Call for Applications: Research Assistantin Tanzania Closing date: 15 October 2017

The research assistant will play an important role in the two-year, UK funded, Pathway to Peste des Petits Ruminants Virus (PPRV) Elimination Project, which aims to improve understanding of the host-pathogen ecosystem of livestock, wildlife and PPRV in the Greater Serengeti Ecosystem of Tanzania and Kenya to facilitate the design of effective and efficient surveillance and vaccination strategies for the elimination of PPRV.

The specific project objectives are:

1. Definition of wildlife and small ruminant population spatial and temporal dynamics and their interface in the Greater Serengeti Ecosystem

2. Describe the spatial and temporal dynamics of PPR infection and disease in wildlife and domestic small ruminant populations in the Greater Serengeti Ecosystem

3. Develop surveillance and vaccination strategies for the elimination of PPR virus from the Greater Serengeti ecosystem

4. Strengthen coordination and build capacity to support cross-border disease surveillance and control policy and strategy

The project is implemented by the Royal Veterinary College (RVC), in partnership with University College London, The Pirbright Institute, The French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD), Southern African Centre for Infectious Diseases Surveillance (SACIDS), Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI), Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), and Departments of Veterinary Services in Kenya and Tanzania. Two research assistants, one based in Kenya and the other in Tanzania will contribute to achieving the objectives of the project in their respective country, working closely with the RVC (Principal Investigator, Researcher Co-Investigator) and project partners, with a focus on implementation of field work.


The position is sub-contractual with the RVC and is for a full calendar year. It is funded from the project budget but the staff will be linked toTAWIRI and under the day-to-day management of the TAWIRI Project focal point, Dr Julius Keyyu.

Key tasks

Under the supervision of the Researcher Co-Investigator,Dr Bryony Jones of the RVC


          assist with organisation of project meetings and workshops,

          liaise with project partners to organise wildlife and livestock field work,

          organise and facilitate community meetings.

          Carry out basic administrative duties for the project (follow up Tanzania partners on expenditure, receipts and accounts and for own activities)

Research and analysis

          contribute to the development of the conceptual model of the eco-system and stakeholder analysis,

          review relevant literature,

          secure access to existing data and reports,

          contribute to design of field studies and data collection tools,

          coordinate and support wildlife and livestock system fieldwork, to include;

o   capture and sampling of wild animals,

o   structured and semi-structured interviews with livestock keepers, livestock traders and animal health personnel,

o   investigation and sampling of disease outbreaks,

o   handling, storage and transportation of laboratory samples.

o   management of in-country expenditure including collection of all receipts and records.

          data cleaning and analysis,

          prepare field reports,

          collation of in-country accounts and reports from implementing partnersand,

          contribute to project reports, communications and publications,

          contribute to the development of surveillance and control strategies for PPR.


          training and supervision of field research team,


          communicate effectively with project partners and collaborating stakeholders including community leaders and members, and veterinary and wildlife personnel,

          regular communication via e mail and Skype with Project Partners,

          prepare reports of field work, minutes of in-country meetings, and other project documentation,

          contribute to the development and implementation of the project communication strategy.


          perform non-specified, complementary work in response to the changing needs of the project.

Person specification




Knowledge and experience

Field experience in Maasai areas in field research and/or community work

Experience of data analysis and report writing

Knowledge and experience of livestock production and animal health

Veterinarian with knowledge and experience with livestock and wildlife

Have contributed to  one or more peer reviewed scientific publications


Training and supervision of field workers.



Effective spoken and written communication in English

Able to communicate effectively with livestock keepers, community leaders, local authorities, national government and organisations and international partners, through face-to-face meetings, virtual meetings, and electronic media.

Maa speaker

Analysis and research

Training or experience in field research methods

Willing to spend extended periods in field study area

Competent in basic computer software; Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel

Qualitative and quantitative research skills and experience


Competent in data analysis software

Application package:

          covering letterof application

          Motivation statement

          Curriculum vitae with names of two referees

          Academic certificates and transcripts

          Signed letter of support from employer (if employed)

Submit your application by e-mail to <> with copy to

Closing date: 15 October 2017



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