Part-time Researcher on Violence in Gauteng

Project Description: Xenophobic attacks, vigilante, and ‘mob’ violence are common across urban South Africa. Such violence aims to punish, intimidate, and exclude migrants and alleged criminals and is often conducted “for the good of the community.” Existing data sources do little to document the occurrence of such violence and there is limited information on the frequency, date, location, motive, and the number of people involved.

This project utilizes innovative data sources and analytic techniques to 1) document the who, what, where, when, and why of all identifiable incidents of xenophobic and vigilante violence in Gauteng Province from 2009-2018 and 2) identify neighbourhood-level risk factors to forecast these forms of collective violence using machine learning techniques.

Job Description: We are looking for a part-time student researcher to help collect and code newspaper articles on vigilante and xenophobic violence in Gauteng. You will be a member of an international research team working with colleagues at Cabrini University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Wits University.

Qualifications: An MA in sociology, political science, anthropology, criminology, or another related social science field. Experience with managing and cleaning data. Strong writing and communication skills are required. Knowledge of Gauteng geography is a must. Experience with coding and GIS is highly preferred.


  • Manually code newspaper articles for information on the where, when, why, how of incidents of vigilante and xenophobic violence in Gauteng from 2009-2018.


  • Geo-code the newspaper articles based on the location information found within the article.


  • Update and manage a dataset of the information contained in the news articles (such as date, location, number of people involved, and other details).


  • Draft weekly reports, participate in twice-monthly meetings.

Compensation: R110 per hour for up to 10 hours a week for a total of 36 weeks.

Application materials: Please submit a brief (1 page) cover letter outlining your interest, experience, and qualifications, a CV/resume, a short writing sample, and contact information for 2-3 professional references. Only complete applications will be considered. ALL APPLICATIONS ARE DUE BY WEDNESDAY, 6 MARCH.  The selected applicant will be expected to start immediately.

To submit your documents or for any queries, contact Loren Landau at