraduate research and initiate, conduct and disseminate biostatistical research in conference presentations and accredited journal publications.
  • Provide statistical consultation (from planning to reporting, including performing statistical analysis) and training for students and staff in the Faculty.
  • Teach undergraduate and postgraduate modules in statistics and research methodology.
  • Contribute to programme development and curriculum review within the department and Faculty.
  • Perform all necessary administrative and personnel duties associated with a Head of Department.
Additional duties applicable to the Academic Head of Department:
  • Provide academic leadership by creating and executing strategies to establish the Department as a leader in the discipline vis-à-vis competing international entities.
  • The Academic Head of Department is directly responsible for:
    • directing the academic debate in the Department;
    • influencing the Department's overall climate and culture;
    • energising everybody in the Department and beyond; and
    • shaping the future of the Department.
  • Contribute positively to the overall leadership in the faculty.
  • Frequent and continuous planning and execution of plans, general organising and coordinating of staff, students and activities, mentoring and motivating staff, structuring, and exercising overall control.
  • Create an atmosphere of consensus among staff.
  • Effective internal and external communication.
  • The Academic Head of Department is pivotal in linking the Department's staff and students with the University's management and administration through communication, negotiation and consultation.
  • Active participation and involvement in faculty management structures, attending meetings, leading project teams, representing the Department and faculty, and fulfilling the roles of liaison officer and marketer, when necessary.
  • Active participation and involvement in applicable UFS management structures, e.g. Senate.
  • Initiate, formulate and implement a visionary academic strategy for the Department that is aligned with and supportive of the guiding strategic documents of the UFS and faculty.
  • Ensure –
    • the provision of top-quality, research-informed facilitation of learning at all levels of teaching in the Department;
    • relevance of content, material and presentation in all modules;
    • the enhancement of student experiences and their continuous engagement in academic debates;
    • that adequate rules and regulations are in place to optimally deliver high-quality teaching and learning programmes on both undergraduate and postgraduate levels;
    • adherence to all the rules and regulations of the UFS, faculty and Department;
    • quality and timely feedback on student work;
    • proper and quality-driven academic advice and support to all under- and postgraduate students in the Department; and
    • the revisiting and development of fresh learning programmes that will help to position the Department as a leader in the fraternity.
  • Create and maintain a(n) –
    • visionary research strategy for the Department; and
    • environment that encourages research, leading to strong and active research habits and a culture of inquiry.
  • Ensure that –
    • every academic staff member is engaged in quality-driven and discipline-specific research;
    • postgraduate students are recruited to broaden the research base of the Department; and
    • ethical requirements are met.
  • Guiding and supporting senior academics towards acquiring NRF ratings.
  • Active engagement with the faculty research committee and the UFS Directorate of Research Development in order to ensure sustainable financial support for the Department's research initiatives.
  • Building an effective team of scholars through:
    • planning and implementing a fair and reasonable dispensation regarding the workload of staff members in the Department;
    • planning and implementing a clear and reasonable career path for every staff member in the Department, taking account of the strategic plans of the University, faculty and Department;
    • appropriate mentoring interventions where and whenever it is needed;
    • managing staff performance in accordance with existing university policies and procedures;
    • recruitment and selection of scholars in the case of vacancies and/or specific strategic needs, whenever strategic repositioning requires expansion of academic endeavours;
    • creating and maintaining a scholarship-friendly environment in the Department; and
    • planning and overseeing effective and relevant staff development.
  • The ultimate responsibility in terms of financial management culminates in:
    • annual budgeting;
    • financial planning;
    • allocation of funds; and
    • financial control.
  • Adhere to the UFS' financial policies and procedures.
  • Encourage and actively support academic staff members to apply for external research and other grants.
Inherent requirements:

Associate Professor:

  • PhD in Biostatistics or an equivalent degree on NQF level 10 with an emphasis on Statistics.
  • Experience as external examiner for postgraduate students.
  • Proven experience in the presentation of research papers at national conferences, where there is evidence of peer review of papers.
  • Proven national recognition for specialist expertise and research leadership in a specific scientific area of scholarship.
  • Proven experience in the supervision of graduated masters' students.
  • A proven research record of relevant publications in national and international accredited journals.
  • Serve as a member of a national scholarly society OR a national committee or agency concerned with research at higher education levels, OR show evidence of service as an active member of an international equivalent.


  • PhD in Biostatistics or an equivalent degree on NQF level 10 with an emphasis on Statistics.
  • Experience as external examiner for masters' and doctoral students.
  • Proven international recognition for specialist expertise and research leadership in a particular area of academic scholarship (e.g. regularly serves as a reviewer for international/ISI/IBSS journals).
  • Demonstrated successful supervision of graduated master's and preferably graduated doctoral students.
  • Proven experience in delivering keynote addresses at national scholarly conferences.
  • Serve as a member of an international scholarly society OR an international committee or agency concerned with research at higher education levels.
  • SAS or other statistical software programming experience.
  • A minimum of five (5) years' research management and leadership experience.
  • A minimum of five (5) years' consultation experience in a research environment.
Required competencies:
Results Orientated:
  • Ability to set high standards; establish tough goals and to work to achieve success.
  • Ability to be reliable, responsible, dependable and to fulfil obligations.
Strategic thinking:
  • Ability to deal with several activities at a time.
  • Ability to be creative and open-minded when addressing work issues.
Business Acumen:
  • Ability to adhere to rules and strictly follow work regulations.
  • Proficient in MS Office.
  • Proficiency in programming statistical software.
  • Knowledge of research ethics.
  • Ability to lead, take charge of situations and offer opinions and directions to others.
  • Ability to negotiate, sell, influence and to persuade others.

Assumption of duties: As soon as possible.

Closing date: 13 August 2021.

The salary scale is available on request.

Fringe benefits:
(Subject to specific conditions): pension scheme, medical aid scheme, group life insurance, housing allowance, leave and sick leave, service bonus and study benefits.

For enquiries, please feel free to contact 051 401 7705 /9848 /7267 /9003 or email

The University reserves the right not to fill the post. The University subscribes to and applies the principles prescribed by the Employment Equity Act. Preference will be given to candidates from the designated groups, in accordance with the principles of the aforementioned act and the employee profile of the specific department/ division.

The UFS is committed to the pursuit of excellence, diversity and redress in achieving its equity targets. Our Employment Equity Plan is available at For this post, we seek particularly to attract black (i.e. African, Coloured and Indian) and disabled South African candidates.

The UFS will only consider applications of candidates who meet all the inherent requirements of the position. Applications that are incomplete will not be considered. Communication will be limited to shortlisted candidates only. Should you not be contacted within six weeks of the closing date for applications, you may assume that your application was unsuccessful.

External candidates can click HERE to apply online.
UFS staff members can log onto PeopleSoft, click on Self Service, then on Recruiting, and then on Careers to apply online.

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