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CLOSED: Job: Postdoctoral Research Fellow - Integrated Vector Management for Malaria Control in Southern Africa

April 4, 2018 - 11:36 -- MalariaWorld Jobs

Organisation: International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology
Ref. No.: IRS/229/032018
Deadline for applications: 23rd April 2018


icipe—International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology—is a world-class research centre with a mission to alleviate poverty by ensuring food security, improving health, protecting the environment and building the capacity of researchers and communities across the developing world through the application of insect sciences. Employing more than 500 national and international staff, icipe is headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya with outposts in Ethiopia and on the shores of Lake Victoria in western Kenya. icipe has a proud reputation and history of delivering world-quality science that has made crucial contributions to African food and health policy, delivered development outcomes to rural communities, and has been at the forefront of building Africa’s biological research capacity. The Centre’s research activities span the African continent with partnerships linking research organisations, not only across Africa, but also the globe. In addition, more than 100 graduate students and a number of postdoctoral fellows contribute to icipe’s research portfolio annually. For more information visit:

Please also download icipe’s Vision and Strategy 2013–2020

icipe seeks to recruit a motivated Postdoctoral Research Fellow to work within the Human Health Theme, in the AFRO-II Project (2018–2021) entitled “Evaluating the feasibility and impact on malaria transmission of winter larviciding or house screening as additional vector control interventions in southern African countries committed
to malaria elimination”.

The position is tenable at icipe, Kenya, based either at the icipe Duduville Campus in Nairobi or icipe Thomas Odhiambo Campus on the shores of Lake Victoria, western Kenya; however, there might be an option of being based in one of the project countries. The position will be offered for an initial contract of 3 years, renewable subject to continued project needs, funding for the position, and performance of the staff member. The successful candidate will be encouraged to also develop her/his own research portfolio that enhances the work of the Human Health Theme.

The post will be full-time for a qualified candidate. A competitive and generous compensation package will be offered to the right candidate, based on qualifications and experience. Furthermore, the incumbent will receive paid annual vacation, return airfare for themselves and their dependents to their nominated home base each year, and duty-free privileges. If the successful candidate is appointed from outside Kenya, he or she will be offered support to relocate to the country and settle in Nairobi or Mbita in western Kenya. Only shortlisted candidates will be acknowledged.

Living in Nairobi and Mbita, Kenya
Nairobi is the capital and largest city of Kenya, with a population of over three million, and hosts all the urban and social amenities and offers a comfortable, convenient and pleasurable life. There are a wide variety of excellent international schools and well-equipped medical facilities that are open 24/7 in Nairobi. The city is also accessible by various reputable international airline carriers. Nairobi has a thriving international research scene, hosting various CGIAR centres and several UN agencies. Although it is important to be conscious of security, Kenyans are warm and welcoming of visitors.
icipe Thomas Odhiambo Campus (ITOC) is situated on the shores of Lake Victoria, with excellent housing facilities for staff and students. The Campus sits on 24.5 hectares of land, 40% of which consists of experimental fields and buildings with landscaped gardens. ITOC’s research structures include state-of-the-art laboratories and offices, as well as insect and animal rearing facilities. The Campus also hosts St. Jude’s Clinic, a kindergarten, primary school, and the Mbita Guest House.

Overall purpose of the job
This Postdoctoral Research Fellow post is arising from the award of a contract funded by the World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa (WHO-AFRO). The grant is planned for use in setting up demonstration projects in (1) Namibia, Swaziland and Botswana (adding larviciding to the frontline intervention and indoor residual spraying); and (2) Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe (adding house screening to long-lasting insecticidal net use). The aim is to implement operational research to assess the feasibility and added benefit of such integrated interventions on malaria transmission. Larviciding and house screening are available mosquito control tools but scarcely used in malaria control programmes in Africa, due to insufficient operational evidence regarding their feasibility and impact. This project aims to fill this information gap; thereby, providing needed proof that to eliminate malaria, IVM involving combining tools is potentially a more efficient and sustainable approach than a single intervention. The national malaria control programmes will implement the demonstration projects.

This position will require extensive travel in southern Africa, to provide support to the national programmes regarding training, development of protocols, implementation, and supervision of entomological and epidemiological surveys and interventions. The post holder will also be responsible for data analysis, report writing and manuscript preparation.

Main Responsibilities
The post holder will be responsible for:

  • Contributing to the evaluation of the IVM programmes (including larviciding and house screening) in the 6 southern African project countries;
  • Contributing to the design of entomological, epidemiological and qualitative surveys;
  • Drafting standard operating procedures for all activities implemented in the countries;
  • Co-ordinating and implementing regular site visits to project countries;
  • Contributing to the training and supervision of national project staff in the project countries;
  • Providing supervision to students affiliated with the research project;
  • Working with national programme staff to prepare protocols for ethical clearance, documents for import of insecticides, and biannual summary reports from the demonstration sites;
  • Supervising: Laboratory analysis of all collected mosquito specimens by identifying them to species level using morphological (and where applicable) molecular tools; blood-meal analysis of all blood-fed Anopheles females; and PCR, ELISA or high-resolution melting analysis of Anopheles females for sporozoite infections;
  • Contributing to the development of a broad-based programme within icipe’s Human Health Theme for the environmental control of vector-borne diseases;
  • Compiling, publishing and communicating research findings through internationally recognised forums, as well as contributing to the dissemination of research findings to stakeholders;
  • Representing icipe’s Human Health Theme at international meetings and advocating for methods for the environmental control of infectious diseases;
  • Playing an active part in the academic life of the Human Health Theme and participating in theme activities;
  • Undertaking related duties as required.


  • PhD degree in medical entomology, environmental control of vector-borne diseases, or epidemiology.
  • Working experience in operational malaria vector control in Africa.
  • Excellent writing skills.
  • Record of relevant research publications in recognised international peer reviewed journals.
  • Clear aptitude for independent research.
  • Proven ability to work in a rural African environment.
  • Ability to interact with communities during fieldwork.
  • Knowledge of health systems in Africa.
  • Willing to travel extensively (>50% of time).
  • Ability to work in Portuguese would be an advantage.

Core Competencies

  • Diverse set of technical skills in medical entomology and epidemiology.
  • Experience in experimental and operational research on larviciding for vector control.
  • Proven ability in handling quantitative and qualitative data sets.
  • Proven ability to write clear, structured and analytical reports.
  • Proven ability to communicate complex concepts in simple language.

Other desirable attributes

  • A friendly, sympathetic and confident personality.
  • A sense of humour and ability to work as part of a team.
  • Self-starter with excellent interpersonal, management and organisational skills.
  • Training in epidemiology.
  • Experience in mentoring postgraduate students.
  • Experience in house improvement for malaria vector control.
  • Strong aptitude for fieldwork.

This position reports to icipe’s Principal Investigator of the AFRO II Project.

The selected candidate should be available to start as soon as possible.

How to apply
Applications will be accepted up to 23rd April 2018.
Interested applicants should submit:
(a) an informative cover letter;
(b) detailed CV with names and addresses of 3 referees (including e-mail addresses, fax numbers); and
(c) a point-by-point statement illustrating suitability against the listed specifications.
Incomplete applications missing any of these documents will not be considered.

Candidates are required to apply online through:

icipe is an equal opportunity employer. It fosters a multicultural work environment that values gender equity, teamwork, and respect for diversity.

Don't forget to mention MalariaWorld when applying for this position!