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Open Positions


(5-year contract, Two positions available)

Drug Discovery & Development Centre (H3D)

Faculty of Science

The Drug Discovery and Development Centre (H3D) at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, is seeking to appoint two Research Officers, one in synthetic organic chemistry and the other in enzymology. These positions will mainly involve conducting drug discovery research in areas of focus and working with the H3D Grow Our Own Timber (GOOT) programme. This programme includes the supervision of the work of Postgraduate research students, Postdoctoral fellows and Interns, as well as developing and teaching courses in the sub-disciplines of organic chemistry (chemistry candidate) and biochemistry (enzymology candidate) to undergraduate students.



  • A PhD in synthetic organic chemistry or biochemistry for enzymologist;
  • At least 3 years relevant postdoctoral experience, most preferably in a drug discovery team either in a university setting or at a pharmaceutical/biotech company.


One or more of the following will be advantageous: knowledge and experience of drug targets from the human malaria parasite; Drug Discovery experience; Proficiency in data/computational analysis; Track record of supervising students; Publication track record.



  • Synthetic organic chemist: Independently design and synthesize medicinally active compounds, within a team setting with the goal to identify pre-clinical drug candidates; Use structure-activity relationships and other medicinal chemistry practices to aid optimization of “hit to lead” and lead to preclinical candidate;
  • Enzymologist: Construct, express, purify drug targets; conduct mechanistic investigations; develop medium- to high-throughput inhibition/binding assays to identify hits and guide potency improvements; work with structural biologists to provide three-dimensional architectures;  
  • Supervise the work of postdoctoral fellows, Research Associates, as well as Honours, MSc and PhD students;
  • Develop and teach courses in organic chemistry (synthetic organic chemist) and biochemistry (enzymologist) to undergraduate students.


The annual remuneration package for 2018, including benefits is between R R478 207 and R639 848.


To apply, please e-mail the below documents in a single pdf file to Ms Tracy Moore at recruitment04@uct.ac.za:


  • UCT Application Form (download at http://forms.uct.ac.za/hr201.doc. Please indicate clearly which position you are applying for on the application form;
  • A letter of motivation;
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV);
  • A statement of your research interests.

Please ensure the title and reference number are indicated in the subject line.


An application which does not comply with the above requirements will be regarded as incomplete.


Telephone:                 021 650 5405               Website:                     www.h3d.uct.ac.za


Reference number:    E18397                        Closing date:              21 January 2019


UCT is committed to the pursuit of excellence, diversity and redress in achieving its equity targets. Our Employment Equity Policy is available at http://www.uct.ac.za/downloads/uct.ac.za/about/policies/eepolicy.pdf.


UCT reserves the right not to appoint.