Job Opening: Child Sexual Abuse Researcher

Closing date: 23 March 2023
The SVRI is seeking an individual to join our small, committed team to lead SVRIs child sexual abuse thematic area across all strategic pillars.

Introducing the SVRI

With over 8500 members the Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI) is the largest global network for advancing research on violence against women (VAW), violence against children (VAC) and other forms of violence driven by gender inequality. The SVRI brings together a diverse group of actors aiming to achieve a world free of violence against women and violence against children through innovative responses and prevention programmes informed by evidence, with a focus on low and middle-income countries (LMIC).

The SVRI is a not-for-profit network for researchers, practitioners, activists, funders and others in our community providing unique online and off line spaces to share, learn and connect. The four pillars of our strategic plan - building evidence; strengthening capacity; promoting partnerships; and, influencing change – work together to ensure policy and programmes are evidence informed, sustainable at scale and rooted in strategic partnerships that will drive action at local levels. All work undertaken and supported by SVRI strives to be feminist-centred, rights-based, innovative, collaborative, equitable and held to the highest ethical standards. Commitment to diversity and gender equity is core to the culture of SVRI.

After a series of consultations with the field, the SVRI aims to advance priority-led, ethical knowledge building for ending child sexual abuse in low- and middle-income countries through work across our strategic pillars, and in partnership with other key initiatives and partners addressing child sexual exploitation and abuse globally.

The SVRI is seeking an individual to join our small, committed team to lead SVRIs child sexual abuse thematic area across all strategic pillars.  

Purpose of the Role

This is an opportunity to join the Sexual Violence Research Initiative team to lead on the delivery of key resources and activities focused on child sexual abuse across all SVRI pillars. The role will mobilise actions to grow SVRI’s work on this theme including helping to mobilise resources for the expansion of this work. This role reports to the VAC/CSA Lead.

Role Requirements

Technical focused work

  • Develop an implementation plan for the child sexual abuse-themed work ensuring that donor requirements are met and contribute to strategic directions, opportunities, and resources for growth of child sexual abuse-themed work within SVRI’s strategy.
  • Coordinate a global, participatory research priority process with partners for child sexual abuse research in low and middle income countries (similar to Global Shared Research Agenda and Shared Global Research Priorities for VAC-VAW Intersections) and advocate for research guided by priorities set by stakeholders from the field.
  • Produce online events (e.g., webinars) and knowledge products (e.g., knowledge product, guidance note, tools, blog, etc.) in collaboration with key partners.
  • Support development of an online course on relevant child sexual abuse theme with key partners.
  • Build, deepen and expand relationships with child sexual abuse stakeholders and partners ensuring that work is complementary and not duplicative.
  • Identify new funding opportunities for this work.

Strategic support across pillars

  • Support the Evidence Building and Research Manager with grant-making and capacity strengthening related to child sexual abuse research.
  • Identify and curate key child sexual abuse-themed resources and tools for SVRI knowledge hub.
  • Support Partnerships Specialist to identify opportunities to include child sexual abuse-themed events etc within SVRI Forum.
  • Support communications specialist to ensure that child sexual abuse-themed work is shared effectively and creatively across multiple platforms.

Other role requirements

  • International travel may be required as part of this role.
  • Other duties as required to ensure the successful delivery of SVRI’s strategic plan.

Required Education

  • Advanced (Postgraduate) university degree (MA or PhD) in child sexual abuse research, public health, development, social sciences or another relevant field.

Required experience: 

  • At least five years relevant experience on research on child sexual abuse (can be before or during PhD work).
  • Excellent understanding of qualitative and quantitative research designs and methodologies for child sexual abuse research.
  • Excellent understanding of ethical issues related to the conduct of research on child sexual abuse.
  • Experience in collaborative research and disseminating child sexual abuse research in various ways.
  • Experience in supporting resource mobilisation and fundraising.
  • Proven ability to work with diverse staff and teams, and ability to work remotely with these teams.
  • Understanding of and ability to foster a feminist approach to this work.
  • Experience of managing donor funded contracts is essential.
  • Excellent writing and presentation skills.
  • Excellent IT and database management skills (Word, Outlook, Excel).
  • Language: Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of French or Spanish is highly desirable.

Other Considerations

Preference will be given to colleagues from and living in a low or middle income country.

This post would be well-suited to a newly graduated post-doctoral position or a candidate with a Masters degree and solid experience.

Salary Range

Annual earning will be market related and will depend on experience and expertise (between $50 000 and $55 000 per annum). If based in South Africa, the successful applicant will be paid in South African Rand.


This position can be remote, with required travel to in-person meetings to fulfil the duties of the position as listed above. Office space is available in Cape Town and Pretoria should the candidate prefer to work onsite.

How to Apply

Applications close 23 March 2023.

To apply for the post, please email

  • a letter of application stating the skills and approach you would bring to the role.
  • your CV/resume in English, including three referees.

Please ensure that documents are sent with the titles “your name cover letterand “your name CV” and state "Child Sexual Abuse Researcher” in the email subject line. 

Thank you all who apply for this post, we appreciate your interest in working with us. Please note only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.