Association of Commonwealth Universities Development Research

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					                   Association of Commonwealth Universities
Development Research and Uptake in Universities in Sub-Saharan Africa

Programme Manager

Person Specification and Further Particulars

Background to the Organisation

Established in 1913, the Association of Commonwealth Universities is the oldest international
association of universities in the world, and one of the largest. Its 530 member institutions – the
highest number ever – comprise a unique balance between universities in the developed and
developing world. Members cover over fifty countries, ranging from world leading institutions such as
Oxford, Sydney and Toronto, to new institutions seeking to establish their role in hugely challenging
environments. Approximately 110 of these members are based in Sub-Saharan Africa. The
Association is a Registered Charity in the United Kingdom. Its Patron is Her Majesty the Queen.
ACU member services include the production of high quality reports and publications, conferences,
benchmarking and capacity building programmes, membership benefits such as discounted journals
and advertising facilities. In recent years, it has added significant value to these through securing a
range of externally funded projects for donors such as the European Commission, DFID, Carnegie
Corporation of New York , Arcadia Foundation, AUSAID, Wellcome Trust, Commonwealth Secretariat,
Department of Business, innovation and Skills and Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Current projects include providing the Secretariat to the UK based Commonwealth and Marshall
Scholarships, a programme to develop research management provision in African universities,
development of new networks for doctoral students in the developed and developing world, and
investigating the policy needs of early career academics.

The DRUSSA Project

In recent years, there has been increasing recognition that, to fulfil their social and economic
responsibilities, universities need not only to produce top quality research, but to ensure that this is
widely applied to the needs of society. Nowhere is this more so than in Africa, where universities
have expanded rapidly over the past decade, as governments and international agencies have
belatedly realised the impact that higher education can have on meeting key objectives in the
Millennium Development Goals. It is important that these expectations are fulfilled.

Increasingly, too, it has been appreciated that ensuring the effective dissemination and uptake of
research is a complex issue – both within universities and potential ‘user’ organisations. Individuals in
universities may lack the skills, time, contact or incentives to ensure effective uptake, or might fail to
understand or see the potential applications of the work. Moreover it is now well established that the
ideal research and innovation process is not a linear one, in which academics simply produce ideas
for external users to adapt, but a two way process, involving effective networks and communications
at all levels.

The DRUSSA programme is a response to these problems. Funded by the UK Department for
International Development (DFID), it aims to help 24 African universities to develop in-house capacity
in the area of research uptake. The project will be led by the ACU, working alongside the University
of Stellenbosch and a small consultancy, OSD, both based in South Africa. Key areas of activity at
the ACU will include a series of regional benchmarking and leadership events within Africa, as well as
two events on each of the participating university sites. Activities of other partners will include the
design of relevant Masters and Continuing Development courses for university based professionals in
the field, and production of a series of case studies based on specific research projects. Following a
one-year inception phase, the project is expected to run to September 2016.
DRUSSA Programme Manager: The Role

The DRUSSA Programme Manager will play a key role in delivery of the project objectives. S/he will
be the only full-time member of staff working on the project, coordinating the activities of a number of
staff working on a part-time basis, providing the main point of contact with participating institutions,
partner organisations and DFID. The post holder will report directly to the ACU Deputy-Secretary
General, Dr John Kirkland, who will also devote 15% of his time to the project.

The main responsibilities of the post will be as follows:

       To coordinate the delivery of ACU based activities during the programme
       To promote and publicise the programme amongst target/participating African universities,
        and contribute to the selection of universities
       To liaise with other project stakeholders, including the funding body, other partners and others
       To identify suitable sources of external expertise willing and able to contribute to the
       To help organise, promote and disseminate the series of programme events, primarily based
        in Africa, and attend the majority of these events personally
       To actively contribute to policy development in the project, through participation in the
        management meetings, writing up and reporting of outcomes
       To coordinate reporting and dissemination of programme activities, including appropriate
        returns to DFID

Person Specification

To fulfil the above roles, the ideal candidate will be educated to at least degree level, and will have
some or all of the following skills and experience:

       Demonstrable experience of/commitment to international development issues
       An understanding of the issues involved in higher education research, and its potential
        contribution to society
       A background in, or knowledge of marketing and promotional issues
       Experience of project management, preferably including significant external funding, and the
        generation of such funding
       Experience of working in an African environment
       Experience of event organisation
       The confidence, ability and personal skills to form strong relationships with a wide range of
        project partners and participants, across a range of cultures
       Strong written and verbal communication skills, including the ability to speak at, chair and
        facilitate meetings
       Reasonable level of numeracy, in order to contribute to financial reporting
       Willingness and ability to travel regularly to a range of African locations
       The legal ability to live and work in the United Kingdom for the full period of the contract

Terms and Conditions (see also separate document)

The position will be based in the London offices of the Association of Commonwealth Universities, but
will involve frequent international travel, in particular to Africa.

Salary will be on ACU Grade E (£34,491 - £41,784). It is ACU policy to appoint at the first point of a

Interviews for the post are expected to take place in London during the week commencing 28
November 2011. The post will be available from 3rd January 2012, or as soon as possible thereafter.
Although the DRUSSA project extends to September 2016, the post is being offered on a permanent
basis, in the expectation that the successful candidate will form part of the ACU Programmes Division
Selection Process

Applications, in the form of a full cv and covering letter addressing the responsibilities of the post as
outlined in the person specification and further particulars, are to be submitted by email to by 10.00 am on 25 November 2011 (UK time). Applications should be
accompanied by the names and contact details of two referees. Details of current salary should be
included in the covering letter.

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