Head of Mycobacterial Research Laboratories
1. MAIN PURPOSE OF JOB
To manage The Leprosy Mission Mycobacterial Research Laboratories (MRL) at Anandaban Hospital, ensuring it remains a centre of excellence for leprosy research. This will involve the management of projects, staff, facilities and partnerships to ensure that we develop and implement leprosy research according to international scientific standards that address the global research priorities.
2. POSITION IN ORGANIZATION
- Reports to the TLMN Research Director and Medical Director.
- Works in tandem with MRL’s Clinical Research Laboratory Manager.
- Liaises with national and international partners and collaborators relevant to MRL research.
- Provides support to Hospital, Training and Community Staff engaged in or planning research.
- May be asked to advise and inform the Senior Management Team as needed.
- Represents MRL at scientific meetings in Nepal and internationally
3. SCOPE OF JOB
The role will be responsible to ensure departmental deliverables:
- Lab-based research activities and outputs such as implementation of existing research projects, development of new projects, and training along with requisite reporting, monitoring and evaluation.
- Establish and maintain facilities that operate according to all necessary regulatory certifications and approvals including Nepal Public Health Laboratories (NPHL) and Nepal Health Research Council (NHRC).
- Work in tandem with the Clinical Research Laboratory Manager regarding molecular diagnostics and other relevant assays that support
- Anandaban Hospital as a Centre of Excellence in leprosy, trauma and general clinical care.
- Proven ability to work and be accountable in multidisciplinary and multicultural teams.
- Excellence in leadership skills and management of complex inter-team, cross-cultural relationships, including external partners and remote international contacts.
- First or second author publications in international peer-reviewed scientific journals listed on PubMed.
- Proven capacity in developing successful grant application(s) preferably as the lead.
- Proven capacity in report writing, such as for monitoring and evaluation or periodic reports to internal or external departments or organizations.
- Demonstrated capacity to stay informed of relevant research and techniques associated with leprosy research including drug resistance, diagnostics development, clinical trials and transmission studies.
- Creative thinking as well as working with teams to develop or jointly engage in creative thinking. Experience with team development approaches such as Appreciative Inquiry would be helpful.
- Recognized participation and contribution within meetings or communities relevant to biomedical research topics (academic, clinical, research, etc) – preferably leprosy, mycobacterial or (skin) NTDs.
- Proven record of accomplishment of being self-motivated, a self-starter, leading to implementation of goals and targets.
DUTIES AND KEY RESPONSIBILITIES
Responsible for leading TLMN’s leprosy clinical and research laboratories as a centre of excellence recognized as a leading, field-based leprosy research centre.
Lab & Research:
- Oversee the day-to-day operations of the mycobacterial research lab, ensuring compliance with safety protocols and ethical guidelines.
- Manage lab resources, including budgets, equipment, and supplies,to ensure smooth and efficient functioning of research activities.
- Maintain accurate and up-to-date records of research protocols, data, and experimental results.
- Collaborate with internal and external stakeholders to optimize lab processes and ensure timely completion of research projects.
- Developing and implementing international standard research studies that contribute to global leprosy research priorities and support of evidence-based protocols and policies.
- Provision of stable coordination support across MRL’s diverse research portfolio of projects, most of which are up to 4 years in duration.
- As relevant, crosscutting research and output applications including other NTDs.
- Developing equitable partnerships with like-minded national and international stakeholders and research collaborators. Partnerships with collaborators should optimize facilities, TLMN research staff and capacity building (which can include others learning about endemic field research).
- Ensure transparent operations of MRL budgets and planning alongside reporting within the TLM Global Fellowship (TLM-GF) (i.e., semi-annual reports on Glasscubes).
- Ensure dissemination of findings in relevant meetings and national and/or international, peer-reviewed scientific journals that are listed on PubMed (preferably Open Access).
- Developing research grant proposals with related staff, budgets with finance staff, all of which is to be approved by TLMN Country Leader and Research Director prior to submission.
- Inclusion of leprosy affected persons’ perspectives as stakeholders in development of research projects as well as reporting results in layperson terms so that leprosy affected persons can provide feedback for incorporation.
