The post-holder will lead a programme of research within the Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine Impact Study (PCVIS). This is a longitudinal study, funded by Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, to determine the long-term impact of the PCV programme in Kenya and guide vaccine policy in consultation with the Kenya National Immunisation Technical Advisory Group (KENITAG) and the National Vaccines and Immunization Program within the Ministry of Health. The post holder will be expected to contribute to the further development of the research programme (including development of their own proposals), scientific leadership, and collaborate with local, national and international partners. The ideal post holder will have experience in pneumococcal microbiology / molecular biology.
- Laboratory Manager for the Invasive Bacterial Disease group.
- Responsible for managing project funds in collaboration with the PCVIS Programme Manager and PI.
The post holder will be expected to advance the detection, diagnosis, differentiation and characterisation of pneumococci identified in carriage and disease surveillance and to bring novel methods to the surveillance programme.
The post-holder will work full-time at the Kenya Medical Research Institute-Wellcome Trust Research Programme (KWTRP) in Kilifi. He/she will be responsible to the Principal Investigator (PI) of PCVIS, and will work closely with other project specific staff (Programme Manager, Epidemiologist, Mathematical modeller, Laboratory Manager) to ensure smooth running of key epidemiological components of the project. The core project is a before-after study of invasive pneumococcal disease embedded within the demographic surveillance system, with specific analyses for indirect vaccine protection and “serotype replacement disease”. The post-holder will assist the PI running the core study but will also oversee additional surveillance activities. The team has a wide range of studies of pneumococcal carriage exploring the ecology of the nasopharynx, competition within pneumococci, host and pathogen factors affecting invasiveness, strain evolution, and the use of carriage studies and modelling to drive vaccine policy decisions in LMICs. The post-holder will be expected to take on one or more specific research objectives personally, depending on his/her prior experience and technical skills.
- To manage and conduct a programme of research and scholarship, including taking a leading role in the further development of the PCVIS research programme.
- To independently identify research objectives and to write and submit research proposals for external funding.
- To disseminate the outcomes of the research, including publishing peer-reviewed academic journal articles of international standing.
- To lead and manage study teams comprising laboratory staff and researchers.
- To ensure compliance of self, others and research studies with good research conduct, ethics and regulatory processes and other relevant policies.
- To initiate and develop collaborative linkages with local, national and international researchers and research groups
- To teach, develop teaching materials, conduct assessments and contribute to the development of the educational curriculum within the Department and KWTRP more broadly.
- To supervise post-graduate research students as supervisor or co-supervisor, and to mentor and assist students and early-stage researchers in the research group.
- To take responsibility for, manage and conduct administrative and management tasks associated with the research programme and in collaboration with Department and KWTRP operational teams.
- To engage in appropriate training and professional development, including keeping up-to- date with the latest research/thinking in own academic field.
- To participate fully in the wider research and academic activities of the Department and KWTRP.
- To carry out any additional duties as may reasonably be required within the general scope and level of the post.
- A PhD in medical microbiology, molecular microbiology, genomics, bioinformatics or a related field.
- Experience and substantial technical skills conducting independent microbiological/ molecular microbiology research
- Successful record of research grant applications.
- High quality peer reviewed publications in the field of microbiology, surveillance, molecular microbiology, bacterial diagnostics, bacterial genomics or similar.
- Experience coordinating, teaching and training a team, with evidence of good leadership, organizational, administrative and computer skills, including statistical packages.
- Presentation experience nationally or internationally.
- Publication evidence of expertise in pneumococcal microbiology / molecular biology through.