NGO Assistant Research Officer Job—Earn over Ksh 80,000

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Reference Number: ARO-26102018

Employment Type: Full time

Category: Clinical Healthcare and Research

Job Grade: 6.01

Country: Kenya

Location: Kilifi

JOB PURPOSE:

To support the laboratory component of the Multi-stage malaria vaccine consortium (MMVC) studies. The post holder will maintain and contribute to laboratory activities. The main activities will include: laboratory assays such qPCR assays and immunological assays including assisting in the development of assays for malaria and routine ELISAs and flow cytometry-based assays, routine culture and maintenance of Plasmodium falciparum parasites, sample management, specimen processing , data management and analysis, preparation of SOPs and publications.

Description:

REPORTS TO:

  • Laboratory Director and Principal Investigator(s)

DIRECTLY SUPERVISES:

  • None

INDIRECTLY SUPERVISES:

  • None

BUDGET AND RESOURCE RESPONSIBILITY:

  • Ordering materials, consumables and ensuring sensible use of resources.

JOB DIMENSIONS:

The KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme conducts high quality clinical trials and laboratory research focussing on diseases that present a high burden for developing countries. 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.

A part of the MMVC, KEMRI-CGMRC will conduct several studies to help develop a multi-stage malaria vaccine including phase I and II and Controlled Human Malaria Infection (CHMI) studies.  We will evaluate component of the proposed vaccine in phase I and II trials and as part of CHMI and this will involve laboratory sample processing and analysis. The post holder will have a high level of responsibility for ensuring laboratory procedures for the study are performed in accordance to the existing SOPs and guidelines. The post holder will need to be self-sufficient and be able to work unsupervised and as well as part of a team, often with an unpredictable timescale.

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Work with the Principal Investigator(s) and laboratory manager to plan and set up the study, identify and procure required resources, and document and implement study procedures according to the protocol.
  • Develop, establish and maintain procedural standards and test procedures in the study.
  • To support and execute technical aspects of research in the lab under the guidance of the PIs involving routine molecular biology and immunological assays, including:
  • Culture of malaria parasites from laboratory lines.
  • DNA and RNA extraction
  • qPCR assays
  • Parasite genotyping/sequencing
  • Standard and competition ELISA assays
  • Immunoprofiling using flow cytometry
  • Immunoprofiling using other approaches to be identified.
  • Conduct laboratory processing and analysis of biological samples, interpret and document results using routine and basic laboratory procedures involving manual techniques or use of laboratory instruments.
  • Standardise, calibrate and carry out preventive maintenance and basic troubleshooting on laboratory equipment and instruments.
  • Track and receive samples and ensure adequate storage of samples and that relevant support documentation is provided and processed in line with relevant QC guidelines; document sample and process information.
  • Participate in various QAQC, EQA, IQC and regulatory agency activities within the assigned section, including developing and documenting QC monitors.
  • Prepare and collate study results in an organized and timely manner, and prepare reports as required.
  • Participate in data analysis and interpretation and provide relevant information including statistics, summaries, charts, graphs, reports, etc.
  • Monitor lab resources, ensure adequate stock of reagents and other consumables are available, track usage, and inform relevant staff on the replenishment.
  • Manage and dispose of waste in line with laid down guidelines including segregation and use of specified waste disposal facilities.
  • Continually comply with all laid down QMS guidelines/ standards/ SOPs and comply with all health and safety guidelines.
  • Report all problems encountered with samples or equipment to the immediate supervisor in a timely manner.
  • Any other duties that may be assigned from time to time.

ESSENTIAL QUALIFICATIONS:

  • A BSc degree in Biological/Biomedical Sciences.
  • Atleast 1 years experience in clinical research.
  • One year experience in basic molecular biology, qPCR, and/or immunological assays.
  • Computer literacy with proficiency in Microsoft applications.

ESSENTIAL COMPETENCIES:

  • Knowledge of Laboratory safety and infection control procedures and practices.
  • Good planning, analytical,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.

DESIRABLE QUALIFICATIONS & COMPETENCIES:

  • At least two years’ experience in laboratory research.
  • One year experience in basic molecular biology, qPCR, and/or immunological assays.
  • Training in Good Clinical Laboratory Practice and regulatory/accreditation agency QA requirements.
  • Data management and basic statistical skills.
  • Experience in budget and resource management.
  • An interest in the molecular epidemiology and immunology of infectious diseases, bioinformatics and/or malaria parasite biology would be added advantages.

PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT/CONDITIONS:

  • 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.

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