Wildlife Science & Policy Researcher | WWF South Africa

What would you like to search for?

Wildlife Science & Policy Researcher (Cape Town, Johannesburg or White River)

WWF is the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organisation, with over six million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries. WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the earth's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world's biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.

Our work is challenging and exciting and we love what we do. To join our team you need to be brilliant at what you do, passionate, results-orientated and have a positive attitude.

Job Overview

(Two Year Contract position based in WWF offices in Cape Town, Johannesburg or White River)

The Wildlife Programme within WWF South Africa is developing a new area of work analysing and influencing wildlife conservation policies from an economic and social perspective. We seek to employ a suitably qualified and experienced person with excellent communications skills and an in-depth understanding of wildlife conservation issues in South Africa to support this programme of work.
The Wildlife Science and Policy Researcher will be responsible for scoping problems, identifying collaborators, data gathering and communicating findings as well as supporting analyses, through researching and reviewing key trends, policies, legislation and regulations relating to of wildlife conservation, illegal wildlife trade and alternative livelihoods in the region. The successful candidate will be able to research and communicate complex wildlife conservation issues in response to challenges facing threatened wildlife species along the entire wildlife product chain and aligned to existing National and International wildlife policies and practices.
Reporting to the new position of Wildlife Economics and Policy Analyst in the Wildlife Programme at WWF South Africa, the role of Wildlife Science and Policy Researcher will play a key supporting role in achieving our wildlife conservation objectives, including assisting in balancing environmental goals against social, political and economic needs.  The two year contract position (with potential for extension) will be based in our offices in Cape Town, Johannesburg or White River and will require ability to undertake national and regional travel as required.


The role of the Wildlife Science and Policy Researcher will be to;

  1. Undertake ongoing processes including literature reviews to support and test the assumptions and efficacy of existing policies, practises and legislation relating to wildlife conservation and wildlife trade;
  2. Assist with collecting, collating and analysing baseline data and managing databases for monitoring, evaluation and learning systems throughout the Wildlife Programme;
  3. Collaborate with key partners to arrange Think Tanks or other processes to critically evaluate existing policies and participate in relevant stakeholder consultation processes;
  4. Support the production of policy briefs and develop other advocacy materials and approaches to influence legislation and communicate recommendations based on analyses as appropriate;
  5. Produce other materials to communicate the projects, policies and approaches of WWF SA to wildlife conservation as appropriate; and
  6. Maintain an overview of key developments in policies relating to the wildlife conservation sector, based on analysis of trends, scientific literature and stakeholder engagement.


  • A minimum Master’s degree in one of the following areas, or preferably a combination of these disciplines: natural sciences, nature conservation, mathematics or statistics;
  • Minimum two years’ professional work experience in a related field;
  • Expertise in managing relationships with stakeholders from a range of sectors including government, NGO and private industry;
  • In-depth technical understanding of wildlife species conservation, community-based conservation approaches and legal and illegal wildlife trade issues;
  • Demonstrable strategic and analytic mind-set, preferably with experience in systems thinking and use of Theory of Change processes;
  • Excellent writing, research, presentation and advocacy skills;
  • Proven ability to work independently and undertake objective research projects;
  • Excellent communication skills with experience in conveying technical messages to a range of stakeholder groups;
  • Proven experience in producing fundraising proposals and managing donor relationships;
  • Proven experience in arranging stakeholder workshops or other events;
  • Possession of a valid passport / work permit and driver’s license.

Apply Now

To apply for the position, please click here and create or update your profile. Under the “Documents” section of your profile, attach a detailed CV with a covering letter which explains a) why you feel the position of Wildlife Science and Policy Researcher is important for wildlife conservation in South Africa and b) Why you feel you should be appointed to this role, including specific examples from your previous experience. Please ensure you upload your CV and cover letter as one document (pdf). Make sure you have names, current e-mail addresses and telephone numbers of three relevant references on your CV. Applications close on Friday, 18th January 2019.
Applications received via email will not be considered.
WWF seeks to promote diversity among its staff. Candidates who have not received a response within three weeks of the closing date are kindly requested to assume that their application has not been successful in this instance. WWF-SA reserves the right not to fill this position.

If you think this position is for you ...