Assistant Research Officer
To be a co-lead on the day-to day activities of the VANGUARD Community Study which involves overseeing a community survey and collection of biological samples across the VANGUARD study sites in Kenya.
The post holder will coordinate the community survey and laboratory research activities in the study sites and be the key liaison with the VANGUARD Uganda team. He/she will contribute to planning of field work related to the community survey and laboratory related activities including field-laboratory liaison, samples/specimen management, data analysis and preparation of publications.
REPORTS TO: Principal Investigators and Co-PIs
DIRECTLY SUPERVISES: Field Staff/Field Workers
INDIRECTLY SUPERVISES: Laboratory Technologist
BUDGET AND FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY: Work planning and task allocation, requisition and procurement of supplies, and consumables and ensuring sensible use of resources.
The KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Collaborative Research Programme (KWTRP) conducts research on diseases with the highest burden in developing countries for which it is recognised internationally within the fields of international public health, clinical tropical medicine, epidemiology, and immunology. The programme aims to maximise opportunities for learning and training to maintain a cadre of highly skilled and experienced staff from all disciplines.
The Vanguard NIHR project
Vaccines are among the successful public health interventions. However, not all communities benefit equally. Various factors, including biological, social, health system and political factors, interact to reduce vaccine effectiveness and impact on vulnerable communities. Populations living in low-income or rural areas have been shown to have impaired vaccine immunogenicity, but little is known about the underlying biological mechanisms. The Vaccines for vulnerable people in Africa (VAnguard) project aims to identify modifiable structural, social, and biological determinants of impaired vaccine impact in vulnerable African communities and develop integrated strategies to address them.
The post holder will work together with a Research Officer (Social Science) to co-lead Work Package 4 with supervision from the VANGUARD PIs (Kenya and Uganda). The purpose of WP4 is to plan and implement field investigations (community surveys and qualitative studies) to explore structural, social and biological determinants impairing vaccine impact. The preparatory phase will involve consultation with collaborators/stakeholders and stakeholder mapping and engagement at County and community levels. The post holder will organise field research teams to conduct community surveys including the collection of questionnaire data and biological samples.
The post holder will need to be self-sufficient and be able to work with minimal supervision against demanding yet, often unpredictable timelines. The post is mentally demanding and involves a high level of communication. The post holder may also be required to contribute to other VAnguard Work packages.
- Work with the Principal Investigator and other relevant staff members to prepare research and field work plans in liaison with other teams such as KHDSS and laboratory.
- Co- lead the execution of the Vanguard community study – to include setting up the study, preparing the field work plans for the study sites, identifying resource requirements, development and documentation of protocols and training staff on the same etc.
- 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.
- Coordinate and participate in the collection and processing of biological samples as well as data compilation and analysis of study data/samples, and ensure all related records and reports are handled and managed in line with study protocols.
- Perform a range of quality assurance activities within the study.
- Liaise with Vanguard (Uganda) statistics and data management teams to ensure data entry and storage is appropriate and compliant with prevailing procedures.
- 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.
- Participate in preparation of submissions and correspondences with Institutional Ethics Committees and other regulatory bodies.
- Manage study resources (including HR, equipment & facilities), ensuring efficient and ethical usage and complying with all research sponsor/funder accountability requirements.
- Support Work package 5 in the implementation of stakeholder, Community and Public Engagement and involvement of survey activities.
- Support laboratory technician in the study communities as required and with procurement of necessary laboratory equipment and supplies and development and implementation of laboratory analysis plans and standard operating procedures.
- A BSc degree in Biomedical Sciences, or another related field and a Master’s degree in a relevant subject added advantage.
- Minimum 2 years experience including management of field-based research
- Computer literacy with proficiency in Microsoft applications
- Must have prior experience of running field-based studies
- Data management and basic statistical skills
- Good writing skills including evidence of publications/reports
- Good planning, organisation and coordination 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.
