Pan African Bioinformatics Network for H3Africa

Data Scientist Positions MRC/Wits Rural Public Health and Health Transitions Research Unit (Agincourt)

We seek capable and creative Data Scientists to contribute to (i) management, maintenance and further development of the Unit’s scientific data infrastructure, (ii) extensive research analyses and scientific output, (iii) development and adaptation of innovative data science and analytical methods, and (iv) management and mentorship of trainees and less experienced data personnel.

As part of the Data and Analysis team, these positions involve a primary base in the Bushbuckridge District of Mpumalanga Province where most scientific and collaborating staff are based fulltime, several of whom live in the attractive lowveld environment of the Wits Rural Campus.

The Agincourt data infrastructure supports an exceptional health and population resource resulting from some two decades of health and socio-­‐demographic surveillance (a form of longitudinal population registration), coupled with observational and intervention studies along the life course. These involve collaborations with an interdisciplinary network of leading global scientists. The successful candidates will join a talented and hardworking team addressing some of the country and region’s most pressing health and development challenges. Work links closely to leading networks. Personal academic and professional development is encouraged.

The MRC/Wits-­‐Agincourt Unit forms a major part of the Division of Health and Population in the Wits School of Public Health. The School has several strong divisions including Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and a sister Demography and Population Studies Programme (a joint initiative with Social Sciences).


  • Contribute to an evolving vision for Data and Analysis
  • Apply “new data” methods
  • Contribute to “tuning” the data system to enhance measurement of key indicators and efficiency of the overall system
  • Manage and contribute to expansion of complex temporal research databases. This includes:
  • Developing scripts and applications for temporal integrity checking, data cleaning and extraction
  • Establishing routine quality checks on databases to ensure excellent data quality
  • Participating in the maintenance, tuning, and implementation of network systems
  • Participate in analyses and writing scientific papers
  • Contribute to development and maintenance of an extensive archive of scientific data.


  • Strong analytical and problem-­‐solving skills with high attention to detail
  • Development, maintenance and administration of relational databases hosted on Microsoft SQL Server or MySQL
  • Software development experience using a range of tools and programming languages including C# and Visual Basic
  • Management of large, complex datasets
  • Proficiency with a commonly recognised statistical package eg Stata, R, SPSS or SAS
  • Team player able to work in a high-­‐performing collaborative environment, and to support scientific investigations across disciplines
  • Experience with academic writing and publication will be an advantage.

Masters degree or higher in a relevant subject(s) such as Information Technology, Computer Science, Statistics, Demography, Epidemiology, Bioinformatics, Data Management or related field.

Dependent on qualifications and experience, the highly competitive package includes Provident Fund, Medical Aid, thirteenth cheque (if preferred) and generous leave in accordance with Wits University’s conditions of employment.

Enquiries: should be forwarded to Wendy Pearsall +27 (0)11 717 2460 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ,
Chodziwadziwa Kabudula +27 (0)13 795 5076 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or Stephen
Tollman +27 (0)11 717 2085   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

To apply for the above post:
Please submit a covering letter motivating your suitability, an up to date CV with full details of three contactable referees, and certified copies of all degree certificates and transcripts. Submit online or by email to:
Tel:                     011 717 2460
Email:                    https://irec.wits.ac.za

Closing date:  06 July 2015

We reserve the right to not make an appointment and to continue searching after the closing date. Only short-­‐listed candidates will be contacted.

The original job posting can be found here.