Senior Research Manager, SOAR at Population Council 101 views0 applications


The Population Council seeks a Senior Research Manager to provide leadership, professional representation, and skillful management of the Council’s research, resources, and relationships in Malawi. At this time, these activities are within Project SOAR (Supporting Operational AIDS Research), a USAID-funded initiative to improve HIV and AIDS program outcomes through strengthened operations research (OR) and evaluation. Specifically, the position will oversee three streams of research: a large-scale evaluation of a community-based HIV prevention intervention, implementation science research focused on reducing HIV risk among adolescent girls and young women and an assessment of Community-based ART Service Modalities Linking Female Sex Workers to HIV Care and Treatment.

The successful candidate will work collaboratively with the Washington, DC-based Project SOAR Senior Management Team (SMT) and study principal investigators to ensure the studies are implemented on time, within budget, in accordance with Council and USAID policies and procedures, and produce their expected deliverables. S/he manage and oversee the implementation of research studies and ensure that the studies are implemented according to study protocols and procedures, and that data generated are of high quality. S/he will serve as the primary Project SOAR representative in-country, communicating and coordinating with USAID, research and implementing partners, the Ministry of Health (MoH), National AIDS Commission, and other key stakeholders. As appropriate, the incumbent will also represent the Population Council in all of its activities to donors, collaborating agencies, government institutions, and other stakeholders in Malawi.

This position requires substantial experience with the management of community-based research and program evaluation in developing country settings, and preferably in the field of HIV and AIDS. It also requires the ability to work well with professionals and staff from a wide range of national and international organizations; and excellent management, leadership, and communication skills. The ideal candidate should also have experience strengthening capacity to conduct OR and to facilitate the use of findings to inform policies and programs.


1. Serve as investigator on Project SOAR studies in Malawi. Specific responsibilities include: developing study procedures; obtaining in-country approvals; participate in the recruiting, training, and management of study staff; supervising the planning, implementation, and reporting of data collection (to be conducted by a local research organization); monitoring progress and providing regular updates to principal Investigators.

2. Collaborate with local research partners/investigators and manage relations with local field work and data collection partners. Monitor compliance with study ethical provisions and consenting processes.

3. Communicate and facilitate the use of research results for program improvement, scale up of best practices, and policy change for strengthened HIV and AIDS service delivery. Responsibilities include participation in stakeholder meetings, seminars, workshops, and conferences, and contributing to preparation of presentations, reports, and publication of papers in high-impact peer reviewed journals.

4. Provide technical assistance to strengthen the capacity of government and other country-level stakeholders for the successful conduct and use of OR for improved HIV and AIDS policies and programs.

5. Foster collaboration among local investigators, field research teams, and implementation partners.

6. Ensure proper and efficient financial and administrative management of Project SOAR research, including adherence to work plans and budgets as well as compliance with local laws and customs, donor requirements, and Council policies and procedures.

7. Represent Project SOAR and the Population Council to donors, collaborating agencies, policymakers, community beneficiaries, government institutions, and other stakeholders in Malawi.

8. Participate in fundraising for the Council through identifying opportunities, cultivating partnerships, proposal development and donor stewardship.

9. Other responsibilities as new activities develop in country.


1. PhD or MD in public health, epidemiology, biostatistics, behavioral sciences, population studies/demography, or a related field, and at least five years of relevant experience in the successful implementation and management of HIV and AIDS research projects in low-resource settings. An equivalent combination of education and professional experience will also be considered.

2. Experience with design, implementation, and analysis of quantitative and qualitative research studies; experience hiring, training, and managing research staff for large community-based or clinical studies.

3. Quantitative and qualitative research skills and experience; proficiency in STATA or other statistical and data management software such as SAS, SPSS and AtlasTI or NVivo.

4. Experience working with government and local partners and institutions to influence program and policy change and develop capacity to conduct and use research.

5. In-country/resident experience in Eastern/Southern Africa highly desirable.

6. Knowledge of USAID and PEPFAR donor requirements and reporting preferred.

7. Excellent English language oral and written communication skills, including demonstrated interpersonal and cross-cultural communication skills, and the ability to summarize and communicate research findings for diverse audiences. Proficiency in Chichewa language desirable.

8. Ability to work independently and to collaborate with senior staff, colleagues, donors, partner organizations, stakeholders, local institutions, and others at all levels. Excellent diplomatic, representational, problem solving, management, and interpersonal skills.

9. Willingness to travel both in-country, and internationally as needed.

The Population Council is an international, nonprofit, nongovernmental institution that seeks to improve the well-being and reproductive health of current and future generations around the world and to help achieve a humane, equitable, and sustainable balance between people and resources. The Council conducts biomedical, social science, and public health research and helps build research capacities in developing countries. Established in 1952, the Council is governed by an international board of trustees. Its New York headquarters supports a global network of country offices. We are seeking an individual to fill the position described. If you know of a qualified candidate or are interested in this position, please apply at:

The Population Council provides equal opportunity; it does not discriminate against any person with regard to age, color, creed, national origin, disability, political belief, veteran status, religion, marital status, gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation. Decisions on employment are based on an individual’s qualifications as related to the position for which s/he is being considered. The Council especially encourages applications from qualified women and members of minority groups. The Population Council is international in the composition of its board of trustees and its staff, as well as in the nature and deployment of its activities.

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The Population Council conducts research to address critical health and development issues. Our work allows couples to plan their families and chart their futures. We help people avoid HIV infection and access life-saving HIV services. And we empower girls to protect themselves and have a say in their own lives.

We conduct research and programs in more than 50 countries. Our New York headquarters supports a global network of offices in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.

From its beginning, the Council has given voice and visibility to the world’s most vulnerable people. We increase awareness of the problems they face and offer evidence-based solutions.

In the developing world, governments and civil society organizations seek our help to understand and overcome obstacles to health and development. And we work in developed countries, where we use state-of-the-art biomedical science to develop new contraceptives and products to prevent the transmission of HIV.

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