Project Manager: Open AIR project

The Intellectual Property Law and Policy Research Unit, in the University of Cape Town (UCT) Faculty of Law, is seeking a Project Manager to serve on a 30-month (2.5-year) fixed-term contract in managing the Open AIR international research and training project on the role of intellectual property in open development.

The Open AIR project, funded by Canada’s IDRC and Germany’s BMZ (via GIZ), aims to help African innovators, creators and entrepreneurs turn knowledge into concrete practices that have the potential to transform economies and drive human development forward. The project will make this possible by exploring ways in which African intellectual property (IP) systems that govern knowledge can work better as tools for open innovation and collaborative creativity. Open AIR is multi-disciplinary project that  is supporting a research and capacity-building network with hubs in West, East and North Africa and collaborators in Brazil, India, Canada, the UK and Switzerland.

Interconnected, empirical case studies and future-focused foresight research, along with sophisticated capacity-building for public- and private-sector leaders, will be carried out by a pan-African network of interdisciplinary experts, with a goal to increase collaboration, empower communities and re-configure power structures.

The successful candidate will be competent in the following:

  • Project management/coordination, including financial management
  • Monitoring, evaluation and reporting
  • Communications and networking
  • Delegation and supervision

Responsibilities will include:

  • Project management and coordination: manage and coordinate the entire project team on a day-to-day basis — including tracking milestones and deliverables — in its research, dissemination, capacity-building, training and policy engagement activities; manage expenditure against a budget approved by the project funders.
  • Monitoring, evaluation and reporting: ensure effective monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of project activities, outputs and outcomes, supported by the work of an Evaluation Consultant and using the funders’ M&E tools; monitor and regularly report to UCT and project funders/supporters on all project technical, administrative and financial activities and outputs.
  • Communications and networking: ensure effective internal project communications, in cooperation with project management and other project stakeholders; ensure effective external project communications, in cooperation with project management and the web developer, via the project website, project promotional materials, and project members’ participation in dissemination, policy engagement and capacity-building activities.
  • Delegation and supervision: direct and supervise the work of a project assistant.

Experience and Core Skills required:

  • Proven experience with large-scale project management, ideally in relation to international development research and/or capacity-building
  • Experience with concepts and tasks relevant to project technical, administrative and financial monitoring, evaluation, management, accounting, and reporting
  • Excellent fluency and writing abilities in English, and excellent public communication skills in English
  • Strategic vision, and ability to implement vision through practical action
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Strong organisational and planning skills
  • Some familiarity with the topical subject-matter of the research project, ie, one or more of intellectual property, law, economics, development, entrepreneurship, business
  • Computer literacy, including ability to use word-processing and spreadsheet software, basic Listserv/website management tools and Skype


  • A post-secondary qualification, ideally in development studies, law, management or business.


The remuneration package for the 30-month (2.5-year) fixed-term contract, including benefits, is negotiable at a rate of between ZAR300,000 and ZAR360,000 per annum.

Application process:

To apply, please e-mail the completed UCT Application form and all other relevant documentation as indicated on the form, to Dr. Tobias Schonwetter, Intellectual Property Law and Policy Research Unit, Faculty of Law, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch, 7700.

E-mail: Telephone: +27 650 2064; Faculty website:

The application form can also be downloaded at