Research Coordinator: Friendship Bench

Deadline: 16 August 2019

The Friendship Bench is an evidence-based mental health intervention developed in Zimbabwe to bridge the mental health treatment gap. We value mental well-being and strive to improve people’s quality of life through problem solving talk therapy. The Friendship Bench project reduces the mental health treatment gap by using a cognitive behavioural therapy based approach at local clinics to avoid kufungisisa. The mental intervention for depression and anxiety is accessible in all primary care clinics in Gweru, Chitungwiza and Harare. Kufungisisa, the local term for depression, is literally translated into “thinking too much”. Individual problem solving therapy is offered from a specifically trained lay health worker (locally known as “Ambuya Utano”).

Duties and responsibilities
Provide scientific leadership and further develop ongoing Friendship Bench research projects; Ensure effective alignment and address expertise gaps for on-going and new projects; Foster the development of integrated work plans with collaborators; Interact with national and international Friendship Bench collaborators to facilitate and enhance cross-regional and interdisciplinary learning; Identify funding opportunities and supervise/lead research proposal development; Coordinate and review technical reporting for research projects and serve as the regional focal point; Represent Friendship Bench in regional and international scientific conferences as well as donor meetings; Conduct research according to expertise; Provide ongoing scientific overview of all research projects linked to the Friendship Bench; Lead junior team members in grant writing proposals and capacity building in general; Oversee the management of all data linked to Friendship Bench that is stored in the cloud; Lead in manuscript writing (10 publications annually); Provide (quarterly) scientific training to junior Friendship Bench team members; Review all scientific reports before submission to funders/donors; Represent Friendship Bench in all local ethics related meetings; Provide support to the M&E officer and regularly visit Friendship Bench study sites including program related sites for monitoring and evaluation purposes; Provide supervision to at least 1 MPhil student and 1 PhD student attached to the program; Respond to at least 3 RFA each year.

Knowledge, skills and abilities
The science coordinator should be a person with no less than 5 years working in research, with no less than 10 first author peer reviewed publications and at least 5 as senior (last) author. The successful applicant should have in-depth understanding of the research landscape in Zimbabwe and the region. He/she should have a good grasp of research methods/design, evaluation and analysis of complex data sets and should be able to engage on behalf of Friendship bench, with international research partners, attend scientific conferences on behalf of the senior team when they are not able to do so. They should also be able to provide scientific oversight of all Friendship Bench related studies. They should also have good managerial, leadership and interpersonal skills, and excellent oral and written communication skills. They should have the ability and willingness to travel frequently.

Desired education and experience
PhD in relevant field (psychiatry, psychology, public health, social; sciences, etc; Master’s degree in a relevant social-science field (public health, statistics, health promotion); Back ground in mental health work of no less than 5 years; Good scientific publication record; Significant experience in mental health research in an international context; Proven experience and success in developing and managing complex/large projects.

The successful candidate will report to the current PI and Co-PI of the Friendship Bench related studies. An initial 3-month period of probation will be in place. Whereupon an evaluation at the 6 month period will be carried out based on the above mentioned deliverables. The successful candidate will be offered a 5 year contract which will be renewable each year based on deliverables indicted above and any such new exchanges that may be agreed upon between the employer and the employee.

To apply
CVs can be sent to ruth.verhey@friendshipbench.io

Friendship Bench is an equal opportunity employer. It fosters a multicultural work environment that values gender equality, teamwork, and respect for diversity. Women are encouraged to apply.

Created: August 09, 2019
Category: Ngo, Social Services, Kubatana
Location: Harare
Expiry Date: Aug. 16, 2019

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