Assistant Research Officer (Epidemiology)
The Health Services Unit (HSU) of the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust in Nairobi is starting a multi-year study to evaluate a broad strategy to improve the provision of neonatal care in Kenya’s county hospitals. The project will study a multi-component intervention that links regular performance monitoring and evaluation with efforts to improve the leadership, management and supervision skills of senior medical and nursing staff. As part of this work the research team helps support the Clinical Information Network that is a partnership with multiple Kenyan county hospitals. In each of these hospitals there is a uniform strategy of capturing high quality routine data on all Newborn Unit (NBU) admissions. These data are used to provide hospitals with regular reports on the NBU’s mortality and morbidity and on their performance in adhering to standard neonatal care guidelines as part of monitoring and improving the quality of NBU care provided. When pooled these data from multiple NBU become an important resource for understanding the outcomes of NBU care at larger scale than has previously been possible.
The Clinical Information Network for Newborns (CIN-N) is now seeking a new team member with epidemiological / statistical skills. The assistant research officer will work as part of a team under the direction of Study PI and the Senior Data Manager / Analyst for the CIN as part of the statistics and data management team but with special responsibilities for neonatal data. The person will:
· Help manage the CIN-N data collection process, ensure the high quality of data, continue to improve the data systems and ensure these are adequately documented and ensure the production of timely hospital feedback reports and aggregate hospital reports for sharing with hospitals and other national stakeholders.
· Help update / adapt the CIN-N data collection system so that it meets the needs of new projects
· Work closely with CIN team members and assume some supervisory responsibility for ensuring hospital clerks are effectively managed. This work may include travel to county hospital sites and training / supervision of data clerks.
· Liaise with senior CIN team members, county hospitals’ hospital management teams, paediatricians, senior nurses and HRIOs to ensure the smooth running of the CIN-N
· Ensure the production of reports using CIN-N data for Principal Investigators and for project funders as required
· Help present the data emerging from the CIN-N at internal meetings and in hospitals
This position will be linked to two major new projects over the next 3 to 4 years that are focused on improving hospital level care for sick newborns. The planned work is also being conducted in partnership with the Kenya Paediatric Association, the Kenya Paediatric Research Consortium, and the Ministry of Health as well as multiple county hospitals.
As part of a wider contribution to the KWTRP research programme in Nairobi the post-holder may partake in or help conduct internal epidemiological methodological workshops and shared learning sessions and will be expected to contribute to and help organise internal seminars and journal clubs and provide peer review of emerging proposals within KWTRP together with other senior scientists
· BSc in a Healthcare Subject, Epidemiology or Medical/Bio Statistics
· An excellent academic track record as evidenced by grades for undergraduate training
· One year experience of the conduct of prior relevant research that has involved health data collection, analysis and report writing
· Good understanding of the Kenyan public health and hospital system and some understanding of DHIS2 and the Kenyan Health Information System
· Practical experience in data management, data visualization, and basic methods of data analysis
· Understanding of the procedures used for ensuring high quality data collection and management
· Basic skills in use of the statistical programme ‘R’ or similar programmes such as STATA
· Basic familiarity in using REDCap or of similar data capture tools/software
· Clear interest in health services research
· Prior work on team based projects and demonstrable organizational skills
· Excellent interpersonal, written and presentation communication skills
· Ability to work relatively independently to achieve agreed objectives
· Focus on timely delivery of objectives
Senior Project Manager
To plan, implement and coordinate International Multisite clinical research operations in the childhood infectious diseases and undernutrition at KWTP Kilifi/Coast and across international networks. The post holder will need to be experienced in leading multi-disciplinary, multi-site research teams in an international setting and be highly self-sufficient to manage complex research work. The post is mentally demanding, involving attention to detail and timescales, and strong engagement with stakeholders.
The Kemri-Wellcome Trust Research Programme (KWTRP) is a world-renowned research institution in Kenya that conducts studies of public health interest. One area of great public health interest is research in childhood infectious illness and undernutrition that aims at improving health amongst vulnerable children in developing countries. Current ongoing research projects include an international cohort study, and related sub-studies under the Childhood Acute Illness and Nutrition (CHAIN) Network, a clinical trial on appropriate anti-infectives in severe acute malnutrition (FLACSAM) and antimicrobial resistance studies amongst neonates (Neofosfo/NeoObs studies)
The CHAIN Network is a collaboration of research institutions and hospitals in several countries in Africa and South Asia. Working in high-burden settings the project aims to collect set of systematic, high quality clinical and socio-economic data as well as biological samples in a harmonized system between sites to allow optimal pooled analyses. The goal is to identify clinical, biological and socio-economic factors that contribute to morbidity and mortality and to prioritize and implement intervention aimed at reducing both short and long-term mortality outcomes amongst acutely-ill undernourished children.
