The Nature Conservation Department at the George Campus, Nelson Mandela University focuses on training competent managers, practitioners and scientists who can apply their skills in social ecological systems in Africa and globally. We have a vibrant and strong community of academics and students who are passionate about the conservation of Africa’s unique biodiversity. Our students come from diverse backgrounds and cultures and when they complete their studies are employed by numerous entities within the conservation sector, particularly in Africa.  We are looking for an accomplished early-career scientist to join our team. The candidate should primarily be a social ecologist, preferably with specialization in community engagement, social-ecological science and/or environmental education in sub-Saharan Africa. Learning and Teaching takes place at the following levels: Diploma, Advanced Diploma, Honours, MSc and PhD*. The candidate should be able to teach and provide supervision at all these levels*. We are looking for someone who will inspire and motivate our students to reach their academic and career goals.

Our department engages in a diversity of basic and applied research activities and the candidate will be expected to drive a research program focussed in their area of specialisation. We encourage multidisciplinary research and the building of national and international collaborative networks, and therefore the candidate should feel comfortable engaging in teaching and research activities with multi-disciplinary teams. Most of the research we do are funded by external grants which require the candidate to have an ability to identify suitable funding sources and to secure grants. We also strive to remain close to, and build a strong relationship with, the conservation industry through engagement, support and our undergraduate work integrated learning program. Each staff member is expected to contribute to this effort.

The George Campus ( is a satellite campus of Nelson Mandela University and hosts around 1500 students. The campus is uniquely situated on the outskirts of George, between the Outeniqua Mountain range and the Indian Ocean and surrounded by plantations, indigenous forest and fynbos ( ) .

*Applicable to candidates with a Doctoral Degree. A Doctoral Degree would therefore be advantageous.


  • Teach undergraduate students in the Nature Conservation Program in the fields of social ecology, environmental education, sustainability science.
  • Facilitate student learning at a post-graduate level in the above fields.
  • Conduct, supervise and publish research relevant to social-ecological system studies, integrated conservation, sustainability, indigenous knowledge and practices, community based natural resource management, conservation stewardship, extension and/or environmental justice.
  • Engage and build networks within the conservation industry and academia.
  • Facilitate academic engagement with stakeholders.
  • Perform administrative and management functions in the Nature Conservation Programme as needed.


  • Be able to apply teaching and learning in the context of conservation as part of a social-ecological system
  • An ability to apply theoretical scientific concepts in area of specialization
  • Experience in teaching a diversity of students from multiple backgrounds at different academic levels
  • An ability to develop course/educational material for learning and teaching
  • Be able to work in multi-disciplinary teams within the academic and conservation sector.
  • A demonstrated ability to conduct basic and applied research and publish/present research results.
  • The ability to acquire external research grant funding
  • Experience in networking with conservation practitioners and researchers in the sector.
  • An ability to engage and work with a diversity of stakeholders to achieve results beneficial to society.
  • An ability to develop and nurture local community relationships.
  • An aptitude for teamwork and working with groups of people from multiple disciplines.
  • Be creative and innovative in the workplace.
  • An ability to play a leadership role when required.
  • Be able to facilitate workshops and stakeholder engagement
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills in two of the three official languages of the Western Cape Province.


  • A Masters or Doctoral Degree in Social-Ecological Science, Environmental Education, Conservation Biology, Environmental Science or related field.
  •  Masters Degree: With minimum 2 years relevant and / or related working experience.
  • Doctoral Degree: With minimum 1 year relevant and / or related working experience.

  • No applicant would be allowed to apply and/or would be accepted after the closing date (26 February  2021).  
  • Nelson Mandela University reserves the right not to make an appointment. In considering candidates for appointment into the advertised posts, preference will be accorded to persons from a designated group in accordance with the approved Nelson Mandela University Employment Equity Plan.
  • ADDITIONAL INFORMATION e.g. contact person and telephone number, e-mail; etc. must be displayed on CV.
  • Applications must be accompanied by a cover page on which applicants explain how they meet the requirements of the post.
Applications must be accompanied by a covering letter stating how applicants meet the core competencies and requirements, as well as a comprehensive CV, certified copies of qualifications and two reference letters from contactable referees. It is the applicant’s responsibility to have foreign qualifications evaluated and certified by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) before appointment. Closing date: 26 February 2021.