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School Engagement Programme Lead at KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme (KWTRP)

The KEMRI Wellcome Trust Research Programme (KWTRP) is based within the KEMRI Centre for Geographic Medical Research – (Coast). Our core activities are funded by the Wellcome Trust. We conduct integrated epidemiological, social, laboratory and clinical research in parallel, with results feeding into local and international health policy. Our research platforms include state-of-the-art laboratories, a demographic surveillance system covering a quarter of a million residents, partnership with Kilifi County Hospital in health care and hospital surveillance, a clinical trials facility, a vibrant community engagement programme and a dedicated training facility. The KWTRP leadership includes the Executive Director Philip Bejon, the KEMRI Centre Director Benjamin Tsofa, the Ag. Nairobi Programme director Mike English and the Chief Operating Officer Catherine Kenyatta.

Job Purpose:

The post holder will provide leadership, management and development for the KWTRP School Engagement Programme (SEP). The post holder will draw on experience from the fields of health research/education/public engagement/youth interventions to support innovation and excellence in the design, implementation, evaluation and dissemination of community and public engagement (CPE) with health research, focussing on children and young people.

Key Responsibilities:

This role will comprise 3 broad areas:

  • Oversight and strategic direction of SEP
  • Supporting CPE evaluation and dissemination
  • Contributing to the broader KWTRP CPE strategy.

Specific responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

1. Oversight and strategic direction of SEP

  • Strategic planning and leadership of the SEP at KWTRP. This includes writing funding proposals for engagement, the development, implementation and evaluation of school engagement activities.
  • Oversight of existing SEP activities, including modifying engagement activities in response to emerging challenges (e.g. social restrictions brought about by epidemics)
  • Conducting participatory research to develop and implement new and innovative school engagement methods and approaches.

2. Supporting the evaluation of CPE

  • The postholder will be part of a team responsible for the monitoring and evaluation of the wider KWTRP community and public engagement programme.

3. Contributing to the broader KWTRP CPE strategy.

  • Support the Head of Engagement in planning engagement to ensure that SEP activities align with the KWTRP strategy.
  • Support capacity strengthening within the team

Other responsibilities:

  1. Managing budgets, ensuring maximum efficiency in the allocation of resources and skills for the execution of activities
  2. Contribution to the KWTRP through regular participation in:
  3. Health Systems and Research Ethics Management Group KWTRP Communications Group – an advisory group for external communications Centre Scientific Committee (CSC) for the scientific and ethical review all new research proposals at KWTRP
  4. Communication and Consent Committee meeting monthly to review ethical aspects of research proposals including informed consent forms;
  5. Community Liaison Group planning meetings; and the
  6. The production of content for the KWTRP websites and open days


Essential Criteria:

  • Masters level degree in Education, Social Science, Health Promotion, Public Engagement or Health Research.
  • Have at least 5 years field experience
  • Proven project management skills and experience of managing at least 3 staff in youth or school-based projects, educational outreach or public engagement initiatives
  • Demonstrated experience of communication and coordination with education stakeholders at all levels;
  • Considerable experience in facilitating science or health related sessions with young people and school children, both in school and out of school.
  • Experience in evaluating outreach or educational projects
  • Excellent written communication skills with specific experience in writing applications for funding.

Desirable Criteria:

  • Ability to communicate in Kiswahili
  • Experience in the supervision of under-graduate or diploma students
  • Experience in participatory action research
  • Experience of health research (desirable, but not essential)

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