The post holder will be based in from Kilifi site to promote effective management of ongoing research studies by closely working with clinical leads/project coordinators and study teams in the international network at Coordination level.
Administrative oversight – Kilifi/Coast
· Overall coordinator of Kilifi/Coast study teams focussing on childhood undernutrition and related projects, to oversee administrative aspects of staffing, project budgeting, procurement, security, health and safety
· Provide site leadership (Kilifi/Coast) to malnutrition study teams and to be point of contact between other KWTRP departments and the teams on administrative issues.
· Provide guidance to project coordinators and investigators of ongoing/planned studies within the malnutrition team to include study planning, resources allocation and quality assurance plans.
· To undertake/guide risk assessment of studies together with specific study coordinators / investigators, to maintain a register of the risks, and to participate in developing risk mitigation measures drawing from administrative support in KWTRP in accordance to applicable policies and guidelines
· To lead/guide resolution of operational challenges/problems affecting study teams
· Participate in writing of project ghant charts, implementation timelines, and identification of milestones and to use this to regularly monitor overall project progress.
Scientific coordination – Kilifi /Coast
· Manage process of ethics and scientific applications and renewals for ongoing protocols/studies, and trial registration.
· Coordinate team’s planning and management of all clinical trials to include design of research systems in line with applicable institutional, regulatory and international standards.
· Manage development of training plans for new research protocols, as well as overall staff development trainings and mentorship.
· Manage and guide on preparation of SOPs, data collection tools (CRFs/Source documents), quality manuals and processes in line with institutional guidelines and international research standards (GCP)
· Represent teams in operations and scientific committees and stakeholder forums at local and international level, to include Centre Scientific Meetings, Research steering committees (DSMBs/TSCs), sponsors and external partners.
· Coordinate stakeholder’s engagement for new and ongoing studies and to maintain register of completed meetings and planned updates.
· Manage scientific peer interaction and exchange within the study teams and with wider KWTRP/stakeholders in form of scheduled workshops, journal clubs, seminars or case presentations.
International CHAIN network coordination roles
· Work at CHAIN network to coordinate training in international sites on protocol implementation processes to include data collection processes and quality assurance measures.
· Lead clinical trials platform in the CHAIN network to establish systems and resources to implement and /or support new clinical trials.
· Participate in remote monitoring of progress at international CHAIN sites through conference meetings and report updates.
· Participate in monitoring visits to international CHAIN network sites to review progress and conduct required trainings.
· Participate in review of data quality and completeness in network sites, and communication with clinical and laboratory teams over query resolutions
· Undertake own research projects/ data analysis within ongoing/completed studies that contribute to the overall research understanding of questions under research by Malnutrition study group.
· Masters’ degree in public health/epidemiology/clinical trials
· At least 8 years international experience in training on protocol, trial set up and research monitoring.
· Exceptional project management skills, proficiency in using project management tools and the ability to manage multiple large projects simultaneously.
· Significant skills in leadership, organization, prioritisation, problem solving and decision making
· Demonstrable experience in writing high quality reports and presentations in English, with evidence of being attentive to detail.
· Ability to network, communicate, diplomatic and maintain strong local and international relationships within a multi-cultural environment and wide diversity of people, and have experience in resolving disputes.
· Data analysis skills using analytical programmes e.g. Stata/ R
· Presentation skills
· Based at the KEMRI/Wellcome Trust Research Programme in Kenya.
· Regular international travel to study sites and partners.
· Be available to work out of hours if necessary.
The main purpose of the job is to provide coordination, administrative support to assist the project leaders to implement the network and several research projects on under-nutrition and infection that are linked to it in order to achieve their goals and objectives, and to optimize the integrated output of these projects.
Budget And Resource Responsibility
· Project operational budget
· Ordering and accountability for materials, consumables and project assets.
The Childhood Acute Illness & Nutrition (CHAIN) Network is an international research network with a headquarters in Nairobi that is conducting harmonised research to improve outcomes in sick undernourished children in Africa and Asia. The job will involve coordination of various activities and planning for meetings both local and international, and creating regular high-quality progress reports. The post will require a high level of communications skills to engage with site coordinators and PIs in study sites in East and West Africa, and South Asia. The post holder will have to be able to work unsupervised, often with a variable timescale, sometimes out of hours and may will require some international travel. The post is mentally demanding, and involves a high level of communication among trial staff, with trial sites, regulatory bodies and the wider community.
