Closing Date: 03 June 2013

About the job

CSIR Information Services has a vacancy for an Internship in virtual research environment (VRE). The Intern facilitator will assist in maintaining and improving the collaborative electronic workspaces, integrated databases and any electronic media in which the Southern African Biochemistry and Informatics for Natural Products Network (SABINA) or the African Centre for Gene Technologies (ACGT) has a lead role and which aims to improve the quality or quantity of content available through the VRE.

Key responsibilities

Maintaining and developing content for the VRE

  • Ensure that the monthly newsletter is prepared and made available on schedule – this would include both the writing of new material, as well as the selection of new book, conference and published journal articles for promotion via the newsletter.
  • Upload relevant material to the VRE repository and regularly posting interesting material to relevant VRE forums.
  • Monitor selected blogs, websites and publications for items that would be of use to the community/SABINA network.
  • Monitor funding agencies and related sources for relevant funding opportunities.
  • Liaise regularly with staff at the ACGT for cross-pollination into other relevant projects and programmes.

User support

  • Respond directly to user requests for workspace (VRE) support.
  • Liaise with Pretoria University Library Information Technology division for technical solutions when needed.
  • Propose and produce help materials (e.g. wikis, manuals, screenshots, training modules, etc.) based on community needs.
  • Manage workspace member database and suggest improvements.

User training

  • Identify the need for training.
  • Prepare appropriate training material (web based, manuals, etc.).
  • Facilitate training either in person or via the web.

Monitoring and evaluation

  • Actively collect, collate and analyse usage statistics and user feedback.
  • Generate proposals for workspace improvement based on web analytics and user feedback.

Adoption promotion

  • Support design and implementation of workspace training (for groups, individuals, in person and virtual).
  • Raise awareness of workspace benefits by building relationships and demonstrating workspace features.
  • Assist in designing methods to promote workspace adoption.
  • Liaise with other specialists as required for promotional events/materials (e.g. e-mail campaigns, publications and workshops).


  • Document workspace development by recording minutes and taking pictures of important meetings/workshops.
  • Maintain an archive of records and media.

Other duties as requested

  • Perform any tasks related to the further promotion or improvement of services and content of the VRE.

Qualifications, skills and experience:

  • Honours degree specialising in any of the biological or chemistry disciplines. Advanced degree work will be an advantage.
  • Specialisation in knowledge management, information management or communication will be an advantage.
  • Specialisation in information technology and social media will be an added advantage.
  • Strong computer skills (familiarity with any open source applications (web publishing, databases, research tools) will be an added advantage).
  • A good communicator and social person who is able to work with colleagues of different national and cultural backgrounds both online and in person.
  • Highly proactive person who is able to work individually, as well as in teams while meeting tight deadlines.
  • Fluency in English (spoken, written); working knowledge of any of the indigenous African languages will be an added advantage.
  • Experience in eLearning or Enterprise Content Management Systems will be an added advantage.
  • A driver’s licence will be an added advantage.
  • A South African passport and a willingness to travel to partner countries.

How to Apply

Apply Online