Malawi: Malawi Research Manager

Organization: Dignitas International
Country: Malawi
Closing date: 28 Feb 2017

Location: Zomba, Malawi
Type of contract: Full-time fixed-term two-year contract with the possibility of renewal
Reports to: Country Director
Suggested start date: April 2017
Salary and benefits: Salary commensurate with skills and experience, with a generous medical and health benefits package.

Dignitas International (DI) is a medical and research organization dedicated to improving health care for people facing a high burden of disease and unequal access to services. We deliver and support frontline medical care in Southern Malawi, and with First Nations communities in Canada. We also research ways to improve how health care is delivered, to make it more effective and accessible. Finally, we share our findings broadly and advocate for better health care policy and practice for underserved populations. By coupling the frontline experience of our clinicians with the expertise of our scientists, we generate, pilot and scale up sustainable models of care that address barriers and gaps in health services and policy. More information can be found at

Dignitas began working in Malawi in 2004, at the height of the AIDS epidemic. Working in one of the hardest hit areas of this country, we witnessed the devastating impact of HIV and AIDS on families, communities and the health care system. By collaborating with the Government of Malawi and local partners, Dignitas was able to dramatically increase access to quality treatment and care for HIV, TB and other related diseases.

Our unique operating model, with its intersection of medical care, research and knowledge translation, enables us to engage at all levels of a health system. By providing frontline medical care we directly improve the lives of patients. In doing so, and by building frontline clinical capacity, we speak with license about the gaps and barriers to strong health systems for communities facing a high burden of disease and unequal access to services. Our research agenda builds from our medical programming by studying these gaps and barriers, testing interventions to improve patients’ health and fill gaps in health services and by developing new models of care to improve patient outcomes. We utilize three main approaches in carrying out our research: operational, clinical and social science research. But we do not conduct research for research’s sake. We design and carry out research that is policy and practice relevant. We utilize an integrated knowledge translation methodology to engage policymakers, practitioners and fellow researchers in the development of our research questions to ensure relevance, during implementation and once we have generated new evidence during dissemination to maximize impact and research uptake.

Today Dignitas operates a large office in Zomba, Malawi with over 250 staff, supported by the organization’s headquarters in Toronto, Canada. The Malawi program is funded by USAID, as well as a number of other private and institutional donors.


Reporting to the Country Director, the Research Manager ensures effective overall management of the Dignitas Malawi Research Department, a vibrant department of 30+ staff implementing high impact research. S/he will focus on study planning, implementation and oversight as well as grants and personnel management. The Research Manager maintains relationships with and reports regularly to the Ministry of Health, donors, partners and the scientific community.

This is a fantastic opportunity for a driven and experienced global health research professional and manager who enjoys team and systems building, and is committed to research excellence. This position offers the opportunity to manage a diverse and growing research portfolio including ongoing studies in the area of clinical HIV, TB/HIV, health systems, non-communicable diseases and program evaluation. S/he will work closely with Malawi and internationally-based scientists.


· Lead the planning and delivery of the research department’s annual objectives

· Actively oversee the high quality implementation of all Malawi-based research through regular interactions with study teams

· Contribute to proposal writing to secure new research funding

· Ensure compliance with grant and financial requirements of donors and partners

· Build team member research management capacity

· Develop, manage, and monitor the research department budget

· Support collaboration between the medical, research, monitoring and evaluation and strategic information teams to maximize organizational learning

· Support external knowledge translation strategies in partnership with Malawi Ministry of Health and other stakeholders

· Contribute to the formation, design and analysis of qualitative and quantitative operations research

· Represent DI and present research results to partners, donors and practitioners within and outside Malawi

· Participate in the Malawi Management Team and contribute to the development of organizational policies and procedures

· Contribute to organizational strategic planning


· Master’s Degree in health management, public health or a related field

· A minimum of 4 years of research management experience, preferably with an international non-governmental organization, in a low or middle income country

· Proven track record in developing and managing complex, institutional donor-funded research portfolios

· Proven experience in staff recruitment, selection, and mentorship

· Well-developed interpersonal and team-building skills

· Fluent in English

· Computer skills (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook)

· Previous publishing experience preferred

· Epidemiology or statistical training an asset

How to apply:

Qualified applicants should send a CV and detailed cover letter explaining their interest and suitability for the post to with the subject heading “Research Manager”. Applications will be considered on an ongoing basis. Deadline to submit an application is February 28, 2017 at 5pm EDT. Please note that only shortlisted applicants will be contacted. DI thanks all applicants for their interest.

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