Kemri Post Doctoral Research Assistant

Post Doctoral Research Assistant – Molecular Virology

Reference Number:  PDRA-MV-07-12
Category:  Research, Science and Biotechnology
Grade:  9.1
Location:  Kilifi
Country:  Kenya


We seek a molecular virologist of outstanding ability to join a dynamic team of researchers working on the epidemiology, evolution and control of respiratory and enteric viruses, including respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) for which the group is internationally recognised. 
The successful candidate will support studies relating to molecular and immuno-epidemiology, transmission dynamics, genetic; antigenic diversity, and evolution of a range of viruses. 
We require post-doctoral level support in relevant molecular biological techniques such as quantitative real time PCR, sequencing and phylogenetics, protein and peptide synthesis and expression. 
We are looking for an individual with the capacity to support on-going studies and, importantly, aptitude to develop independent lines of enquiry. 
Priority will be given to candidates from Kenya or the East Africa Region. This is a two year contract in the first instance.

Principle duties and responsibilities:

  • Provide leadership in all molecular virology activities of the VEC group
  • Work closely with the lab manager in operating molecular biology facility
  • Provide technical support and guidance in molecular biological techniques operated by the research group to technical and research staff involved, including troubleshooting
  • Develop and implement new molecular-based assays, eg quantitative real time PCR
  • Undertake tasks including primer/probe design, cloning, sequencing and protein expression
  • Support viral screen of archived and prospective nasal specimens, including training of staff
  • Extend ongoing investigations of the molecular epidemiology of RSV, adenoviruses, human metapneumovirus, influenza viruses and coronaviruses, etc
  • Develop Group’s interest in Next Generation Sequencing using in-house Ion-Torrent technology
  • Conduct RSV immuno-epidemiology based on strain specific peptides
  • Represent the group at Cluster and Programme level, including committee membership
  • Coordinate group’s involvement in seminar series, journal clubs and lab management
  • Write protocols for scientific/ethical/funder review, reports and scientific papers
Education, experience and skills:


  • PhD in Molecular Virology
  • Experience in PCR, cloning and sequencing
  • Ability to work well within a team
  • Excellent communication skills both oral and written
  • Aptitude for scientific independence and leadership
  • Bioinformatics expertise
  • Student supervision
  • Experience in writing funding applications
Application procedure:

To apply for this post you must be a registered user. Log into your account then go to Vacancies, view the post and click on the button: “Apply for this job”.  

Please attach also a full academic CV and covering letter describing why you wish to be considered for the position, together with your career aspirations.

All applicants are required to state thier current/last salary.

Applicants must supply an email and telephone contact that will be used when offering interviews. The application closing date is 12th August 2012. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

For further information on the appointments contact James Nokes (

KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme (KWTRP) is an equal opportunity employer.  Direct or indirect canvassing will lead to automatic disqualification.  

KWTRP does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview, meeting, processing, training or any other fees).

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