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Program Officer, SSRC Africa Initiatives
Social Science Research Council in Brooklyn, New York
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Date Posted April 26, 2019
Employment Type Fulltime
Application Deadline Open until filled


The SSRC seeks a Program Officer (PO) to support and help lead two programs devoted to building research capacity in Africa, the Africa Peacebuilding Network and Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa. Reporting to and working closely with the Program Director, the Program Officer will play a key role in the management, design, and direction of these programs. 


The Social Science Research Council (SSRC) is an independent, international, nonprofit organization devoted to the advancement of interdisciplinary research in the social sciences through a wide variety of workshops and conferences, fellowships and grants, summer training institutes, scholarly exchanges, research, and publications. For more information, please visit our website: www.ssrc.org. 

The African Peacebuilding Network (APN) and the Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa program (NextGen) are funded by Carnegie Corporation of New York and support independent research by African scholars and practitioners in the fields of peacebuilding, security, development, and related areas through fellowships, grants, publications, and public engagement. The APN focuses on conflict-affected countries and neighboring regions of the continent and the integration of African peacebuilding knowledge into global policy communities. The APN facilitates research projects and networking activities involving African academics, policy analysts, and practitioners working on peacebuilding issues by offering competitive research grants and other forms of targeted support. The NextGen program offers fellowships to nurture the intellectual development of early-career faculty in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda. The program assists fellows in developing research opportunities and skills, obtaining doctoral degrees, and participating in robust research communities. 

Reporting to the Director of the two programs and helping to supervise staff members, the PO will be responsible for a range of programmatic activities. This includes participating in the oversight of the application, review, and selection processes of APN and NextGen competitions and design and implementation of workshops and other events. In addition, the PO will support networking and outreach activities of the cohorts of both programs including assisting with communications activities and playing a central editorial and managerial role in the programs' digital platforms (e.g., the APN's forum, Kujenga Amani). 



  • Working closely with the Program Director, the PO will:

  • Manage the operations of annual fellowship and grants competitions, including wide dissemination of calls for applications and the selection process. Coordinate with selection committee members, and manage electronic applications portal, database, website, and social media related to the competitions.

  • Liaise with the SSRC fellowships team to share and integrate best practices for program administration.

  • Support planning, organization, and facilitation of upcoming events, including conferences, workshops, and other meetings.

  • Facilitate communication and collaboration among a wide and interdisciplinary group of researchers and other members of the programs' networks.

  • Manage program budgets.

  • Conduct research related to the intellectual vision of the programs, and participate as an active member in relevant scholarly communities.

  • Write proposals and grant reports for current and potential funders.

  • Providing oversight of, and mentorship for, program staff.

  • Serve as a leading editor of APN and NextGen online publications, working with the Program Director to establish and maintain editorial vision, tone, and direction.

  • Craft communication and publicity strategies and develop media contacts.

  • Oversee all social media efforts (Twitter, Facebook) carried out by program staff.

  • Other duties and additional responsibilities and projects as directed, depending upon interest and capacity.


  • Recent PhD in social sciences, humanities, or a closely related field (within three to seven years).

  • Knowledge of and interest in peace and security issues in Africa, and experience with or knowledge of educational institutions in the region.

  • Considerable administrative experience in academic or nonprofit settings (minimum of three years). Experience planning and implementing academic fellowships programs and events is a plus.

  • Familiarity with and a strong interest in programs designed to support and strengthen the work of young/early-career researchers.

  • Demonstrated success in administering complex tasks in an office environment, and excellent organizational and budgeting skills.

  • Ability to work collaboratively, to manage multiple priorities, grants, and projects effectively, and to communicate effectively with both researchers and nonacademic constituencies, including funders and practitioners.

  • Demonstrated ability to supervise staff.

  • Demonstrated achievement in communications-oriented work is strongly preferred.

  • A high level of interest in and a strong commitment to the advancement of diversity in higher education.

  • Excellent scholarly writing, research, proposal development, editorial, and organizational skills.

  • Ability to travel 20–30 percent of the year.

  • Proficiency in a language other than English, such as French, Arabic, or Portuguese, will be an added advantage.

Terms, Salary and Benefits 

Annual salary will be commensurate with experience. Comprehensive benefits include health, dental, vision, disability, life, and gym reimbursement; professional development funds; outstanding pension plan and tax savings programs; generous vacation and sick leave; and more. 

Application Information 

This position begins as soon as possible, preferably before December 2018. Applications should be received by August 31st for priority consideration. Applications will be reviewed until the position has been filled. 

To apply, send a detailed letter of application, curriculum vitae, and writing sample. 

The Social Science Research Council is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. We are dedicated to equal employment opportunity and to cultivating and sustaining a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workforce. SSRC maintains a policy of non-discrimination with all employees and applicants for employment. All aspects of employment with the Council are made on the basis of competence, skill and qualifications and will not be influenced in any manner by race, creed, color, religion, sex/gender, national origin/ancestry, ethnicity, age, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital or domestic partner status, medical conditions (including pregnancy and/or genetic information) or physical or mental disability, citizenship status or any other categories prohibited by law.

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