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Assistant Research Officer At KEMRI Wellcome Trust Research Programme (KWTRP) – APPLY NOW

  • Job TypeFull Time
  • QualificationBA/BSc/HND , MBA/MSc/MA
  • Experience2 years
  • LocationKilifi
  • Job FieldResearch 


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.

Method of Application

Interested and qualified? Go to KEMRI Wellcome Trust Research Programme (KWTRP) on to apply

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