Director, Socio-Behavioral Research

Nairobi, Kenya
Apply by 19 July 2018
Senior-level , Full-time staff position
Posted on 19 June 2018

Job Description

Job Title: Director, Socio Behavioural Research (D-SBR)

Location: Nairobi, Kenya

Reports to: Regional Director – Africa

Position Summary: The Director, Socio-Behavioural Research will be responsible for defining, designing and implementing IAVI’s socio-behavioural research portfolio in Africa. IAVI works with local research institutions in five countries in Africa to implement HIV Biomedical Prevention Research including vaccine clinical trials, related epidemiology and formative research. Much of this work is conducted with at risk populations, such as men who have sex with men (MSM), female sex workers (FSW), fishing communities, and adoloscents. IAVI has prioritized understanding communities and end-users as a key pillar of its strategic plan and its end-to-end product development approach. Thus IAVI intends to develop innovative socio-behavioural projects that will proactively inform product design, implementation research, policies and practices, and market research.

The successful candidate will work closely with research partners and key stakeholders (including donors) to conduct a comprehensive needs assessment to understand key socio-behavioural policies and market research questions. Based on this needs assessment, the Director, SBR will lead the development of a robust research portfolio in collaboration with IAVI colleagues and external partners. The Director, SBR will be responsible for working closely with research partners in the design, implementation, analysis and write-up of research studies. Such studies will often be nested within existing clinical and epidemiological studies, but with a possibility of designing new social science studies relavant to HIV Biomedical Prevention Research as well as implementation research. Additionally, this position will support IAVI’s CRC partners to build upon their capacity to develop their own SBR proposals and publications.

The Director, SBR will work with relevant Project Teams and Protocol Teams, with general guidance from the Chief Medical Officer and direct reporting to the Africa Regional Director. He/she will have a high degree of research competence and is comfortable leading this initiative and providing mentorship and training to partners. He/she may, after consultation, represent IAVI with external agencies, to develop collaborations or seek funding. He/She will lead a team of highly motivated and competent managers and staff at IAVI and research partners working on socio-behavioural and market research, advocacy, policy and communications.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Conduct stakeholder consultations to design SBR research portfolio to answer strategic questions related to understanding communities & participants context in order to inform better product development, research design and conduct, roll out and access of new biomedical prevention options.
  • In collaboration with IAVI research partners and investigators, develop strategic and detailed implementation plans and procedures for SBR research studies. Provide oversight of SBR protocols, consent forms, data collection instruments, Institutional Review Board (IRB) submissions and preparation of suitable educational materials and regulatory documents.
  • In collaboration with IAVI partners, develop and implement a knowledge management strategy to ensure that research findings generated by IAVI and research partners lead to or are translated into national and regional policies and practices
  • Works closely with collaborating investigators to provide, develop and coordinate technical support related to SBR including mentorship, training, grant writting and publications.
  • Participate in development of work plans and budgets for SBR research studies, and monitoring/reporting achievement of work plan milestones.
  • Contributes to development of grant applications and reports for donors and granting agencies, in collaboration with the IAVI Global Affairs group.
  • Contributes to development of and review of SBR content of IAVI documents such as the IAVI Report and other IAVI educational materials. Represents IAVI in scientific, regulatory and other capacities, as needed.
  • Maintains in-depth knowledge about key SBR research topics related to HIV Biomedical prevention and other emerging pathogens.
  • Attends appropriate external meetings and courses to maintain competency and awareness in assigned area, worldwide activities, and the HIV vaccine community at large.
  • Other national and international duties as assigned.

Experience and Skills:

  • Passion for IAVI mission.
  • Proven track record in leading multi-country and interdisciplinary teams
  • Advanced degree in social science, market research or related field beneficial
  • A minimum of 5 years experience in desiging,executing and publishing socio behavioural research studies in international resource constrained settings. Experience with HIV/AIDS and /or sexual and reproductive health SBR research preferred. Proven experience in qualitative data analysis using NVIVO or similar software, as evidenced by peer review publications.
  • Proven experience in translating research findings into policies and practices.
  • Relevant experience working in developing countries, preferably in the Africa region.
  • Demonstrated diplomatic skills, excellent judgment, proven ability to present programs to all audiences ranging from high level political organizations to lay community groups.
  • Strong organizational skills, resourceful, and mature self-starter, with proven experience in building a strong, coherent program and operations in resource poor settings with limited infrastructure.
  • Proven ability to operate within a scientific, social, medical or clinical research program.
  • Willingness to travel at least 20% of the time.

About the Organization

The Organization:

The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) is a nonprofit scientific organization founded in 1996 whose mission is to ensure the development of safe, effective, accessible, preventive HIV vaccines for use throughout the world. IAVI believes that our capabilities, partnerships and commitment position us to make meaningful impact in the field. IAVI continues to focus on AIDS vaccine development as the most effective long-term approach to ending the HIV epidemic. Ending the epidemic will also require innovation and an integrated approach across prevention and treatment efforts in line with the shifting epidemic. IAVI will contribute to the field by:

  • Establishing an integrated approach to HIV vaccine and prevention research and development, linking an understanding of at risk communities with the most potentially relevant interventions.
  • Bringing new capabilities and innovation to the field through novel collaborations to accelerate product development.
  • Prioritizing approaches that have the greatest potential impact on HIV vaccine and prevention efforts towards diminishing and ultimately ending the epidemic
IAVI’s Strategic Initiatives

IAVI's strategic focus revolves around the following four pillars:

  1. Engage locally: Engaging the communities most at-risk of HIV infection;
  2. Accelerate Translation: Providing an integrated product development platform to accelerate the translation of promising concepts into HIV vaccine candidates for the field;
  3. Catalyze Innovative Science: Investing in high potential discovery programs that could transform HIV vaccine development and beyond;
  4. Secure Sustained Support and Action: Generating supportive data and messages to drive policies and investments that will end the epidemic.

Financial and Operational highlights

  • Approximately 180 employees (80 located at Headquarters in New York)
  • Offices in Amsterdam, New York, Johannesburg, Delhi, and Nairobi along with laboratories in La Jolla, London, Delhi, and Brooklyn.
  • Total revenue of $100 million

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