The Research Associate-Laboratory, under the general supervision of the Senior Research Associate – Parasitology and within the limits of Innovations for Poverty Action-Kenya policies and procedures coordinates the facilitation of Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH) Benefits activities and functions within IPAK. Below is a list of some of the general duties and responsibilities of the Research Associate, to be carried out as needed according to the determination of the SRA – Parasitology in close coordination with the Implementation and Research Managers.
Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) seeks a qualified applicant for the position of Laboratory Research Associate for the Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) Benefits Project. Currently in the midst of a five-year study, WASH Benefits is collecting rigorous evidence on the health impacts of improved water, sanitation and hygiene practices, alongside improved nutrition in rural Kenya. Low-cost technologies and behavior change communications strategies are being implemented to promote drinking water treatment, good sanitation practices, handwashing with soap and improved nutrition. One of the objectives of the WASH Benefits project is to assess the impact of these interventions on child parasite infections. A second objective is to evaluate how improved water, sanitation, and hygiene affects child exposure to fecal contamination in the household environment. This position is located in Kakamega or Bungoma and is supervised by the Senior Research Associate – Parasitology.
The successful candidate will work closely with senior project management and staff to perform a variety of tasks including, but not limited to:
- Develop and supervise implementation of sample collection and processing systems described below to ensure of the highest quality data, including; development/modification of lab standard operating procedures (SOP), process documentation, tracking systems, and monitoring of staff performance
- Supervise laboratory technicians and field staff involved in Laboratory and environmental sampling activities, including holding regular meetings and coordinating trainings
- Oversee sample collection, processing, and microbial analysis of samples from drinking water sources, household stored water, child hands, and child toys for quantitative enumeration of fecal indicator bacteria using membrane filtration.
- Oversee sample collection, processing, aliquoting, and sample flow of child stool and blood samples to measure biomarkers of parasite infections among young children (e.g. microscopy of stool for soil-transmitted helminth infections, aliquoting of stool)
- Liaise with collaborators at the Kenya Medical Research Institute in analyzing project stool samples by ELISA and qPCR to detect soil transmitted helminth infections and protozoan infections, and analysis of blood spots by Luminex for other enteric pathogen infections.
- Coordinate and oversee logistical planning for sample collection, processing, flow, and data entry by tracking enrollment, specimen collection, and follow-up targets; working with supervisors to determine when corrective action is needed in order to ensure that activities are consistent with approved SOPs and project objectives
- Lead the design and participate in the coding of survey instruments to be used during field sample collection
- Assist with data management, data cleaning, and analysis of all lab and field sample collection data
- Provide projections, and basic oversight of financial accounting related to lab activities.
- Participate HR oversight process and provide recommendations to senior management on all aspects of HR for parasite and environmental sampling components of the study
- Overall responsibility for inventory and procurement coordination for all lab and field parasite and environmental sample collection activities
- Closely coordinate with Data Management, Data Collection, Logistics and Procurement personnel
- Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree in a relevant field such as Laboratory, biology, environmental health, public Health, or other related field
- Laboratory experience, preferably in the context of a field lab in a low-income country
- Experience with culture based bacterial assays a plus
- Experience processing blood and stool samples a plus
- Experience with soil transmitted helminthes or Kato Katz analysis a plus
- Experience with qPCR and/or running ELISA assays a plus
- Experience with Open Data Kit, Survey CTO, CS Pro and STATA a plus
- Experience shipping and tracking samples
- Excellent management and organizational skills along with strong quantitative skills
- Excellent management, organizational, critical thinking and interpersonal skills
- Flexible, self-motivating, able to manage multiple tasks efficiently, and team player
- Strong written and oral communication skills and complete fluency in English is required. Kiswahili proficiency is preferred.
- Experience working in a low-income country (particularly sub-Saharan Africa)
- Familiarity with randomized controlled trials
Complete the J-PAL/IPA common application. Please select the position(s) you are interested in applying for on the ‘Submit Application’ page. Statement of purpose (cover letter), CV and reference. We will consider your application even if you are unable to obtain reference letters before the deadline, but please be advised that we will be requiring them should you be invited for an interview.Please note that only short-listed candidates will be contacted for an interview.
Innovations for Poverty Action is an EO Employer-MF/Veteran/Disability. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other protected class.
IPA will endeavor to make a reasonable accommodation to a qualified applicant with a disability unless the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the operation of our business. If you believe you require such assistance to complete this form or to participate in an interview, please contact us at [email protected] or via phone at 1-203-772-2216.
IPA will never require monetary compensation as part of its application process. Any requests for monetary compensation by persons claiming to be IPA employees or persons claiming to represent IPA should be disregarded and reported to IPA.