Researcher: Zoonotic Arbo and Respiratory Virus Programme

University of Pretoria

More jobs at University of Pretoria


South Africa

Position type:

Full time

09 Feb 2018

Full details:

Reference number: UOP-22957






In pursuit of the ideals of excellence and diversity, the University of Pretoria wishes to invite applications for the following vacancy.

The University of Pretoria's commitment to quality makes us one of the top research Universities in the country and gives us a competitive advantage in international science and technology development.



The candidate should be an experienced virologist that will participate in the Zoonotic Arbovirus and Respiratory Research Programme in the Centre for Viral Zoonoses. The Researcher will work closely with the principle investigator to build out the research and surveillance programme on Zoonotic Arbo and Respiratory Viruses, take responsibility for virus isolation in the BSL-3 laboratory, maintain a reference collection, establish techniques in molecular diagnostics, virus discovery and serological techniques for surveillance and characterisation of zoonotic pathogens and work towards defining the burden of disease and identification of zoonotic diseases, in particular arboviruses in Southern Africa.

The candidate will help supervise and train more junior staff and students and procedures in the BSL-3 laboratory in support of the principle investigator. The incumbent will take responsibility for SANAS accreditation and registration procedures required for the BSL3 laboratory and diagnostic setup on zoonotic diseases. The researcher must be able to work independently but part of a team of researchers, carry out laboratory management duties, support postdocs and students and staff that are responsible for zoonotic viral diagnostics and research and help with troubleshooting.

Specific duties will include:

  • Laboratory management duties and participating in the daily surveillance and research schedule;
  • Taking responsibility for molecular and serodiagnoses including assay development and implementation and virus isolation from human and animal specimens and characterisation using molecular techniques in the BSL-3 laboratory;
  • Investigating the causes of febrile, respiratory and encephalitis cases in humans and animals in Southern Africa through implementation of techniques developed in the unit;
  • Supporting the training and supervision of staff and students;
  • Dealing with the Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries and Department of Health on Section 20 approvals and import permits;
  • Reporting to the principle investigator and assisting with data analysis, publication, report and grant writing;
  • Overseeing data collection and capturing relevant to his/her aspect of the programme and conducting literature and database searches;
  • Ensuring the laboratory complies with DAFF and SANAS accreditation and taking responsibility for health and safety in the lab;
  • Assisting with general administration including orders, stock tacking, reports and database maintenance.

The researcher must have a keen interested in zoonotic diseases, be willing to work in and support management of the BSL3 laboratory and participate on an add hoc basis in vector surveillance and fieldwork.



  • MSc (Medical Virology) or related field with four to six years’ experience in the following:
    • Virology techniques, virus isolation, titrations and neutralisation techniques;
    • Molecular diagnostics;
    • Sequencing and phylogenetic analysis;
    • ELISA and immune diagnostics;
    • BSL2 laboratory;
    • BSL3 and an understanding of biosafety and security;
    • Laboratory management;
    • Grant writing and reporting;
    • Publication writing;
  • Publication record;
  • Registration with the HPCSA as Medical Scientist in Virology or a related field;
  • Experience in SANAS accreditation.



  • Good people skills;
  • Highly organised with attention to detail;
  • Ability to adhere to strict deadlines.



  • PhD in Medical Virology, Immunology or Genetics with specialisation in virology;
  • Registration with the South African Veterinary Council as Animal Veterinary Technician.


PLEASE NOTE: All shortlisted candidates may be required to participate in relevant skills assessments as part of the selection process.


The total remuneration package for this position ranges from approximately R 428 733 to R 529 550 as determined by UP policy guidelines. (These amounts include the University’s contributions to standard UP benefits, namely provident fund, group life and funeral cover, but exclude contributions to medical aid, as the latter varies per employee). UP subscribes to the BESTMED medical aid scheme and contributes 50% of the applicable monthly premium.


CLOSING DATE: 22 February 2018

No application will be considered after the closing date, or if it does not comply with at least the minimum requirements.


ENQUIRIES: Prof M Venter, Tel: (012) 319 2638 or


Should you not hear from the University of Pretoria by 30 April 2018, please accept that your application has been unsuccessful.


The University of Pretoria is committed to equality, employment equity and diversity.

In accordance with the Employment Equity Plan of the University and its Employment Equity goals and targets, preference may be given, but is not limited to candidates from under-represented designated groups.

All candidates who comply with the requirements for appointment are invited to apply.

The University of Pretoria reserves the right to not fill the advertised positions.





Remember to mention Global Academy Jobs when you apply