Recruiting 12 fieldworkers for our ESRC study :)

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Fieldworkers required: Research on Socio-Economic Policy (ReSEP), based in the Economics Department at Stellenbosch University, has embarked on a research project focussing on exceptional township and rural primary schools in three provinces in South Africa. ReSEP plans to recruit 9 experienced fieldworkers to assist them with school-based research.

Job description: Fieldworkers

Periods of work: Early October 2016 with an option to renew for forthcoming fieldwork

Overall period of fieldwork: Early October 2016, February/March 2017, September/October 2017

Daily rate for fieldwork: R800 per day with R100 per day subsistence allowance

Daily rate for training: R450 per day

Description of the project: The main aim of the research is to better understand why some schools perform better than others specifically in township and rural areas. We will develop a new survey instrument that captures the actual practices and behaviours of teachers and principals in challenging contexts.

This will be done where each exceptional school is paired with a nearby ‘typical’ school, i.e. one with similar geographical and socioeconomic characteristics.

The study will be conducted in various phases from May 2016 to September 2018 in 60 schools across the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo provinces. This advert is based on fieldwork for the first phase, piloting the various research instruments in three schools per province, this may however be extended to the subsequent data collection phases (February and October 2017) based on fieldworker performance and availability.

Fieldworkers will be required to

  • interview school principals and teachers using quantitative instruments;
  • conduct reading and vocabulary tests with young children;
  • conduct assessments of classrooms and learner workbooks;
  • provide informative insights into the school environments they visit.

Minimum requirements: 1) A bachelor’s degree (although in exceptional cases 3 year diploma’s also considered) 2) Fluency in reading and writing in English as well as one of the three following languages: Sepedi, isiZulu or IsiXhosa

Preference will be given to individuals:

  • with previous research experience particularly from academic disciplines such as linguistics, psychology, teaching and education research. Although other background disciplines will also be considered.
  • with a valid driver’s license and regular driving experience.  with a research interest in the project.
  • who live in the province in which they are surveying schools (i.e. Limpopo, Western Cape or KwaZulu-Natal).

Qualities:

Ideal candidates should possess the following qualities:

  • Integrity and honesty
  • Organised with the ability to plan effectively
  • Confident and professional
  • Good interpersonal skills
  • Works easily in a team
  • Enjoys working with children
  • Takes initiative to solve problems as they arise
  • The ability to objectively observe an environment without influencing how it functions.
  • The ability to articulate clearly in language and writing your observations.

Required time commitments:

  • 2016: Early October 2016 (6 days). 2 days compulsory training. 3-4 days pilot fieldwork.
  • Working hours in field: 6.30am/7am start to be at a school by 8am depending on travel distances. 8 hour working day. Each fieldworker will be expected to verify the GPS location/address of the piloting schools prior to the field visit. Late arrivals will not be accepted as this will jeopardise the completion of data collection.
  • Important note: Fieldwork will likely involve being away from home Monday to Friday (given that schools may be located very far from central hubs) and will potentially require driving to required areas on a Sunday to be able to start fieldwork promptly in schools on a Monday morning. All travel arrangement, logistics and accommodation will be arranged through ReSEP, however it is the responsibility of each fieldworker to verify the suitability of the arrangement.

Application:

12 shortlisted candidates will be required to attend training at a central location where 9 fieldworkers (3 per province) will be chosen from the most suitable candidates identified. All shortlisted candidates will be compensated the daily rate of R450 for the duration of the training.

If you are interested in applying for the position please send to mschreve@sun.ac.za by Mon. 8 August 2016

i) Your CV. Including two references.

ii) A short written piece (500 word limit) on what characteristics/features in your opinion distinguish a school as being better than others. The piece must be written in English and in one of the three following languages: Sepedi, isiZulu or IsiXhosa.

iii) A covering letter. In your covering letter please explain why you think you would be a good match for this position. In the subject line please include: “Application: ESRC fieldworker.”

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 weeks of the closing date, kindly accept that your application did not succeed.

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