Early Post Doctoral Researcher

Reference Number: 
Employment Type: 
Full time
Job Grade: 
Kilifi or Nairobi

An experienced mid-level post-doctoral social scientist with responsibility to develop and conduct research with a broad focus on ethics-related issues in the context of international health research in low-and-middle income country settings.

In the first instance, the post holder’s research will address social and ethical implications on one or a few of research studies undertaken at the KWTRP programme. These include clinical research, populations health, biobanking, participatory action research on community engagement in health research. The post-holder will be expected to identify a research area within these and to be supported to seek further independent funding. There will be an opportunity for international collaborative work through regional and international networks including the Global Health Bioethics Network.

The post holder will contribute to social science and health systems strategic planning, implementation and teaching at KWTRP. Teaching will include PhD supervision, training of post-graduate and masters’ level research assistants, and organising and running short courses locally and externally.  The post holder will contribute to strategic science and ethics support at KWTRP through proposal review and departmental management responsibilities.



Head, Health Systems and Research Ethics (HSRE) Department.

Directly supervises

Research officers and assistant research officers employed in the project they lead.


The post holder will be responsible for managing funds allocated to the research at KWTRP; and additional independent funding that they attract through grant applications


This post will be based at the KWTRP in Kenya, with some periods of time spent at the Nairobi office. The post holder will be expected to bring in additional funding to support staff salaries employed in the projects they will be leading and for funding the research activities.


  1. Contribute to strategic development and lead the implementation of high-quality social science research embedded in core platforms of the KWTRP programme.  
  • Developing proposals for new research initiatives on any of the core thematic areas of research undertaken at the Programme, with ongoing leadership responsibilities for identified areas of personal research.
  • Take a lead in dissemination of research findings through presentations at (inter)national meetings, and through a strong set of outputs in high profile peer reviewed publications, book chapters, policy reports and briefs.
  1. Contribute to training in the Health Systems Research Ethics department, wider KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Programme and (inter)nationally
  • Contribute to capacity building activities in social science/empirical ethics within the research programme and linked to our international networks and collaborations
  • Mentor and train PhD students, and mentor and supervise post-graduate and masters’ level interns and research assistants in the department
  • Contribute to securing grants that build strategic collaborations for the department, and that ensure members of the group benefit through training, supervision, networking, and experience
  • Support with the organisation of (inter)national meetings that support the development and maintenance of the above collaborations
  1. Contribute to management of the Health Systems Research ethics department
  • Active participation as part of the senior leadership team in the HSRE department in shaping its scientific strategy
  • Participate in various several scientific and management teams/committees in the KWTRP programme that support the strategic development of the programme.


  • A PhD in a relevant subject such as anthropology, sociology, psychology, economics, history, political science or human geography, or equivalent academic experience
  • Upto 4 Years Postdoctoral experience.
  • Significant experience in independently conducting high quality health-related social science research, including post-doctoral research, in low-and-middle income countries
  • Experience and skills in capacity building for junior colleagues, including masters level students, and ideally PhD level thesis supervision
  • Experience and skills in developing and managing research relationships, ideally in multi-disciplinary research programmes, consortia or research institutions.



  • Significant experience of independently conducting high quality health-related social science research, including post-doctoral research, in low-and-middle income countries
  • A strong publication record in health-related or social science peer-reviewed journals
  • Experience, skills and commitment to capacity building for junior colleagues, including masters level students
  • Experience and skills in developing and managing research relationships, including in multi-disciplinary research programmes, consortia or research institutions


  • Experience of addressing ethical issues in health research through social science approaches, including as empirical ethics research
  • Professional and research experience has included settings in Africa, and ideally in Kenya
  • Successful independent applications have been made for research funding
  • Experience of successful supervision of PhD students


  • Interest in being based in Kenya for the majority of a two year period
  • We are seeking an individual with a strong professional commitment to developing scientific capacity in social science and ethics in global health, particularly in Africa, as part of an active international collaborative community. 


To apply for this post you must be a registered user. Log into your account then go to Vacancies, view the post and click on the button: "Apply for this job".

All applicants are required to state their current/last salary.

Candidates must supply an email and telephone contact that will be used when offering interviews.  Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. Shortlisted candidates shall be required to produce ORIGINALS of their National Identity Card, academic and professional certificates, original transcripts and testimonials, detailed curriculum vitae and valid clearance certificate (certificate of good conduct) during the interviews. 

The application closing date is 22 January, 2021

KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme (KWTRP) is an equal opportunity employer. Direct or indirect canvassing will lead to automatic disqualification.  KWTRP does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview, meeting, processing, training or any other fees).