This position is for a skilled and motivated postdoctoral scientist to establish and manage a vector control tool assessment programme for Papua New Guinea and the wider South Pacific region. The project is called Newly Adapted Tools and Network Against Mosquito-borne Disease Transmission (NATNAT), and is funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade via the Innovative Vector Control Consortium.
The position will be contracted by James Cook University or the Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research (PNGIMR), by negotiation with the preferred candidate to be seconded full-time to PNGIMR. The postdoctoral scientist will be based full-time at the PNGIMR Vector-borne diseases unit in Madang, PNG and manage a mid-size team of scientific officers and technicians. PNGIMR is a well-known research institution with a strong focus on vector-borne diseases research. More information about PNGIMR can be found here: https://www.pngimr.org.pg/.
The postdoctoral scientist will be expected to independently and with guidance from the principal investigators, establish and manage various stages of the new vector control tool assessment facilities including insectary, mosquito tunnel system, ambient chambers and experimental huts. The position includes designing and overseeing the building of some of these facilities as well as coordinating the implementation of pilot VCT evaluation trials in village-settings.
Applicants at all postdoctoral levels are encouraged to apply. The successful candidate will have a PhD in a discipline related to vector-borne diseases (malaria, arbovirus) with a strong preference for applicants who can demonstrate experience in leading laboratory and field-based mosquito entomology studies and vector control tool assessment studies. Previous experience working in developing country environments will be beneficial.
The position start date will be as soon as possible. Duration of the fixed-term contract will be from approximately February 2020 to June 2023.
Description of specific tasks
The Postdoctoral Scientist (PS) will be based full-time in Madang, Papua New Guinea at the Entomology Section of the Vector-borne Diseases Unit of PNGIMR. The PS will be required to supervise and coordinate all aspects of the project. Specifically, the PS will perform the following tasks:
- Establish the capacity (both in terms of physical infrastructure and local/national human resource capacity) to conduct laboratory, semi-field and field evaluations of alternative vector control approaches including indoor and outdoor residual spraying and larviciding. This will include the planning and supervision of the establishment of new laboratory and semi-field mosquito facilities in Madang
- Apply for research ethics approvals in PNG and internationally as required
- Plan, conduct and supervise laboratory-based insecticide/product evaluations as required
- Plan, conduct and supervise semi-field-based insecticide/product evaluations as required
- Plan, conduct and supervise field (village)-based insecticide/product evaluations as required
- Ensure data integrity and manage/supervise data entry
- Manage and coordinate purchasing, import and stock-management of project related commodities (insecticides, laboratory consumables etc.), and assist/facilitate financial reporting in coordination with the Institutes finance section - a project manager position will be created to assist
- Submit reports to the project team and report results in the form of scientific presentations at international conferences and peer reviewed publications
- PhD in entomology, vector biology or related discipline and extensive skills and experience in entomology, insectary management and vector-borne tropical infectious diseases - Essential
- Able to work independently with experience supervising students and junior laboratory staff - Essential
- Demonstrated ability to work in a professional, ethical and culturally sensitive manner - Essential
- Experience working in resource-constrained settings - Preferable
- Excellent research publication record in related discipline(s) - Preferable
- Excellent English communication skills - Preferable
- Previous experience with leading a small team - Preferable
The PS will report to the Head of the Vector-borne diseases unit, the PNGIMR Director and the NATNAT principal investigator team
Interested applicants can use below contact details to schedule an interview.
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