KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme Jobs

KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme Jobs

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The KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme is well known internationally for its work in improving global health. The Programme has a diverse clinical research programme that includes clinical trials of disease prevention, vaccines, management of acute illness, basic science and translation of research finding into global health policy.

The Programme is searching for a qualified, dynamic and motivated person to fill the following position:

Research Medical Officer

Job Details

The Epidemiology & Demography Department at KEMRI Wellcome Trust Research Programme is advertising for three research-training positions. These are open to recently qualified doctors with little or no research experience and include sponsorship to undertake a Masters in Epidemiology. The posts will be funded until September 2021 in the first instance.

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Post 1- The post holder will be responsible for aiding day-to-day coordination and leading safety monitoring on a clinical trial of fractional doses of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (FPCV).

Post 2- Post holder will be responsible for day-to-day activities for clinical, radiological and laboratory surveillance of pneumonia and invasive pneumococcal disease in children and adults at the Kilifi County Hospital (KCH) for the Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine Impact Study (PCVIS).

Post 3- Post holder will contribute to proposal development, organisation and coordination of field research activities for a multisite expanded nasopharyngeal carriage survey study aligned to PCVIS.

Although these are the primary responsibilities, the three post-holders will work as a team and will be expected to share the load, as guided by their line manager, to ensure an even distribution of work. All positions include on the job training in research methods and programme management as well as roles in data management, field-laboratory liaison, sample/specimen management, analysis, and preparation of publications. This is in addition to enrolment in a sponsored part-time distance learning Masters in Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (subject to successful application).


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  • FPCV Trial Manager (Post 1)
  • PCVIS Principal Investigator/Clinical Epidemiologist (Posts 2 & 3).
  • Posts 1 &2 report indirectly to the Head of Clinical Services.
  • Principal Investogator- Adult Bacterial Diseases Burden Study.


  • None


  • Clinical Officers/Fieldworkers


  • Work planning and task allocation, requisition and procurement of supplies, consumables and ensuring sensible use of resources.

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES (will vary according to post):

  • Work with the Principal Investigator, Clinical Epidemiologist, Trial Manager and other relevant staff members to prepare and execute research plans in liaison with other teams in the Kilifi Health and Demographic Surveillance System and laboratories.
  • Take the lead in/contribute to Pneumonia and IPD surveillance in KCH, multisite nasopharyngeal carriage surveys, the FPCV trial and related studies including set up, identification resource requirements, documentation of protocols and training of the same etc.
  • Work with the clinical team and researchers to provide good quality clinical care of patients admitted to the wards (paediatric and/or adult wards), including on call duties (at a frequency of between 1/4 and 1/7, depending on the size of the clinical team), and to the out-patient clinics.
  • Supervise and mentor other study team members, i.e. Clinical Officers, Nurses, Interns, Fieldworkers, including staff from both KWTRP and the County Ministry of Health.
  • Ensure adherence to the clinical SOPs regarding clinical, laboratory and radiological investigations of patients in PCVIS and related clinical studies.
  • Collate, digitize, catalogue and interpret radiographs for patients with pneumonia and maintain a database of films and readings (post 2).
  • Carry out desktop research/ literature reviews and prepare/ draft write-ups as may be required for inclusion in/ to support proposals, presentations/seminars and publications.
  • Lead the collection, processing, compilation and analysis of study data/samples and ensure all related records and reports are handled and managed in line with study protocols.
  • Prepare, analyse and present research summaries to supervisors, hospital staff, Kilifi County public health staff, international collaborators and sponsors.
  • Liaise with EDD statistics and data management teams to ensure that all data is entered into relevant databases on time and verified.
  • Carry out data analysis and interpretation and provide relevant matrices/ information including statistics, summaries, charts, graphs, reports etc.
  • Prepare and submit draft reports as required including activity reports, project progress reports etc.
  • Attend and actively participate in investigator’s meetings and other meetings within the department and programme e.g. journal clubs/seminars as needed.
  • And any other duties that may be assigned by supervisors from time to time.



  • A degree in Medicine and Surgery.
  • Demonstrable active interest and/or experience in biomedical research.
  • 1-3 years’ post qualification work experience.
  • Eligibility for registration with the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board i.e you should have completed your internship by the time you commence the position.
  • Competency in basic procedures of clinical investigation including lumbar puncture, venepuncture, chest drain insertion, etc. (posts 1 and 2 in particular).
  • Ability to lead and work within a team.
  • Excellent presentation and communication skills.
  • Training and/or experience in epidemiology/public health.
  • Training/ experience in literature research, critical appraisal of literature and evidence reviews.
  • Computer literacy with proficiency in Microsoft applications.


  • Training in ICH-GCP.
  • Experience/qualification in basic biostatistics and epidemiology.
  • Training in adult or paediatric life support (basic and/or advanced).
  • Experience or post-graduate training in radiology (post 2).
  • Current passport and ability to travel for international meetings.