· Be responsible for developing and maintaining a calendar of activities in consultation with the Programme Manager and management team.
· Be responsible for tracking approvals and regulatory renewals and reports, and ensuring timely preparation and submission.
· Develop and maintain study documentation, contracts and inventory of assets at international sites for the Network and for projects linked to it.
· Track expenditures on the Network and related grants in consultation with the Programme Manager, Finance Offices in Nairobi, Kilifi and Oxford, as well as with project sites in other countries.
· Maintaining systems for continuous monitoring and provision of regular feedback through scheduled meetings with internal teams and sites or specific technical groups, mostly by teleconference.
· Coordinate scientific and operational activities internally and externally, including organizing meetings in Kenya and overseas for the Network, and linked projects.
· Coordinate ordering and distribution of resources to sites for centrally procured items, and items for Kenyan sites, ensuring inventories are available for the coordination office.
· Coordinate travel arrangements for various local and international trips and meetings.
· To liaise with other departments within the research Programme to ensure smooth running of the projects
· Undertake other duties as assigned by the Programme Manager.
· A bachelor’s degree in business, administration, project management or a related field plus at least 5 years of working experience
A science degree plus at least 3 years of working experience as a study or clinical trials coordinator
· Demonstrable experience in writing reports in English
· Demonstrable experience in organizing large meetings or networks
· Computer literacy with proficiency in project management tools and Microsoft applications
· Experience in budget and resource management
· Experience in health research management
· Strong planning and organization skills
· Strong leadership and management skills
· Strong problem solving and decision-making skills
· Ability to network and build and maintain strong relationships
· Proactive, innovative, attentive to detail and creative
· Strong interpersonal and communication skills
· Team working and ability to work in a multi-cultural environment
· The post is based in Nairobi at the KEMRI/Wellcome Trust Research Programme, Kenya with some travel
· The post holder will be required to be available to work flexibly, out of hours as necessary
This post is required to lead statistical analyses and provide statistical support for the CHAIN Network and allied clinical trials and mechanistic studies, including laboratory, epidemiological, clinical trials, health systems and social science research.
· Undertaking statistical analyses of data collected by the CHAIN Network, allied trials and mechanistic studies in collaboration with scientists working on these projects in Kenya and abroad.
· Providing statistical support in the form of advice to researchers in the CHAIN Network and working on allied trials and mechanistic studies regarding protocol development, analysis plans and issues encountered during analysis.
· Curating requests for data and analyses and liaising with sites and investigators over request to ensure appropriate communication, adherence to policies and avoidance of duplication.
· Helping in developing policy on database and data entry platforms, and ensuring their accuracy and security, for use by CHAIN and allied clinical trials.
· Working closely with the data management teams for CHAIN and allied trials on the implementation of data systems
· Membership of the Centre Scientific Committee
· Supporting collaborations to deliver statistical training in partnering Universities and institutions.
· A PhD in Statistics or Epidemiology or a related field
· Master’s degree in Statistics or mathematics.
· Experience in statistical analysis of major projects with outputs published in peer-reviewed journals.
· Experience in leading survival, clinical trial or cohort analyses
· Ability to network, build and maintain strong relationships with. Team members in Kenya and overseas
· Willingness to respond within tight timelines and to cope with changing assignments
· Computer literacy with proficiency in Microsoft applications
· Experience of work within large international networks
· Experience of analysis of infectious diseases and nutrition data
· Experience/ training in statistical analysis software (such as R, SAS, SPSS or STATA) and analysis of large and complex data files
· Strong data management and analysis skills
· Attentive to detail
· Confidentiality and integrity
· Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
· Team working and ability to work in a multi-cultural environment
How To Apply
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All applicants are required to state their current/last salary.
Candidates must supply an email and telephone contact that will be used when offering interviews. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. Shortlisted candidates shall be required to produce ORIGINALS of their National Identity Card, academic and professional certificates, original transcripts and testimonials, detailed curriculum vitae and valid clearance certificate (certificate of good conduct) during the interviews.
The application closing date is 28 August, 2019.
KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme (KWTRP) is an equal opportunity employer. Direct or indirect canvassing will lead to automatic disqualification. KWTRP does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview, meeting, processing, training or any other fees).