Lo msebenzi uphelelwe. Closing date yawo ibi nge 27 ka June 2022.

Admin Assistant III/Project Administrator

Rhodes University - Grahamstown, Eastern Cape

Contract | Administration

Closing date yi 27 ka June 2022


  • Provide effective and efficient financial and administrative control and reporting, as well as administrative laboratory support, for the designated research group in accordance with the University’s policies and procedures, and to produce accurate and timeous financial reports, prepared in accordance with university guidelines.
  • Provide efficient and effective support to a large research group including several academics, researchers, post docs and postgraduate students.


  • Grade 12 plus approximately 4 years’ relevant experience where such experience includes:
  • A thorough understanding of financial management and accounting principles, with the ability to consolidate sets of accounts in the required format/s. The ability to investigate and reconcile multiple accounts is essential.
  • Previous experience in working within a computerized accounting environment and having worked with Excel at an advanced level.
  • Previous experience in working with word-processing (including being able to create and maintain databases), e-mail and the internet.
  • Previous experience in setting up and maintaining filing and administrative systems.
  • Previous experience and/or knowledge in the administration of a scientific laboratory.

Skills & Competencies

  • A thorough understanding of financial management and accounting principles, with the ability to consolidate sets of accounts in the required format/s.
  • Must be able to investigate and reconcile multiple accounts.
  • The ability to work in a computerised accounting environment.
  • Sound computer literacy: able to work with MS Word, Word Perfect, MS Excel (at an advanced level), Internet and Email
  • Excellent organisational skills including the ability to plan day to day work, prioritise and meet deadlines.
  • Attention to detail is necessary.
  • Ability to read and interpret documents to draft and layout correspondence and documentation.
  • Sound numeric skills.
  • Sound analytical ability including the ability to problem solve.
  • Knowledge of/experience in scientific research will be an advantage.
  • Ability to communicate effectively, verbally at all levels and in the written form, in English.
  • The ability to speak other official languages will be an advantage.
  • Sound interpersonal skills with an ability to interact with a diverse range of individuals.
  • Good telephone and e-mail etiquette, i.e. warm, polite and friendly.
  • Able to work independently as well as a member of a team.
  • Service ethic with a track record of good customer service and continuous improvement.
  • Actively seeks feedback for self and team, able to welcome constructive and use it to improve service delivery and own contribution.
  • Openness to learning and change, personal flexibility.
  • Highly professional, high personal standards, able to produce work of a high quality.
  • Shows initiative and is proactive.
  • Willing to work out office hours when necessary.


Financial Administration:

  • Liaison with Finance (Research) department in the setting up and monitoring of all research and project accounts, totally several million Rand annually.
  • Interact with client and Research Office with regards to contracts.
  • Drafting of budgets.
  • Keep records of when invoices are due on various projects and collating and requesting invoices from Research Finance.
  • Keeping calendar for report submission.
  • Responsible for ensuring that all funder financial requirements are met and interpreted properly.
  • Determining cash flow projections to ensure sufficient funds to meet expenditure, for example on staff salaries; and also to ensure optimal spending of funds to the satisfaction of each funder.
  • Timeous preparation of internal management reports and analysis thereof to ensure that the correct decisions are made. 
  • Responsible for ensuring that the Finance (Research) department are aware of all the external financial reporting requirements so that the relevant financial reports can be prepared timeously.
  • Tracking all financial transactions on all designated research accounts totalling several million rand per annum.
  • Preparation of payment requests, orders, fund advances, petty cash claims, internal charges, temporary salary payments, consultants’ payments, journals and transfers between running and investment accounts.
  • Following up on requests to central Finance and third parties to ensure payments or receipts are made timeously and correctly.
  • Keeping proper records and paperwork for all financial transactions all designated research accounts.
  • Preparation and tabling of monthly balance sheets and statements per account/contract.  
  • Responsibility for the reconciliation of all accounts to budget and for investigating the reason for variances.
  • Responsible for responding to queries on current and past accounts.  Responsible for receiving, processing and submitting orders via Protea.
  • Monitoring of the general administration processes of each project.
  • Keeping departmental and research accounts up to date and liaising with central Finance division in this regard. 
  • The correct submission of forms on time with the correct account numbers.
  • Ensuring staff and postgraduates complete the correct forms and follow proper financial procedures.
  • Maintenance of an asset register (keeping a list of all asset items and order numbers).
  • Responsible for petty cash allocated to the research group.
  • Responsible for various equipment charges – issuing of IDO’s and invoices.
  • Follow up with payments and keeping record of all charges.

Laboratory Support:

  • Monitoring and supervising laboratory protocols, including managing and recognising the correct storage for dangerous chemicals, collating safety data sheets for these items, and enforcing correct safety protocols in the laboratory.
  • Implementation and monitoring of preventative maintenance program for scientific equipment. 
  • Compiling of applications for specialised permits to import biological samples and liaising with the Department of Health and the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
  • Arranging specialised couriers that transport dangerous biological samples or specialised biological samples that require specialised transportation. This includes knowledge of the correct transportation methods for temperature sensitive items, national and international guidelines and handling of liquid nitrogen and dry ice.
  • Liaising with suppliers with regards to equipment and consumables that are specific to the project. Determining which specifications are suitable to specific research activities. This involves being able to recognise that quotations are of the correct research specific items.
  • Management of Biosafety Level 2 laboratory equipment. This includes arranging the correct training per instrument and ensuring that all laboratory equipment is calibrated, serviced and repaired when necessary. Supervising the use of equipment.
  • Handling and management of research and laboratory specialised stock, chemicals and testing of research equipment.
  • Dealing with research and laboratory related queries by post-graduate students.
  • Administrating of a lab management system using the live Quartzy program.
  • Monitoring and changing of carbon dioxide cylinders for incubators used for tissue culture of live cells and monitoring the CO2 levels.
  • General management of lab functions with regards to electrophoresis, tissue culture, bacteria work, and PCR.
  • Lifting and moving of sensitive equipment and stock of up to 20kg.
  • Introduction of new students into the laboratory and training of some equipment and safety protocols and handling of dangerous chemicals.
  • Carrying out minor repairs on some laboratory equipment.
  • Scientific communication and discussion with specialised suppliers regarding research consumables and equipment.

