Research Assistant

Research Assistant

Research Assistant

  • Location

    South Africa

  • Industry

  • Date Posted

    3 weeks ago

  • Apply Before

    17 May, 2024

Title: Research Assistant

Location: Full-time position, based in South Africa (Alexandra COE)

Department: Research & Development

Manager: Research Manager

Effective date: 01June 2024


Send applications to

Closing date: 17 May 2024

Reply with the heading Research Assistant


Overall Description: The Research Assistant is an early career professional that is a key member of the Grassroot Soccer Research & Development Department who will help organize and support organizational research activities in Alexandra, South Africa. The Research Assistant will work with multiple teams in the organization and diverse external stakeholders, ensuring strong and professional relationships, clear communication, effective planning, stewardship and execution of all research partnerships. The Research Assistant’s efforts will ensure GRS remains a leading research and learning organization in adolescent health, guiding the organization to achieve its scale strategy and goal of enabling young people to have the life-saving skills they need to thrive. The position will be based at the GRS Centre of Excellence in Alexandra, South Africa. As a member of the R&D team, the Research Assistant will report to the GRS Global Research Manager and will work closely with the Global Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning Team and  the GRS South Africa Monitoring and Evaluation Senior Manager and GRS South Africa staff.


Grassroot Soccer (GRS) is a rapidly growing adolescent health organization that leverages the power of soccer to educate, inspire, and mobilize at-risk youth in developing countries to overcome their greatest health challenges, live healthier, more productive lives, and be agents for change in their communities. Since 2002, GRS programs have reached 18 million young people in over 60 countries with life-saving HIV prevention and sexual and reproductive health information and services. GRS is looking to continue scaling its impact via technical assistance and partnerships over the next five years.



  • Coordinate research and evaluation activities in collaboration with COE Programs and MEL staff, including:

    • reviewing and formatting data collection tools, including informal translation

    • planning data collection activities in line with programming and training calendars

    • pre-testing data collection tools with GRS participants and Coaches, documenting discussion and feedback

    • executing quantitative and qualitative data collection according to agreed upon SOPs, following ethical guidelines and GRS procedures

    • transcribing recordings of qualitative focus group discussions and interviews

  • Contribute to quantitative and qualitative data analysis and interpretation

  • Contribute to documentation of research and evaluation findings as well as programmatic learnings through reports, technical briefs, and other products

  • Key projects: MAC SKILLZ Girl dosage pilot, Oak Foundation ABYM program


Qualifications and Competencies:

  • University level or coursework/training in Development Studies, Public Health, Social Sciences, Public Administration, or related field preferred

  • Demonstrated interest in research and monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL)

  • Understanding of SRHR, HIV, and mental health as related to adolescence and the field of positive youth development

  • Basic understanding of research methods, quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis methods a plus

  • Minimum of 2 years of experience in adolescent health or program implementation of health projects

  • Strong interpersonal, analytical, and problem-solving skills for managing activities and projects across various countries and staff/volunteers/partners from various cultures

  • Demonstrated drive and enthusiasm and ability to function in a fast-paced, remote-working team environment within tight deadlines

  • Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to implement procedures, meet deadlines and work independently, constructively, and cooperatively in cross-cultural team

  • Proven ability to solve problems independently without direct supervision

  • Passion for and commitment to Grassroot Soccer’s mission and vision

  • Strong computer skills and experience, including Microsoft Office, Google Suite, and videoconferencing platforms

  • Excellent written and verbal communication and relationship building skills

  • Competency in relevant local language(s)


Successful leaders at Grassroot Soccer are bold, yet humble. They are passionate about the mission of Grassroot Soccer and understand their role on the Grassroot Soccer team to achieve its mission. 


Day to day, they are…

  • Proactive: can anticipate both opportunities and obstacles and take action

  • Professional: level-headed; ability to de-escalate difficult situations, behave exceptionally, and manage/minimize distractions 

  • Problem Solvers: comfortable with ambiguity, can creatively unlock bottlenecks and turn problems into opportunities 


…they demonstrate lots of…

  • Common Sense: prioritizing the right things at the right time; making good, quick, informed decisions balancing multiple issues and points of view

  • Self-awareness: know where one’s blind spots are, recognize differences, and build a team to complement one’s skills and weaknesses


…and a strong bias for…

  • Follow-through and Outcomes: deliver results, not just create lots of activity

  • Treating People Well: empathetic, kind, great listener, yet can make tough decisions and hold oneself/others accountable