Faculty of Economics and Management Sciences
The Centre for Sustainability Transitions (CST)
Communications Manager
Ref. EBW13/309/1022
Continuation of the position is subject to the availability of funding.
The Centre for Sustainability Transitions (CST) is a research flagship initiative at Stellenbosch University (SU) that brings together research on transdisciplinary, complexity, sustainability, and social-ecological resilience to inform pressing national, continental and global sustainability and development challenges. 
CST hosts leading scientists and students from diverse disciplinary backgrounds, and fosters collaborations with a variety of departments across the University, nationally and globally, providing a vibrant hub for solution-oriented, transdisciplinary sustainability science. The primary objective of the CST is to co-produce transformational knowledge on the dynamics of multi-scale social-ecological change in partnership with key stakeholders, thereby providing strategic insights into the new modes of research and governance that can bring about a just transition to a more equitable and sustainable society, in southern Africa and globally. 
CST seeks to appoint a communications manager with a good understanding of the field of sustainability to develop and implement a strategy to communicate CST research activities to a variety of target audiences, aimed at building CST’s standing as a leading institution. These audiences include the international sustainability transitions community, potential funding agencies, CST stakeholders and partners, key decision-makers, potential students and alumni, and the broader public. Activities include overseeing various communications channels, including the CST website, social media platforms, publications, providing support for the communication needs for CST’s external research projects, media releases, developing press releases about important CST research outputs, developing policies, as well as the writing of blog posts and videos pertaining to CST research. The communications manager may also provide mentoring to junior staff and students wishing to learn about and assist with science communication.  
The communications manager position is a permanent, full-time post. Options to work near full-time (e.g., 80% or 6/8 part-time) will also be considered. The incumbent is expected to spend at least Mondays and Thursdays in the office, but is welcome on all days.
  • Strategic development and oversight, and updating the CST website, including keeping content up to date, writing news articles (based on CST journal articles, theses, popular media and interviews), communicating upcoming events, managing the blog (writing posts or editing posts written by staff and students), and managing the CST’s social media accounts. Maintaining strategic alignment with Stellenbosch University¿s outreach and branding.
  • Project management of the development of CST publications, such as printed reports, policy briefs, brochures, and the annual review. This includes managing all aspects of the publication production, including liaising with researchers, designers and copy editors to produce print ready documents for physical and digital dissemination, and sourcing appropriate service providers to achieve objectives;
  • Developing popular science materials, by translating the scientific work of the CST into digestible, understandable copy or short videos for the broader public for dissemination through various media, including the website, social media, broadcast, online and print publications as well as through CST publications;
  • Liaising with the media, including writing, targeting and issuing news releases and articles, liaising with relevant media for the publication of news releases and articles, setting up interviews, responding to media enquiries, and promoting CST staff as expert commentators in broadcast and print media. Liaising with the Stellenbosch University media and related offices;
  • Assisting with the marketing of the CST’s academic programmes, including overseeing the creation of fliers, social media posts, and the annual prospectus;
  • Assisting with the communication needs of CST’s externally funded projects. The CST manages several external websites and mailing lists including those of sapecs.org and goodanthropocenes.org and related social media accounts. This work may range from providing support in updating websites, managing social media, writing news articles and press releases, and updating the related mailing lists, amongst others.

Job Requirements:

  • At least five years’ work experience in communication management, including strategy development, research, writing and media production;
  • Experience in writing about a range of sustainability-related topics;
  • Excellent organisational skills, with the ability to prioritise work in order to meet deadlines;
  • The ability to multi-task;
  • Meticulous execution of duties and a high level of attention to detail;
  • The ability to write very well and to function effectively in a multilingual and multicultural environment;
  • Proficiency in MS Office, WordPress and social media;
  • Self-motivated, proactive and the ability to work independently as well as in a team;
  • The ability to delegate tasks and oversee student assistants


  • An undergraduate or postgraduate degree relating to communication (e.g., journalism, marketing, media, communication);
  • Relevant training and/or experience demonstrating a strong scientific understanding of the sustainability field; and/or a strong understanding of and experience in writing about sustainability topics;
  • Experience as a communications expert working in participatory interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary environments with minimal daily supervision of work and schedules;
  • Media relations experience;
  • Skills in design and design software (e.g., Adobe, Canvas) are an added advantage;
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills and the ability to build, grow and maintain networks;
  • Familiarity with communications channels at the University of Stellenbosch.

How To Apply:

Stellenbosch University is committed to employment equity (EE), and appointments will be made in line with the EE plan for the specific environment as well as the institutional EE Plan of the University.

Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to make an appointment.

Your application, comprising a comprehensive curriculum vitae (including the names and email addresses of at least three referees), must reach the University before or on the closing date of the advertised post.


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

Should no feedback be received from the University within four to six weeks of the closing date, kindly accept that your application did not succeed.


Enquiries regarding this post: Cornelia Jacobs on 021 808 4406, or at corneliajacobs@sun.ac.za

Enquiries regarding remuneration/benefits, as well as technical assistance with the electronic application process: Human Resources Client Services Centre on 021 808 2753, or at sun-e-hr@sun.ac.za

Currency: ZAR

Commencement Date: 01-Jan-2023

Closing Date: 14-Nov-2022