General Administration:

  • Responsible for the development and maintenance of efficient office administrative systems for the research group, which, as far as possible, must dovetail with those systems in the home department.
  • Responsible for planning administrative systems for record keeping and the implementation of other administrative tasks related to postgraduate student administration. 
  • Calling for items in advance and then compiling an agenda for research group meetings. Taking and circulating accurate minutes and action notes of such meetings, or ad hoc and other meetings as requested by the NRF Chair.
  • Maintain research databases, research equipment, product and stock lists, and perform regular stock take of essential items as required.
  • Responsible for curation and storage of original research data (particularly ensuring that all raw data are obtained from completing students before they leave the laboratory).
  • Responsible for administration related to procurement of specialised research items (e.g. import permits, research contracts and memorandum of understandings/MOU) as required.
  • Introduction of new students to the research systems and processes of the research group so as to assist with smooth integration of these students into the group.
  • Responsible for looking after the administrative requirements for staff in the research group, and whenever possible the broader host department as well.
  • Attend and contribute in departmental administration meetings.
  • Provide backup administrative support to the departmental as required and when time allows.

Secretarial Services:

  • Provide general personal assistant support to the NRF Chair.
  • Responsible for the scheduling of appointments and maintaining Chair’s diary.
  • Travel arrangements for members of the research group, postgraduate students and visitors (national and international).
  • Preparation of documentation, the typing thereof, layout and design, photocopying and the correcting of reports. 
  • Responsible for taking messages and answering the telephone including receiving and directing of telephone calls.
  • Responsible for submitting equipment and consumable orders and obtaining quotes. 
  • Assisting with the submission of documents on-line where appropriate e.g. Council, NRF, CSIR, Reports, etc.  Making sure reports and agreements are completed prior to dead line.
  • Keep an annual record of the following: students supervised, students graduated, awards received, conferences attended, workshops attended, presentations during conference/workshop (making sure abstracts are handed in prior to due date), distinguished visitors during the year, international visits by NRF Chair or students, publications, keynote speaker at conference/workshop, equipment purchased, etc. The above information is required for various NRF reports, CSIR reports and council reports.
  • Maintaining Chair’s CV (including NRF online CV).
  • Maintaining Chair’s personal webpage and any other relevant webpage linked to the Chair.

Student Administration:

  • Maintaining an easy access student filing system.
  • Following up queries via e-mails & telephone.
  • Checking student accounts and bursary payments to ensure that payments are accurate and working closely with Financial Administrator in Research Finance Office.
  • Ensure that progress reports etc are received by sponsored students.
  • Complete online NRF student nomination forms for bursaries and motivation letters for NRF bursaries.
  • Full administration of bursaries including secrecy agreements and contracts. Ensuring that student adhere to the contracts.

Front Line Services:

  • Front line service.
  • Liaise/correspond with media (magazines, newspapers, radio and television).
  • Attend to client, public and postgraduate student queries.
  • Organise functions (e.g. farewell functions, postgraduate welcoming function; workshop lunches and dinners).
  • Organise short courses and workshops.

Additional Information

  • For additional information in respect of the job requirements, please refer to the job profile.
  • It is essential that prospective candidates read the job profile and ensure that all relevant documentation is submitted. 
    If you have any questions or experiencing challenges on the system, please contact Mericha Maccario on 046 603 8001
  • Failure to submit such documentation will result in an application not being considered.
  • The selection process that will be followed for this post includes a short-listing, followed by an interview.
  • The Full Minimum Requirements against which candidates are to be measured are outlined in the job profile.
  • Shortlisted candidates will be informed of the interview date.
  • All applications will be treated in strict confidence.
  • This post is advertised as permanent post, but the University may opt to appoint on a fixed-term contract of not less than three-years.
  • The University reserves the right not to proceed with the filling of the post.
  • An application in itself does not entitle the applicant to an interview.
  • Please apply online by accessing the Rhodes University Website.
  • Candidates should note that Rhodes University has introduced a Covid-19 vaccine mandate and that staff members are required to conform to the University's conditions in this regard.
  • If you are not contacted within 30 days from the closing date, please consider your application unsuccessful.

The following documents are required:

  • An application form; 
  • A comprehensive CV and relevant qualifications, including academic transcripts;
  • A substantial motivation which tells us your interest in the post and suitability in light of the requirements.

Application Form

Download Full Vacancy


  • Basic Salary Provident Fund:  R189 780.20
  • Cost to Company Approximately: R261 096.41

Lo msebenzi uphelelwe. Closing date yawo ibi nge 27 ka June 2022.

Lo msebenzi ufakwe ngu Tebuho Moshoeshoe nge 22 ka June 2022