The South African Centre for Digital Language Resources (SADiLaR), is a national research infrastructure hosted as a research entity by the North West University. It forms part of the flagship South African Research Infrastructure Roadmap project (SARIR) of the Department of Science and Innovation. SADiLaR initiates and co-ordinates dedicated projects being executed by the centre itself, as well as by the nodes comprising the University of Pretoria, University of South Africa, the CSIR, CTexT as well as a partnership (ICELDA) of four South African universities. The position of Director is part of the contractual requirement with the DSI to oversee the activities of the Centre over the medium to long- term.
The director will in principle be responsible for all activities taking place within the Centre and its nodes, whilst overseeing the attainment of strategic goals as determined by the steering committee of SADiLaR, and/or advised by the Scientific Advisory Committee. The director will further be responsible for building the image of the Centre by creating an environment for national and international research co-operation. The attainment of international and national research funding to augment current funding sources will be amongst the items on the working agenda of the Director.
Given the nature and activities of the Centre, the director should have experience (either practical and/or theoretical) in two seemingly distant domains, i.e. the technical domain involving either computer science, machine learning, machine translation, natural language and speech processing, or computational linguistics, and the human domain related to language and literary studies as well as to the broad field of social studies. Ideally a person with a background and proven experience in the domain of Digital Humanities research and development would partially suit such a position. However, leading this Centre will require a long term vision of the scope and potential of this interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary domain with outputs that are bound to permeate all walks of life. From an organisational point of view this person should therefore have insight and appreciation of the actual and potential contribution of different domains to the Centre as a whole. Apart from having excellent research acumen, the leader should also have a demonstrated record of organisational skills, either within large research or development projects, or as leader of a similar research infrastructures.
The leader should be an academic entrepreneur with the experience and ability to raise funds, and establish partnership to ensure long term sustainability of SADiLaR.
Oversight of strategic goals of SADiLaR: Prepare strategic plan for each phase in collaboration with SADiLaR management, align SADiLaR with strategic priorities of the Department of Science and Innovation, chair the management committee and liaise with the Department of Science and Innovation as part of the SARIR planning and management committee.
Position of the Centre: Creation of the environments for national and international cooperation, maintain and extend the number of MOU’s and institutional partnerships in collaboration with the project, technical, and research managers,and representation of SADiLaR’s host institution.
Funding: Sourcing national and international funding through partnerships in order to ensure sustainability.
Oversee operations: Oversee the day-to-day running of the SADiLaR in collaboration with the technical, project and research manager.
A PhD in either broad humanities, social, computational sciences and/or human language technologies is desired.
Five (5) years proven track record and experience as described in the purpose of the position is essential.
Five (5) years proven track record experience working with computational methodologies within the continental context.
Three (3-5) years minimum managerial experience of research projects/units/centres at director or senior management level.
A substantial list of academic publications resulting from research related theory and practice of DH and/or HLT.
Proven track record in managing budgets and financials and contracts
Proven record in initiating and maintaining stakeholder’s relationships.
Participation in applicable national and international conferences related to quantitative research methodologies is desired.
Postgraduate supervision experience.
Expert knowledge in interdisciplinary methodological approaches and projects and the promotion thereof, and proven knowledge of research and innovation.
Proven experience in management of diverse groups within an academic context.
Proven record in fundraising, writing of proposals and management of external funding.
Proven leadership qualities, open mindedness and strategic thinking for strategy development.
Operational and diversity management.
Ability to liaise and communicate with the public, students, academic colleagues and senior government officials; and experience in dealing with media.
Knowledge of a network with government departments that can benefit from SADiLaR’s work, linguistic competency preferably in African Languages of the Southern African region, and proven knowledge of digital humanities as a field and community practice.
Demonstration of spoken and written language proficiency in order to function optimally in the various multilingual environments.
Ability to work as part of a team.
*Candidates invited to the interview will be required to undergo appropriate psychometric testing.