Researcher/Specialist: Social Engineering Criminologist

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The CSIR has a vacancy for a Researcher/Specialist: Social Engineering Criminologist in the Technology for Special Operations (TSO) impact area (IA) within the Defence and Security Cluster. The purpose of this role is to conduct research and development within the domain of social engineering, which requires specialist knowledge of criminology and finding ways to prevent criminal behaviour and reduce recidivism. This position is based in Pretoria.

For more information about the cluster, please visit https://www.csir.co.za/technology-special-operations and https://www.csir.co.za/defence-and-security respectively.


Key responsibilities:

  • Analyse crime, the causes and warning signs, or use predictive data to understand when and where a crime is likely to happen;
  • Gather statistics and identify patterns of types of crimes as well as demographics and locations thereof;
  • Analyse and sift hard data through research to identify patterns of abnormal social behaviour;
  • Develop theories on why people deviate from socially accepted norms;
  • Write scientific reports and develop statistics that can be used to form the basis of laws, community initiatives, reform policies and crime legislation;
  • Conduct research on whether the justice system is effectively reforming criminals;
  • Analyse the social and psychological conditions that cause crime, the criminals themselves, and methods to control as well as rehabilitation;
  • Examine criminals’ personal histories to reveal incidents that may have influenced them thus drawing suggestive ways to help at-risk individuals before they turn to crime;
  • Create profiles of suspects using, but not limited to social, psychological and biographical information based on the research and data collated;
  • Analyse the history and theories of crime and the nature of the criminal justice system such as the effects arrest and conviction have on criminals;
  • Develop ways to impede the influence hardened criminals have on people sent to prison for minor crimes as well as to determine certain punishments that do not prevent crime;
  • Develop scientific ways to detect and solve crime to ensure that laws are just and practical as well as to protect the society;
  • Identify systemic security as they relate to threats and vulnerabilities with the focus on recommendations for enhancements or remediation with specific focus on the human domain of national defence and security environment;
  • Engage in client interaction compile and/or participate in compiling of user requirements specifications and facilitate and/or participate in work sessions with client;
  • Conceptualise data models for technology development with focus on organised crime threats;
  • Assist with data preparation and validation;
  • Contribute to crime intelligence and special operations’ new policies, procedures, and emerging trends;
  • Provide leadership, give guidance and best practice advice to clients on project deliverables;
  • Contribute towards partnerships with SMMEs on products and technology development or technology packages;
  • Participate and lead teams in multi-disciplinary research projects;
  • Establish collaboration with national and international research partners;
  • Compile research publications;
  • Ensure human capital development and knowledge transfer.


Qualifications, skills and experience:

  • An Honours degree in criminology/psychology/sociology with at least five years’ experience in research and development, preferably within the defence and security environment or the criminology or organised crime field;
  • Knowledge and experience in social engineering as well as its counter measures with a focus on criminal profiling/ target audience analysis;
  • Knowledge of risk assessment in terms of organised crime threats;
  • Knowledge and skills in data preparation and validation;
  • Knowledge in environmental scan and strategic planning will be an added advantage;
  • Ability to analyse and interpret statistical data;
  • Ability to perform business development and client liaison;
  • Understanding of the South African military environment will be an added advantage;
  • Understanding of key principles of information warfare and military intelligence will be an added advantage;
  • Problem solving skills;
  • Analytical thinking;
  • Research and academic writing skills;
  • Good communication skills (verbal and written).
  • Able to pay attention to detail.


Must have or be able to obtain a valid security clearance,

Closing date: 17 April 2020


PLEASE NOTE THAT FEEDBACK WILL BE GIVEN TO SHORTLISTED CANDIDATES ONLY.

Recruitme[email protected] or email us at 012 841 4774For more info, please contact the CSIR Recruitment Centre on

The CSIR is an equal opportunity employer. As such, it is committed to the Employment Equity Act of 1998. By applying for this position at the CSIR, the applicant understands, consents and agrees that the CSIR may solicit a credit and criminal report from a registered credit bureau and/or SAPS (in relation to positions that require trust and honesty and/or entail the handling of cash or finances) and may also verify the applicant’s educational qualifications and employment history. The CSIR reserves the right to remove the advertisement at any time before the stated closing date and it further reserves the right not to appoint if a suitable candidate is not identified.

Apply here!

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