KEMRI Wellcome Trust Job Vacancy 2019 for Head Of Bioscience, Application Details

KEMRI Wellcome Trust Job Vacancy 2019 for Head Of Bioscience, Application Details

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Applications are invited from suitably qualified applicants for KEMRI Wellcome Trust Job Vacancy 2019 Interested applicant(s) ought to follow the details and procedures on this page to secure this opportunity.

KEMRI Wellcome Trust vacancy 2019

KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme is a large research Programme, with 800 staff supported by £20M per year.  We produce 170-200 papers per year, operating across hubs in Kilifi, Nairobi and Uganda.  We have direct influence on areas such as vaccination policy, critical care in hospitals and health economic policy across Africa.

Capacity building is central in our mission, with 76 PhD awards to date and 10 Training, 5 Intermediate and 1 Oak Fellowships and 4 African Research Leader awards over the last 5 years. We are building on this to expand and transition a scientific leadership team with a centre of gravity in Kenya.

The Head of Biosciences will be a critical part of the new leadership team. The Head of Biosciences will be responsible for:

  • Scientific strategy including core renewal plans.
  • Personal research portfolio as an independent PI.
  • Oversight of a Laboratory Management team.



Our biosciences work is based in the Kilifi campus, supported by an integrated surveillance system linking demographic surveillance of 0.25M residents, clinical phenotyping of hospital admissions continuously for 27 years, a biobank and state-of-the-art immunology and molecular biology facility including next-generation sequencing facilities, cell sorting, multi-color flow and multi-dimensional serological platforms.

The Head of Biosciences will be responsible for setting strategic priorities and plans for Biosciences.  The post holder will be an independent Principal Investogator, allocated substantial time for developing independent research leveraging the facilities described above. The Head of Biosciences will be supported by a team of laboratory managers covering all laboratory areas to support oversight and planning.

The post requires a scientist with a track record of extensive and noteworthy independent scientific output, with proven capacity to attract funds for research relevant to LMIC settings.  Experience of leadership in research is essential, reaching at least group level.  External coaching in leadership skills will be made available to the successful applicant.


  • Leading the Programme Biosciences scientific strategy including chairing Departmental strategy and management meetings.
  • Active participation as part of the senior leadership team in shaping Programme-wide scientific strategy and acting as co-applicant for the Programme core grant.
  • Developing proposals for new research initiatives, with ongoing leadership responsibilities for these areas of personal research
  • Membership of the Heads of Scientific Departments committee, and in a broad range of governance structures and committees.
  • Planning the overall budget and setting targets for development of the laboratory and wider bioscience platform on a yearly basis, and negotiating and agreeing the plans with the Scientific Departments Committee responsible for overall scientific strategy in the programme.
  • Ongoing strategic decisions underpinning biosciences work, such as purchase or upgrading of major laboratory equipment, reprofiling of the laboratory budget, new research initiatives including the design of field or ward surveillance work to optimize sample collection and integration with clinical data.
  • Line management of the Laboratory Manager and Laboratory Section Heads, supervision of the Biobank Fellow.
  • Providing input on laboratory aspects of developing proposals and funding applications, and willing to be a co-applicant on funding proposals from other PIs where relevant.
  • Mentorship of early career scientists across the Programme with related interests, and training input for selected PhD students/ Masters students where relevant.
  • Oversight of all laboratory work across the programme, in conjunction with the Laboratory Manager and/or relevant Section Head.
  • To guide and support the development of collaborative linkages with other local and international health research institutions to develop synergistic and equitable partnerships.


Essential Requirements

  • A PhD or equivalent post-graduate qualification relevant to biomedical research.
  • Experience in biomedical research with significant impactful research outputs.
  • Significant productivity in peer reviewed journals.
  • Evidence of the capacity to win independent research funding.
  • Leadership experience in research or related areas, at minimum to leading a group.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage and lead complex projects
  • Significant experience of line management
  • Experience of PhD and/or Masters supervision with positive outcomes.

Desirable Requirements

  • Experience of clinical trials
  • Ability in key scientific themes in the current Programme strategy, including vaccines, genomics and transmission or clinical translational research.
  • Experience of inter-disciplinary work.


  • Evidence of supervisory ability and negotiation skills
  • Evidence of an ability to operate and lead in a federalized environment with decentralized authority.
  • Strong skills in budgeting, development, and oversight of project proposals, the leadership of meetings, and writing skills.
  • Ability to work across cultures and evidence of communications skills in that context.
  • Willingness to respond within tight timelines and to cope with changing assignments.
  • Strong leadership skills and managerial ability
  • Strong planning, administrative and organization ability
  • Confidentiality, integrity, patience and calm disposition
  • The team working and able to work in a multi-cultural environment

Note: A competitive salary will be offered to attract an outstanding candidate

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How to Apply

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 30 April 2019. 


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