Director: School for Data Science and Computational Thinking

Country: South Africa;

City: Stellenbosch

Vacancy added: 04.09.2019

Employer: Stellenbosch University

Resumes due: 27.09.2019


Stellenbosch University (SU) is a research-intensive university where we attract outstanding students, employ talented staff and provide a world-class environment; a place connected to the world, while enriching and transforming local, continental and global communities.

Stellenbosch University’s strategic positioning for the 21st century is articulated in the Vision 2040 and Strategic Framework 2019-2024 (see:

The School for Data Science and Computational Thinking is a new academic entity which reports institutionally to the Vice Rector: Research, Innovation and Postgraduate Studies. It has a broad mandate to work across all the different faculties, and other entities such as centres and institutes within SU, other national and international higher learning institutions, and public and private enterprises in South Africa and abroad. The School’s activities will include research, consultancy, and technology transfer, as well as coordination, facilitation and development of modules in undergraduate and postgraduate training within the fields of data science and computational thinking across all faculties in a multi-disciplinary environment. The vision of the School is to be a world-class institution for data science and computational thinking in and for Africa.

Term of appointment: Five years with the possibility of reappointment subject to a review.


  • Develop and maintain the strategic plan of the School;
  • Manage the academic and operational functioning of the School;
  • Interact with all Faculties to develop multi-disciplinary offerings on undergraduate and postgraduate level;
  • Facilitate constructive collaborations with stakeholders inside and outside of Stellenbosch University;
  • Initiate and execute strategic initiatives to ensure the School’s financial sustainability and enhance its profile;
  • Responsible for the financial management of the School;
  • Identify, source and administer major funding in a competitive national and international arena;
  • Act as primary spokesperson and policy liaison;
  • Conduct research and contribute to the School’s products and services;
  • Consult with and report to the School’s Governing Board and Management Committee;
  • Responsible for the personnel management of the School (including performance management and personnel development).

For a full job description and for the Constitution of the School for Data Science and Computational Thinking, contact the Human Resources Division at

Job Requirements:

  • PhD in Data Science, Statistics, Mathematics, Information Science, Computer Science, or another relevant quantitative discipline;
  • Internationally recognised expertise in Data Science and Computational Thinking;
  • Relevant research profile, including published papers and conference presentations in Data Science and Computational Thinking;
  • Deep understanding of the academic and research-based environment;
  • Proven track record of strategic and intellectual leadership and management abilities;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to maintain positive relationships with students, staff and stakeholders;
  • Excellent verbal and written command of English;
  • Ability to thrive in an interdisciplinary environment;
  • Ability to think innovatively;
  • Distinguished record of research, teaching, leadership and management appropriate to the level of associate professor or higher.


  • Record of successful acquisition of external funding or contract research;
  • Management and/or research and development experience in the private sector;
  • Professional network connections with senior representatives in governmental and business environments;
  • Experience in supervision of postgraduate students;
  • Experience in translating technical research into non-specialist language for non-quantitative collaborators and policy makers.


Enquiries regarding job content:Prof Eugene Cloete, Vice-Rector: Research, Innovation and Postgraduate Studies at 021 808 4372 or at

Enquiries regarding remuneration/benefits:Ms Leandie Botha at 021 808 9059 or at

Closing date:27 September 2019

Commencement date:1 January 2020

Complete applications, comprising the documentation as set out below, must be sent by email to before the closing date.

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Documentation details (please ensure that your application includes all the documents listed below):

  • A comprehensive Curriculum Vitae;
  • A position paper document in which the candidate outlines his/her vision of the University’s and the School’s future in the general area of Data Science and Computational Thinking, as well as his/her contribution to such a future in the context of the University’s Vision 2040 and Strategic Framework 2019-2024;
  • Details regarding present occupation, remuneration package and citizenship;
  • An indication of the earliest date on which duties can be assumed;
  • Certified copies of certificates;
  • Names and contact details of at least three referees.

The University will consider all applications in terms of its Employment Equity Plan, which acknowledges the need to diversify the demographic composition of staff, especially regarding the appointment of suitable candidates from the designated groups.

The University reserves the right not to make an appointment.

At the discretion of the Senior Appointments Committee, candidates may be subjected to appropriate psychometric testing and other selection instruments, and should therefore be willing to oblige.

The University reserves the right to investigate qualifications and conduct background checks on all candidates.

The University reserves the right to extend the closing date if deemed appropriate.

Where to send resume: