Contact Us
5 July 2021
2021 Research assistant brief CHEC RIS (MK)

The Cape Higher Education Consortium (CHEC) is currently coordinating a project with the Western Cape Government on Regional Innovation Systems (RIS). The joint task team consists of partners from the University of the Western Cape (UWC), Stellenbosch University (US), Western Cape Government (WCG), and Cape Higher Education Consortium (CHEC).  In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic and governance sections of the WCG’s Provincial Recovery Plan identify the importance of innovative systems in addressing developmental priorities within the region. At the core of the Regional Innovation System (RIS) approach is an emphasis on economic and social interactions between agents, spanning the public and private sectors to engender and diffuse innovation within regions embedded in wider national and global systems. 

The Project includes several work packages, many of which involve research on geographic clustering of related industries or sectors and the financial, policy, and institutional support needed to promote active networking through social and institutional interactions. Many factors have an impact on the strength and density of innovation systems and these include: the strength of the science base and knowledge transfer system; the institutional setting; the financial system; education and training; the availability and mobility of skilled labour (human capital); and public policy measures designed to promote innovation and growth. 

The current project aims to achieve the following broad goals:

  1. Develop a framework to classify and understand regional innovation systems
  2. Develop key metrics to measure the maturity and integration of innovation systems in the region
  3. Adapt and incorporate international best practise into the current evaluation framework
  4. Embed learning into a dynamic geographic information system as a decision making tool

CHEC requests the four universities in the Western Cape to assist in the identification of a potential part-time research assistant to support the core research team. Ideally, this position would suit someone who has recently completed a Masters or Doctoral Degree in Industrial Engineering, Information Systems, Business Management, MBA, Economics or Public Policy. The ideal candidate should have a strong interest in regional innovation and economic policy formulation.   

While knowledge of regional innovation systems is preferable, the successful applicant will be provided with relevant background documentation in order to familiarise themselves with the research questions and wider contextual issues.

The candidate selected for this position will have the opportunity to work within a team of researchers, and to further hone their research skills. Preference will be given to applicants who reside in or near Cape Town, and have ambitions to further their studies in related fields.

In addition to the above, the following criteria will be considered in the selection process:

  • Proven research skills – distilling key information in reviewing the literature, synthesising data, writing reports
  • Excellent communication skills for teamwork
  • Excellent project management and organisational skills.
  • Strong work ethic


The position is part-time in nature, and will require a minimum of 40 hours per month. The total remuneration package is R120 000 and will be paid out in 6 monthly instalments.

CHEC requests that HODs and research supervisors identify potential candidates, and ask that they submit a short CV (2-3 pages and letter of motivation) to by the of end July 2021. 

Further information on CHEC can be found at