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Scientific Manager, COVID-19 Clinical Research Coalition at Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative – DNDi

Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) is an independent, not-for-profit drug development initiative established in 2003 by five publicly-funded research organizations – Malaysian Ministry of Health, Kenya Medical Research Institute, Indian Council of Medical Research, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation Brazil, and the Institut Pasteur – as well as an international humanitarian organization, Médecins Sans Frontières. The UNICEF/UNDP/World Bank/WHO’s Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) is a permanent observer. With a robust portfolio, DNDi aims to develop new, improved, and field-relevant drugs for neglected diseases, including leishmaniasis, human African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), Chagas disease, malaria, filarial diseases, paediatric HIV, mycetoma, and hepatitis C that afflict the poorest populations of the world.

Purpose of the position

The COVID-19 Clinical Research Coalition seeks a Scientific Manager (consultant) to lead and coordinate the scientific work of the coalition, including but not limited to 12 expert working groups and a nascent study materials repository, and to contribute to the strategic vision for the coalition to maximize its effectiveness in serving researchers in low-resource settings.

Specific job responsibilities

  • Serve as focal point for the co-chairs of the coalition’s 12 expert working groups, ensuring that the groups are functioning well and have the set-up and resources they need, and screens working group membership applications for co-chair review and decision
  • Facilitate the delivery of working group outputs and effective inter-working group dialogue, and helps to determine when and how working group outputs should be disseminated, both within the coalition membership and to a wider interested community beyond the membership
  • Serve as first-line respondent to scientific questions from coalition members, responding to queries or escalating to others as appropriate
  • Develop the coalition’s study material repository by identifying studies of interest for coalition members, contacting study investigators, and developing a database for classifying study documents
  • Participate in a representational capacity in a range of virtual meetings to present/represent the coalition
  • Provide updates on progress to the coalition’s working groups, and steering and set-up committees, as well as others, as needed (e.g., DNDi leadership, DNDregional offices, others)
  • Co-create, with the project team’s Coordinator and Project Manager, the design of projects, methods, and tools to continuously improve the coalition’s deliverables
  • Serve as lead reviewer/quality assurance for the scientific content of all coalition communications, including member communications and the further development of the scientific content on the coalition’s website at www.covid19crc.org, in close collaboration with the coalition’s project team)

The above list of responsibilities is not exhaustive. The COVID-19 Clinical Research Coalition is newly established, and its priorities and needs may shift and change according to the research needs of members, as the pandemic evolves.

Reporting line

  • S/he reports to the secretariat’s Coordinator

Interactions

  • S/he interacts closely and often with the coalition’s secretariat (Coordinator, Project Manager, Project Assistant) to exchange information, to plan, and to discuss priorities and problems, and regularly with the co-chairs and coordinators of the coalition’s working groups, as well as working group members.
  • S/he also works with the members of the coalition’s governance bodies.
  • In addition, s/he exchanges information with coalition members and external stakeholders.

Job requirements

Skills and attributes

  • Good writing skills in English – articulate and quick, in different forms of communication
  • Outstanding project management skills, with the ability to work collaboratively while at a distance (i.e., virtually)
  • Excellent communication skills in multicultural, multi-lingual environments
  • Collaborative, result-oriented, and flexible, with a good sense of humour
  • Strong background in clinical trials and with a good understanding of the components and the issues, from protocol development to data sharing
  • Strong links to research networks in low-resource settings, preferably across multiple regions
  • Strong commitment to the principles of equitable access by the most vulnerable to high-quality disease prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and care
  • Capacity to lead without formal authority
  • Problem solver with demonstrated results-orientation
  • Comfortable with uncertainty and ability to stay calm and clear-headed under pressure

Education & experience

  • Minimum 10 years’ relevant experience
  • MD required, with public health and scientific background
  • Prior experience with leading/coordinating clinical trials in low-resource settings; experience in epidemic contexts an asset

Other requirements

  • Fluent in English required
  • Proficiency in other languages desirable, particularly French, Spanish, or Portuguese
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office suite of software (Word, Excel, PowerPoint); comfortable with teleconference and other platforms for collaborative work and communication

Other information

  • Status: Consultancy – 6 months, full-time
  • Location: Sub-Saharan Africa preferred, will consider other regions (remote working – team is located in different places)

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