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NRF Jobs Functional/Scientific Software & Data Manager 2019 : National Research Foundation

Company Name : National Research Foundation
Announcement : Jobs at National Research Foundation
Centre : Cape Town
Job Titile : Functional Manager Software/Sicientific Software and Data Manager
Job Type : Permanent Management position
Website :

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NRF Jobs Functional & Scientific Software & Data Manager

The objective of the National Research Foundation (NRF) is to support and promote research through funding, human resource development and the provision of the necessary research facilities, in order to facilitate the creation of knowledge, innovation and development in all fields of the natural and social sciences, humanities and technology.

Related : Anova Health Institute Vacancies 2019 :

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Functional Manager Software

position : Permanent Management
Place : Observatory, Cape Town, Western Cape
Salary : Market Related
Job Ref : 2290982 | Ref 3181

About The Position

** SARAO has a vacancy in our Engineering Software division for a Functional Manager: Software to lead the team in program execution and alignment of strategic themes reporting to the Head: Engineering.

Minimum education requirement :
** BSC Honours in Computer Science or Engineering with a software focus

Minimum work experience required :
** 10+ years of experience within a software engineering environment, acting as a Development Manager for at least 3 years within a Lean-Agile context

Job specification

** Personnel and Team Development
** Attract, recruit and retain capable individuals
** Build high-performance teams; establish mission and purpose for individuals and teams

** Perform career counselling and personnel development
** Eliminate impediments and evolve systems, practices and processed based on Lean-Agile principles
** Take subtle control in assignment of individuals to teams; make personnel changes with necessary

** Evaluate performance, taking and providing inputs, provide guidance and corrective actions
** Assist in providing agile coaching and mentorship to agile teams

Program Execution

** Assist in determining milestones and roadmaps, and the plans and planning activities that enable them

** Adopt, promote and coach Lean-Agile principles, core values and practices
** Help develop, implement and communicate an economic framework

** Ownership of the cost centres associated with Software, including forecasts, budgets and approvals
** Participate in planning, demonstration and problem solving workshops
** Promote and implement continuous improvement practices

** Promote and implement built-in quality practices for software development
** Remove systematic impediments
** Protect teams from distractions and unrelated \ unnecessary work

Build partnerships with internal and external stakeholders :
(i) Programme Managers
(ii) Project Managers
(iii) Functional Managers
(iv) System Engineering
(v) Operations
(vi) Key Users

** Help to ensure engagement of shared services with other stakeholders
** Plan & procure tools\ equipment as required by the teams to execute their roadmap

** Provide the space necessary for innovation and experimentation
** Promote technical, domain and process skills development and knowledge acquisition within the team

Alignment & Transparency

** Work with management to ensure alignment and execution of strategic themes
** Continuously assist in aligning teams to the mission and vision

** Help to ensure engagement of key stakeholders
** Provide full transparency to all stakeholders


The ideal candidate will have the following competencies :
Ability :
** identify hardware and software needed to provide solutions to problems
** work under pressure & meet deadlines
** strong oral and written communication skills
** participate and thrive in a collaborative environment

Experience :
** roll-out of complex systems
** system engineering environment

Knowledge :
** implementation of system engineering principles
** supply chain management
** configuration management
** project management

Scientific Software & Data Manager

Position : Permanent Intermediate EE
Place : Cape Town, Western Cape
Salary : Market Related
Job : 2288337 | Ref 3185

About the Position

** The South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) is the National Facility for Optical and Infrared Astronomy of the National Research Foundation (NRF). Its headquarters are in Cape Town, while its telescopes are at Sutherland in the Northern Cape.

** Distributed between the two sites, SAAO employs roughly 130 people, many of them scientists and engineers, and is contracted to operate SALT (the Southern African Large Telescope) on behalf of the international SALT Foundation.

** SAAO is the premier optical/infrared research facility on the African continent, with global research and outreach collaborations, and contributing to human capital development for South Africa.

** The SAAO and SALT’s shared vision is to develop an Intelligent Observatory platform. To this end, we require a Scientific Software and Data Manager (SSDM), based in Cape Town, to develop, establish, manage and support a centralized professional software development environment at the Observatory.

** This centralized environment would enhance resource sharing and efficiency through prioritization and project management.

** This environment would also support the end users (local and international astronomers, data scientists, instrument and telescope operators, administrative statistics etc.) as well as the local astronomers and software developers working on the various projects.


** The main responsibility of the SSDM is to bring to life and lead the vision for a centralised professional software and data environment, in terms of providing project management, technical leadership, and user support at the Observatory, including SALT.

** Initially this will involve establishing a dedicated group for collaborative coordination across divisions, including Instrumentation, Telescope and Science Operations. The group will consist of a team of software developers and scientists (astronomers, postdocs and/or students).

** Responsibilities include support for current operations and the full life-cycle of software development at the Observatory and SALT. The SSDM will manage day-to-day software support, software development and data management, and perform regular planning, scheduling, and general oversight for the group. The SSDM is expected to actively promote best-practice software standards, tools, and methods at the observatory.

** This includes interface control, documentation, build, configuration and version control, requirements management, and a formal release process.

Minimum Education/Skills

** Masters in software engineering or equivalent, or PhD in Astronomy or related field
** 3 years Software team coordination/management experience
** 1-year Project management experience
** Proficiency in Python, C, C++

Desirable Skills

** 3years or more astronomical research experience, including data reduction packages (e.g. IRAF/PyRAF), would be an advantage.
** Knowledge and/or experience with the vision of the International Virtual Observatory Alliance

** Experience in instrumentation and/or telescope software development.
** Proficiency in some of the following languages: MySQL, IDL, Fortran, LabVIEW, Java, Javascript
** Machine-learning coding experience

** The filling of this position will be in line with the NRF’s Employment Equity Policy and Plan
** The salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.


The ideal candidate will have the following competencies:

Ability :
** develop astronomical software
** technical leadership
** project management
** data management

Experience :
** astronomical research
** data reduction packages
** machine-learning coding

Knowledge :
** research methodology

How To Apply?

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Functions of National Research Foundation

The National Research Foundation (NRF) is a government agency that plays a critical role in promoting and supporting research and innovation in various fields in many countries. Some of the functions of the NRF include:

Funding Research:
The NRF provides funding for research projects, primarily in the fields of science, engineering, and technology. This funding helps to support researchers and students at various stages of their careers and encourages the development of new knowledge and technologies.

Promoting Collaboration:
The NRF works to promote collaboration between researchers, research institutions, and industry. By fostering collaboration, the NRF helps to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and resources and supports the development of new innovations.

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