- Experience in engaging collaborators and stakeholders e.g. community and county Health stakeholders
- Experience/Competence in running surveillance studies involving collecting survey data and biological samples.
- Flexibility, adaptability, ability to multi-task
- Confidentiality and integrity
- Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, team working and ability to work in a multicultural environment.
- 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.
IT Security Specialist
- Audit and constant monitoring of all systems, internal and external information security infrastructure, including but not limited to Firewalls, Proxy Servers, Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, Intrusion Detection Software to provide optimum security, performance, and availability.
- Perform vulnerability assessment and penetration testing on KWTRP infrastructure and applications to ensure that they are secure from external or internal hacking attempts.
- Provide technical security reports to the Senior IT Managers and IT Risk and Security Manager.
- Develop IT Security Policies, Minimum Baseline Security Standards in line with industry best practices and technologies, commensurate with risk and regulatory requirements and implementing the same cost effectively.
- Provide technical security related support to new projects from inception through to successful implementation.
- Support the implementation of procedural, operational and technical Security Architecture enhancements.
- Ensure constant monitoring of the environment for security vulnerabilities or breaches.
- Ensure processes and procedures are in place to maintain security and integrity of the Information & Technology environment and that these are adhered to.
- Establish stringent access control management on user account creation, maintenance and termination on operating systems, applications, and databases to ensure information systems security.
- Train users and promote security awareness to ensure system security and to improve server and network efficiency.
- Manage IT Security Incidences, Problems, Events and Service requests, Raising Change Requests to transit resolves to technology problems. Transiting technology products in the Service Portfolio, retiring and replacing them at the end of the lifecycle.
- To carry out project-based work to implement new Security solutions.
- Develops and maintains the patch management process and ensures all patches are in place.
- Updates the IT risk register on a regular basis.
- Updates the IT vulnerability register on a regular basis.
- Provides 1st and 2nd line support for IT Security technical user issues.
- Supports the Disaster recovery and testing plans.
- Provide level 2 and 3 soc analyst support.
- Manage IT security tools such as Vulnerability management, EDR and PAM
- Carry out IT risk assessment on a scheduled basis.
- Provide support in the implementation of information security programs as per strategy requirements.
- A Bachelor of Science in Computing or related degree from a recognised University.
- Internationally recognized IT security certification such as CISM, CISSP, CISA, CASP, ISO 27001 Implementer and or Auditor, MCSE CEH or Security+.
- At least 5 years’ experience in Information Technology, 3 of which must be in IT Security function with hands on experience in the following areas listed below:
- IT risk and Security compliance solutions
- Cloud IT Security applications
- Software / application and security architectures
- IPS and vulnerability Testing tools
- Active Directory management
- Good understanding of endpoint solutions
- Understanding of the perimeter wall solution
- IT security monitoring
- Good understanding of IT security tools such as SIEM, PAM and DAM
- IT Security on O365, operating systems and databases in an heterogenous environment (UNIX, Microsoft, Oracle, SQL, Open source)
- Wide knowledge of web security architecture.
- Knowledge and skills on encryption, VPN
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills with technical and non-technical staff, end-users, and senior management.
- Strong teamwork skills to maintain strong working relationships, within and outside IT to develop a results-oriented work environment.
- Excellent follow-up skills to see tasks through to resolution and communicate problem status to end users such as notification of completion, notification of delay, and explaining rationale.
- Excellent analytical solving skills.
- Excellent organizational skills, prioritizing and managing multiple tasks.
- Offer and accept feedback and constructive suggestions.
- Demonstrate high levels of integrity.
- Analytical and problem-solving skills
- Ability to multi-task and stay organized in a dynamic work environment.
- Ability to provide adhoc support to different database environments.
- Strong interpersonal and communications skills, both in writing and oral
- Logical diagnostic skills and ability to exercise good judgement in the resolution of problems.
- Ability to learn new programming languages quickly.
- Ability to write, edit, and debug computer programs to achieve desired output.
- Strong understanding of the software development cycle.
- Good presentation skills.