Research Officer Job at Kemri Wellcome Trust



Reference Number: ROPCVIS2017412

Category: Research, Science and Biotechnology

Grade: 7.01

Location: Kilifi

Country: Kenya


JOB PURPOSE:To be the lead on the day-to-day activities including identifying relevant samples and conducting the appropriate laboratory procedures required for the Serologic surveys for ascertaining vaccination coverage and population immunity in Kenya (The SeroVacK Study) and other related projects within and interlocking with the Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine Impact Study (PCVIS). The post holder will coordinate field research activities and contribute to laboratory activities including proposal development, data management, field-laboratory liaison, sample/specimen management, analysis, and preparation of publications.</p>

REPORTS TO: Principal Investigator/Clinical Epidemiologist (PCVIS)



BUDGET AND RESOURCE RESPONSIBILITY: Work planning and task allocation, requisition and procurement of supplies, consumables and ensuring sensible use of resources.


The KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Collaborative Research Programme (KWTRP) researches 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 in order to maintain a cadre of highly skilled and experienced staff from all disciplines.

The Kenya Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine Impact Study (PCVIS) domiciled in the Epidemiology and Demography Department (EDD) is a before-after study of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) embedded within the demographic surveillance system, with specific analyses for vaccine effectiveness against carriage, IPD, clinical and radiologically confirmed pneumonia. In the current phase of the project, the focus is on analyses for serotype replacement disease, individual level and indirect vaccine protection.

The ARO/RO will be responsible for the Serologic surveys for ascertaining vaccination coverage and population immunity in Kenya (The SeroVacK Study). This study expands on the pneumococcal serology work package of the PCVIS that was designed to assess the impact of the vaccine on population immunity. The SeroVacK study aims to obtain an accurate description of age-specific seroprevalence of immunity to a range of vaccine targets and explore duration of protective immunity among a sample of children with vaccine records in the KHDSS.

The post holder working with the PCVIS Clinical Epidemiologist and Principal Investigator will contribute to tasks preparatory to the project not limited to proposal/protocol development and submissions, develop a study work plan, attend project specific training and study visits where applicable and conduct the necessary assays for this project and take on other higher level responsibilities not limited to data analysis, preparation of reports and manuscripts.

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. There are opportunities to develop different aspects of this project into a body of work for a PhD. The post holder may also be required to contribute to other linked projects.


  • Work with the Principal Investigator, Clinical Epidemiologist and other relevant staff members to prepare research plans in liaison with other teams such as KHDSS and laboratory.
  • Take the lead in execution of the SeroVacK project and related studies including the setting up, identification resource requirements, documentation of protocols and training of 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.
  • Participate in the identification/curation and processing of eligible 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 diagnostic tests and quality assurance activities within the study.
  • Liaise with EDD 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 provided relevant matrices/ information including statistics, summaries, charts, graphs, reports etc.
  • Prepare and submit draft reports as required including activity reports, project progress reports etc.


  • A BSc degree in Biomedical Sciences or other related field
  • A Masters’ degree in a relevant subject
  • Minimum 3 years research experience
  • Computer literacy with proficiency in Microsoft applications


  • Good planning, organisation and co-ordination 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
  • Flexibility, adaptability, ability to multi-task
  • Confidentiality and integrity
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, team working and ability to work in a multi-cultural environment


  • Minimum 3 years’ research experience in laboratory/clinical laboratory research including wet/bench skills in serology and other common immunological assays
  • Data management and basic statistical skills
  • Good writing skills including evidence of publications/reports


  • 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.