Director, UVRI-IAVI HIV Vaccine Program

Uganda Virus Research Institute

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Job Description


Brief description of the UVRI-IAVI HIV Vaccine Program Limited:

The UVRI-IAVI HIV Vaccine Program is a Ugandan limited company, formed as a result of the partnership between the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) and the Government of Uganda. Initially developed as a phase I HIV vaccine clinical trials unit, over the years the Program has evolved to conduct HIV epidemiological studies, basic science research and research preparedness and advocacy for future large scale HIV prevention studies. The UVRI-IAVI Program is based on the campus of the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) in Entebbe. The Program’s mission is to conduct research, capacity building and advocacy that will support the global search for an HIV and AIDS vaccine. The activities of the Program are undertaken with a wide range of international, regional and grass roots partners under the leadership of the UVRI-IAVI Board of Directors, in close collaboration with the MRC/ UVRI, UVRI and IAVI.

Job Purpose:

The individual will be expected to provide transformational leadership to the UVRI- IAVI research and support teams ensuring that there is a clearly articulated and compelling vision and well developed strategic plans.

To work together with the Board of Directors to provide UVRI-IAVI with policies, strategic measurement, and other mechanisms that will ensure effective and efficient governance of the organisation.

To co-ordinate the planning and implementation of UVRI-IAVI research studies ensuring that opportunities for innovative HIV vaccine research are identified and grasped.

To develop and implement strategies that will enhance the capacity of UVRI-IAVI staff to engage in excellent scientific research; enabling UVRI-IAVI Program to be at the ‘cutting edge’ of worldwide developments in infectious disease research.

To attract external research funding through competitive international grant applications.

To represent UVRI-IAVI locally, nationally and internationally, ensuring that UVRI- IAVI Program successes are appropriately publicised and the goals of their public relations, communications and advocacy strategies promoted.

To lead the Senior Management Team in delivering the UVRI-IAVI’s strategic objectives and work plan according to high standards.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Strategic and scientific leadership of the UVRI-IAVI HIV Vaccine Program and other research program of work including epidemiological research.
  • Strengthen scientific collaborations with external institutions, and develop new ones in agreement with the Board.
  • Work closely with the UVRI and IAVI leadership and other UVRI and IAVI research partners to identify opportunities for collaborative research.
  • Ensure that the performance and quality of scientific program of work is according to international standards and guidelines.
  • Provide leadership and mentorship to encourage the career development of program staff.
  • Ensure efficient utilisation of resources and timely delivery of scientific outputs.
  • Attract external funding through international grant applications.
  • Ensure submission of required program, technical and financial reports to funding agencies according to guidelines and timeframes as outlined by contractual agreements.

Candidate Requirements:

Possess MBChB and Master’s degree and/ or PhD in a relevant area (Infectious Diseases, Epidemiology or Immunology/Virology) with at least 7 years’ research experience as a principal investigator or co-principal investigator of complex clinical and/or epidemiological studies.

S/he will possess the following portfolio:

  • Have a strong research profile with publication track record in scientific peer- reviewed journals, and presentations at international meetings.
  • HIV research expertise, preferably in clinical trials and HIV vaccines.
  • Experience in managing internationally funded projects and in ensuring compliance with donor requirements.
  • Extensive relevant experience as a principal investigator on phase I/II/III clinical trials or epidemiological studies.
  • Experience of writing study protocols, grant applications, and ability to secure and oversee the management of internationally competitive research funding.
  • At least 3 years in Senior Scientific Management position will be desirable.
  • Proven ability to successfully lead and manage a multidisciplinary team, including developing junior colleagues.
  • Experience of developing international research collaborations and networks,  and working with multidisciplinary research teams.
  • Excellent oral and written communications skills.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with all levels of professional, technical and support staff.
  • Understanding of financial management principles is desirable. Communication:
  • S/he will report to the UVRI-IAVI Board of Directors.
  • Will have direct line management responsibility for Heads of Medical, Finance & Administration sections, Laboratory Manager and the Laboratory Sciences Co­ordinator.
  • S/he will liaise and work with national and international scientific collaborators and researchers, and committees.

Terms & conditions: Successful applicants will serve a 3-year contract with a possibility of renewal inclusive of a 6 months’ probation.

The salary and other terms and conditions for the post will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.

Location: The position will be based in Entebbe, at the Uganda Virus Research Institute.

Start date: As soon as possible

Applications including copies of academic qualifications, curriculum vitae and names plus telephone contact details of two (2) referees should either be addressed to:

Director’s Office, Uganda Virus Research Institute, P.O. Box 49, Entebbe Or send by email:

Closing date for applications: 21st September, 2017 by 5:00pm East Africa Time.

Only short listed candidates will be contacted for interviews.

If you would like to discuss this opportunity further, please contact:

The UVRI-IAVI Board of Directors, Att: Dr Edward Mbidde.