  • Knowledge of basic epidemiologic study designs and how to conduct field studies.
  • Good analytical and follow through ability.
  • Good planning, organisation and co-ordination skills and attention to detail.
  • Ability to take and follow instructions, initiative, keen to learn and proactive with the ability to work under minimal supervision.
  • Flexibility, adaptability, ability to multi-task.
  • Confidentiality and integrity.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Team working and ability to work in a multi-cultural environment.
  • Conscientiousness, timeliness and willingness to work to meet deadlines.


  • Based at the KEMRI/Wellcome Trust Research Programme in Kilifi, Kenya.
  • Be available to work out of hours if necessary.
  • Exposure to materials considered infectious and/or biohazards.

Head of Bioscience

The Head of Biosciences will be a critical part of the new leadership team. The Head of Biosciences will be responsible for:

  • Scientific strategy including core renewal plans.
  • Personal research portfolio as an independent PI.
  • Oversight of a Laboratory Management team.



Our biosciences work is based in the Kilifi campus, supported by an integrated surveillance system linking demographic surveillance of 0.25M residents, clinical phenotyping of hospital admissions continuously for 27 years, a biobank and a state-of-the-art immunology and molecular biology facility including next generation sequencing facilities, cell sorting, multi-colour flow and multi-dimensional serological platforms.

The Head of Biosciences will be responsible for setting strategic priorities and plans for Biosciences. The post holder will be an independent Principal Investogator, allocated substantial time for developing independent research leveraging the facilities described above. The Head of Biosciences will be supported by a team of laboratory managers covering all laboratory areas to support oversight and planning.

The post requires a scientist with a track record of extensive and noteworthy independent scientific output, with proven capacity to attract funds for research relevant to LMIC settings. Experience of leadership in research is essential, reaching at least group level. External coaching in leadership skills will be made available to the successful applicant.


  • Programme Executive Director


  • Laboratory Managers.
  • Biobank Fellow.


  • Staff in Biosciences Department, directly supervised by Lab Managers and Biobank Fellow.


  • Laboratory Core Budget
  • Personal Project Grants


  • Leading the Programme Biosciences scientific strategy including chairing Departmental strategy and management meetings.
  • Active participation as part of the senior leadership team in shaping Programme-wide scientific strategy and acting as co-applicant for the Programme core grant.
  • Developing proposals for new research initiatives, with ongoing leadership responsibilities for these areas of personal research
  • Membership of the Heads of Scientific Departments committee, and in a broad range of governance structures and committees.
  • Planning the overall budget and setting targets for development of the laboratory and wider bioscience platform on a yearly basis, and negotiating and agreeing the plans with the Scientific Departments Committee responsible for overall scientific strategy in the programme.
  • Ongoing strategic decisions underpinning biosciences work, such as purchase or upgrading of major laboratory equipment, reprofiling of the laboratory budget, new research initiatives including the design of field or ward surveillance work to optimize sample collection and integration with clinical data.
  • Line management of the Laboratory Manager and Laboratory Section Heads, supervision of the Biobank Fellow.
  • Providing input on laboratory aspects of developing proposals and funding applications, and willing to be a co-applicant on funding proposals from other PIs where relevant.
  • Mentorship of early career scientists across the Programme with related interests, and training input for selected PhD students/ Masters students where relevant.
  • Oversight of all laboratory work across the programme, in conjunction with the Laboratory Manager and/or relevant Section Head.
  • To guide and support the development of collaborative linkages with other local and international health research institutions to develop synergistic and equitable partnerships.


Essential Requirements:

  • A PhD or equivalent post-graduate qualification relevant to biomedical research.
  • Experience in biomedical research with significant impactful research outputs.
  • Significant productivity in peer reviewed journals.
  • Evidence of the capacity to win independent research funding.
  • Leadership experience in research or related areas, at minimum to leading a group.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage and lead complex projects
  • Significant experience of line management
  • Experience of PhD and/or Masters supervision with positive outcomes.

Desirable Requirements:

  • Experience of clinical trials
  • Ability in key scientific themes in the current Programme strategy, including vaccines, genomics and transmission or clinical translational research.
  • Experience of inter-disciplinary work.


  • Evidence of supervisory ability and negotiation skills
  • Evidence of an ability to operate and lead in a federalized environment with decentralized authority.
  • Strong skills in budgeting, development and oversight of project proposals, leadership of meetings, and writing skills.
  • Ability to work across cultures and evidence of communications skills in that context.
  • Willingness to respond within tight timelines and to cope with changing assignments.
  • Strong leadership skills and managerial ability
  • Strong planning, administrative and organisation ability
  • Confidentiality, integrity, patience and calm disposition
  • Team working and ability to work in a multi-cultural environment

Note: A competitive salary will be offered to attract an outstanding candidate

Method of Application

Use the link(s) / email(s) below to apply on company website.

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