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Research Assistant/Fellow (The Gambia)

Medical Research Council

Salary:  £34,238 to £44,634 per annum, inclusive.
Closing Date:  Friday 11 January 2019
Interview Date:  Friday 01 February 2019
Reference:  MRC-MRC-2018-06

Established in 1947, the Medical Research Council in The Gambia has an international reputation for ground-breaking research into some of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in the tropics. The overall goal of the Unit is to improve the health of people in developing countries by aiming for excellence in research, healthcare and training. The research programme of the Unit spans basic scientific research (immunology, microbiology, virology and molecular biology), clinical studies, large epidemiological studies and intervention trials, and translational research. The field and laboratory-based work draws on excellent research and clinical facilities and attracts international funding. The Unit has about 150 scientists, clinicians and senior administrative staff from many parts of the world, as well as hosting visiting researchers, and over 400 support staff.  There are also field stations – Basse, Keneba and Walikunda - each in a different ecological setting, providing varied research opportunities.

A Research Assistant or Research Fellow with a focus on clinical trial and vaccine epidemiology is required to support the PI in the coordination of the Pneumococcal Vaccine Schedules (PVS) study. PVS will compare the effectiveness of an alternative compared to standard schedule of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine. The post-holder will be based in Basse, a town of 30,000 in the Upper River Region situated about 400 kilometres from the coast with limited local facilities, including schooling. Free-furnished residential accommodation will be provided, and for displaced staff the package will include overseas allowances, flights and other benefits.

The Research Assistant or Research Fellow will be responsible for coordination of the day-to-day implementation of the PVS study, a clinical trial that will enrol approximately 40,000 infants over 4 years, conduct disease surveillance for a population of 45,000 children aged under 5 years, collect nasopharyngeal swabs from all children with clinical pneumonia, conduct population surveys of pneumococcal carriage and individual contact patterns as well as undertaking economic analyses and mathematical modelling. 

The post-holder, who will be responsible to the PI, will coordinate the project consisting of more than 80 staff and will ensure that the clinical, field, laboratory, data, administrative and other aspects are managed efficiently. They will communicate and coordinate effectively both with MRCG at LSHTM and Government staff contributing to the project. 

Dependent on the level of appointment, the successful candidate will hold a PhD in a relevant field (Research Fellow), or an MSc in Epidemiology or an MPH (Research Assistant) and will have experience in pneumonia or bacterial or pneumococcal disease research. With experience working in a research institute, the post-holder will have experience or knowledge of the coordination of epidemiological studies or randomized trials, and experience of data analysis. Further particulars are included in the job description.

This full-time post, based in The Gambia, is funded until June 2022. The salary will be on the Academic scale, at Grade 5 for a Research Assistant in the range £34,238 – £39,304 per annum inclusive, or at Grade 6 for a Research Fellow in the range £39,304 - £44,634 per annum inclusive. The post will be subject to the LSHTM terms and conditions of service. Annual leave entitlement is 30 working days per year, pro rata for part time staff. In addition to this there are discretionary “Director’s Days”. Membership of the Pension Scheme is available. A package of overseas allowances is available depending on whether the successful candidate would need to relocate to take up this position.

Applications should be made online via our website at Applications should also include the names and email contacts of 2 referees who can be contacted immediately if shortlisted.  Online applications will be accepted by the automated system until 10pm of the closing date. Any queries regarding the application process may be addressed to Please quote reference MRC-MRC-2018-06. 

The supporting statement section should set out how your qualifications, experience and training meet each of the selection criteria.  Please provide one or more paragraphs addressing each criterion. The supporting statement is an essential part of the selection process and thus a failure to provide this information will mean that the application will not be considered.  An answer to any of the criteria such as “Please see attached CV” will not be considered acceptable.

Please note that if you are shortlisted and are unable to attend on the interview date it may not be possible to offer you an alternative date.  

Further details:    Job Description    
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