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Are you interested in making a career in an emerging new area of Global Health research? College of Medicine is seeking to recruit a researcher on funding from a four-year global surgical systems research project: Sowing up Safe Surgery for District and Rural Populations in Africa (SURG-Africa) to work under Surgery Department of college of Medicine.

We are looking for a researcher with excellent quantitative methods skills (essential) and qualitative methods skills (desirable), plus ambition and drive, to join a cutting-edge global health research team. The researcher will work closely with and be guided and supported by experienced Research Fellows based at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI); and departmental staff at COM.

Background to the research project

College of Medicine (COM) is a member of an international consortium working on a new European Union Horizon 2020 program-funded global surgical research project: Scaling up Safe Surge!), for District and Rural Populations in Africa (SURG-Africa). This research programme will provide evidence to ministries of health on how to scale up surgical systems to national level – in Zambia and also in Malawi and Tanzania – drawing on lessons from an earlier study (see

The focus is on building a national surgical information system for Malawi and a model of effective and sustainable surgical supervision of district hospitals. A participatory implementation research approach was adopted, incorporating quantitative and qualitative research methods. COM has responsibility for the design and delivery of the Malawi-specific research and implementation work packages in collaboration with the RCSI (project coordinator), Radboud University Medical Centre (RUMC), Netherlands; Oxford University, UK; East Central and Southern African-Health Community (ECSA-HC), College of Surgeons of East Central and Southern Africa (COSECSA) and Tanzania Surgical Association. RCSI will oversee the quantitative and qualitative research; Oxford, the training and implementation of the intervention; and RUMC, the economic and policy-level research.

Summary of the post

The principal responsibilities of the post-holder in Malawi, as outlined in the position specification below, are:
(i) to coordinate the implementation of the intervention activities; and
(ii) to contribute to the design and lead on the implementation of the research activities and
(iii) lead on data management, analysis, writeup and scientific publications.

He/she will be supported by and be able to consult with experts in research study design, quantitative and qualitative research methods, and economics. S/he will support the College of Medicine PI in undertaking all necessary activities, including field work; communications with the partners and the EC; project and financial management; and reporting duties. S/he will contribute actively to the design and implementation of the research studies; and to data analysis, write up and publication I dissemination of findings. He/she needs to be self-motivated, demonstrate initiative, and have proven ability to develop her/ his research skills and those of the partners. S/ he will be part of an experienced multi-disciplinary team employed on SURG-Africa, working under the supervision of a country PI who will provide day-to-day guidance.


While the position is based in Blantyre, the post-holder will be expected to spend periods of time in the field (mainly in the Southern Region, but at times in Central and Northern Region) to oversee and coordinate intervention and research activities.


The post holder will report to Principal Investigators of the project in Malawi; and %ell be supported and co-supervised by the RCS based Research Fellows.

Position Specification:

Coordinate intervention and research implementation in collaboration with the partners, including.

  • Drive research agenda for Surgery Department including providing support for students and relevant research projects and activities;
  • Lead on study design – quantitative and qualitative implementation research;
  • Contribute to ethics committee applications and reporting in Malawi;
  • Conduct training and in-the-field supervision of data collectors;
  • Oversee and ensure data transmission, data checking and cleaning; and data monitoring, feedback and provision of additional training to data collectors as required;
  • Lead on the analysis of quantitative and qualitative data.
  • Undertake interviews and focus group discussions, where necessary with the support of more experienced researchers;
  • Coordinate communication between the consortium and local partners to keep stakeholders up to date about progress of implementing the intervention.
  • Undertake field visits to support other partners in delivering the intervention
  • Undertake research coordination activities, including communicating with and coordinating the activities of project partners in Malawi;
  • Access relevant reports and grey literature in Malawi,
  • Co-author and lead on academic papers and briefs;
  • Communicate with key national stakeholders and coordinate stakeholder events in Malawi
  • Represent the best interests of the SURG-Africa project, Surgery Department and COM at all times.
  • Perform such other duties as may be required.

Qualifications and Experience

  • A Masters in Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Community Health, Public Health or another project-relevant discipline that included quantitative research training.
  • At least 2 years of work experience in biostatistics or epidemiology, or significant research experience in a project related area.
  • Evidence of excellent quantitative data management and analysis skills.
  • Evidence of excellent writing, communication and presentation skills, including excellence in MS Office (Word, Excel and Powerpoint).
  • Evidence of research outputs, e.g. co-authored journal articles and/or conference abstracts and oral presentations, commensurate with previous research experience.
  • Evidence of attention to detail and thoroughness in work practices and an ability to meet deadlines.
  • A capacity to work collaboratively and build relationships as part of a team.
  • Competency in statistical analysis software package(s) – specify which ones (e.g. State. SPSS, SAS, R).

Desirable attributes include:

  • Research or work experience in health services delivery in sub-Saharan Africa, ideally in Malawi.
  • Experience with district health management and organisation.
  • Knowledge of the delivery of surgical services
  • Experience in the implementation of quantitative research studies.
  • Experience in qualitative research methods.


The positions will attract a competitive salary with benefits commensurate with experience and qualifications as applicable to contract staff in the College of Medicine.

How to apply:

Send a current CV including contacts of three traceable professional referees and a letter illustrating your capacity to carry out the responsibilities of the post Applications should be addressed to:

College of Medicine,
P.Bag 360 Chichiri,
Blantyre 3 Malawi
(Attn : Researcher —SURG Africa)

Applications should also be emailed to all three email addresses, as follows: Indicate SURG Africa Researcher on the envelope and on the subject line in the email submission. Applications should arrive not later than 5.00 pm on 18 July 2019.

Skills Required

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Job Detail

  • Location
    Blantyre City
  • Company
  • Type
    Full Time
  • Positions
  • Apply Before
    18 Jul, 2019

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