- As needed, translating research proposals, projects and findings into laypersons terms that can be communicated across relevant stakeholders including TLM-GF members.
- Coordinate and monitor the progress of multiple research projects simultaneously, ensuring adherence to timelines and objectives.
- Working with the Research Director in coordination of MRL’s external Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC), which performs mid- and end-term monitoring and evaluation reports for MRL’s multi-year plans.
- Manage the overall facility operations of the mycobacterial research lab,including space utilization, maintenance, and security.
- Coordinate with facility management teams to ensure proper maintenance and repair of laboratory equipment, infrastructure, and safety systems.
- Develop and implement protocols and procedures for the safe handling, storage, and disposal of hazardous materials and biohazardous waste.
- Oversee the procurement and installation of laboratory equipment, ensuring alignment with research needs and budgetary constraints.
- Ensure facilities operate according to local and international standards for research and clinical laboratory work.
- Ensure provision of clinical and molecular diagnostic laboratory testing and facilities.
- Ensuring staff and facilities operate according to local and international standards for research and clinical laboratory work.
- Provide leadership, supervision, and performance management to MRL staff, including setting performance goals, conducting regular performance evaluations, and facilitating professional development opportunities.
- Foster a positive and inclusive work environment that promotes teamwork,collaboration, and career growth.
- Facilitate effective communication and collaboration between MRL staff and other teams within the organization.
- Ensure compliance with HR policies and procedures, including addressing any staff-related issues or conflicts.
Training & Capacity Building:
- Working with TLMN training Centre to support relevant inclusion of cutting-edge findings for academics, researchers as well as health staff for best practice implementation.
- Capacity building of MRL and other TLMN staff in relevant research and laboratory skills.
- Support access and development of staff capacity building and dissemination of findings in research training workshops and meetings.
TLM International has a zero-tolerance policy towards any abuse, neglect, and exploitation to all people. Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility, and all employees are required to act in such a way that always safeguards the health and wellbeing of children and vulnerable adults. The post holder must sign, be familiar with, and comply with all TLMN organisational policies, including the Safeguarding Code of Conduct, Safeguarding Children & Vulnerable Adults Policy, Safeguarding Children & Vulnerable Adults Procedures. All TLMN staff are required to participate in mandatory safeguarding training.
- BSc/PhD or MD/PhD in lab-based, clinically relevant research in disciplines such as medical microbiology, molecular biology and/or immunology. Mycobacterial and/or leprosy research preferred.
- 3-5+ years postdoctoral research experience in lab-based research related to bacterial human infectious disease.
Experience and Knowledge
- Extensive experience in application of molecular techniques including RNA/DNA isolation and quantification, PCR, qPCR, and sequencing.
- Experienced in molecular diagnostics, tissue culture, FACs, ELISA, transcriptomics, and multiplex immunoassays.
- Experience in research across all critical project stages: proposal, budget development,ethical approval, data management, analyses, manuscript development and publication in international, peer-reviewed scientific journals listed on PubMed (preferably open access). Must include at least one grant-funded research project from beginning to end (3-4 years duration).
- Focus on mycobacteria or leprosy research preferred.
- Extensive experience in performing human clinical trials involving international regulatory monitoring and training (study protocols, GCP, GLP, ethics and drug permits)
- Experience with novel drug trials preferred.
- Publications as first, second or last author in international peer-reviewed scientific journals that are listed on PubMed.
- Human clinical trials and studies relevant to infectious disease preferred.
- Skills relevant to Mycobacterium leprae isolation, culture and related protocols for drug resistance and molecular viability assays.
- Proven capacity in developing successful grant application(s).
- Preferably as a Lead, Co-investigator or Postdoctoral Researcher.
- Preferably in biomedical sciences relevant to infectious, and/or mycobacterial disease.
Skills and Abilities
- Ability to work in multidisciplinary and cross-cultural teams.
- Leadership or significant support roles preferred.
- Capacity to ensure MRL staff and facilities operate according to local and international standards for research and clinical laboratory work.
- Ability to promote the growth and development of research capacity building.
- Ability to engage and support translation of research findings into policy and best practices at national and international levels.
- Able to work within and across teams as well as at multi-country levels.
Application ends: June 20, 2023