Programme Manager (Human Heredity and Health in Africa) Job in Nairobi – African Academy of Sciences

African Academy of Sciences (AAS)

Programme Manager – Human Heredity and Health in Africa

ID: AAS/PM/20/001

Department: Programmes

Reporting To: Director of Programmes

Duration: 3 Years With a Possibility of Extension

Location: Nairobi

Organisation Overview: The AAS is a pan African organisation headquartered in Kenya, which aims to drive sustainable development in Africa through science, technology and innovation. It has a tripartite mandate of pursuing excellence by recognizing scholars and achievers; providing advisory and think tank functions for shaping the continent’s strategies and policies; and implementing key Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) programmes that impact on developmental challenges through the new agenda setting and funding platform, the Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa (AESA).

Position Overview: The Programme Manager is responsible for the management and implementation of the AAS programmatic workplan to support research and research communication, including strategic management and implementation of capacity development to support researcher fellows and partner institutions.

The position will manage and oversee the implementation of a portfolio of programmes namely the Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa), Database of African Clinical Trials Sites and Population Studies programmes.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities;

Programmes Management

  • Manage the day-to-day operations of the programme portfolio assigned by overseeing the planning and implementation of impactful programmes, working closely across teams to ensure set requirements are met
  • Develop and manage programmatic activities for the H3Africa, the Database of African Clinical Trials, and Population Studies programmes in consultation with the Director and Deputy Director of Programmes and in line with budgetary guidelines to achieve the set mandate.
  • Propose long- and short-term objectives for the initiatives aligned to building human capacity, infrastructure and lasting research networks on the continent;
  • Manage the Programme portfolio budget in liaison with the Finance team to ensure efficient utilization of funds, smooth operational flow, and, maximizing the scope and magnitude of the short and long term Programme portfolio goals;
  • Leading in effective technical and financial management to ensure Value For Money (VFM) throughout the programme portfolio cycle.
  • Enhance program learning and development, seeking out and implementing solutions
  • Provide financial and risk management oversight for grants.
  • Contribute to the overall development of the AAS programme strategy, including actively identifying opportunities for collaboration with other programme areas.
  • Work as part of the Management team to share ideas and improve operation, recommending, supporting and implementing continuous improvement activities and process and procedure improvements to optimise results and improve quality of programmes delivery
  • Mentor and coach staff to build their capacity to perform the roles assigned to them. Set performance expectations and conduct performance management evaluations in a timely manner to ensure superior levels of performance are maintained
  • Provide career guidance and avail learning opportunities and assignments to enhance engagement and career progression for programme staff

Grants Management

  • Manage programme portfolio grants and activities as the point person for the Programmes; engaging with applicants, grantees and partners including providing guidance and feedback on inquiries;
  • Manage operations surrounding the entire process of grant management for the programme portfolioin collaboration with the Grants Officer and other team members. Ensure adherence to the call standards during the application, review, shortlisting and grant awarding process;
  • Oversee the programme portfolio grant scheme development by highlighting key funder requirements at proposal development stage, and aim to improve knowledge and access to this information for grant applicants. This is through webinars, information sessions, workshops etc
  • Manage the pre-award processes to ensure appropriate conditions including systems, processes, policies, and capacity are available to support the implementation of the grant by applicants.
  • Conduct due diligence of potential applicants and applicant institutions. This involves desktop reviews and physical site visits to potential applicant institutions and preparation of reports or recommendations which inform specific grant terms and conditions for successful grant applicants
  • Manage the grant award processes by providing and monitoring systems, processes and procedures to ensure fairness and openness in awarding grants to applicants
  • Manage the post-award processes to ensure proper implementation, monitoring and performance. This will also include ensuring proper grant close out

Monitoring and Reporting

  • Manage performance of the programme portfolio teams in partnership with the Monitoring and Evaluation Manager by setting measurable performance indicators to ensure projects are executed in line with the contract and within agreed timelines;
  • Develop monitoring reports for funders developed by the fundraising and programmes teams.
  • Develop and disseminate monthly programme portfolio highlight reports for the management, staff and Committees as necessary.
  • Communicate with senior management on programme portfolio status, risks and issues in an appropriate and timely manner. Ensure regular and timely communication between project team members
  • Review, implement and update programme portfolio records e.g. training matrices, performance reviews, risk assessments

Advocacy and Relationship Management

  • Forge collaborations with Science-based communities which share the same vision as the Programme portfolio and the Academy at large within the African continent and globally to build a sustainable Programme;
  • Engage in discussions with institutions of a similar element which can help promote the vision of the Programme portfolio through activities that foster added value and future potential initiatives;
  • Identify gaps that can be filled by the Academy’s portfolio of activities that will promote the growth and sustainability of AESA and the H3Africa programme, the Clinical Trials programme and the Population Studies programme and ensure the Academy’s services are made relevant to the continent.
  • Provide technical support and expertise to the review panels in other AESA Programmes by participating in the review of grant application process; and
  • Participate in occasional cross-functional meetings to support other departments in achieving their mandate including representing AESA in consortium meetings. Ensure the values of participation, partnership, sustainability, social responsibility, cost effectiveness, transparency and accountability are reflected in your work.
  • Secretary to the H3Africa Data and Bio-specimen Access Committee (DBAC) and its Chair, supporting regular meetings requirements, preparing briefs, and liaising with internal and external contacts.
  • Attend external meetings as a representative of AAS as assigned.

Person Specifications

Academic Qualifications

  • Postgraduate degree in human or medical genetics or genetic epidemiology from a recognized institution; A PhD is preferred

Professional Qualifications

  • Member of a reputable Institute of Scientific Research or relevant professional body.

Knowledge and Experience

  • At least 8 years’ relevant experience in project management, 3 years of which should have been at the supervisory level;
  • Significant knowledge and understanding of the scientific landscape and grants funding environment in/for Africa;
  • Proven experience in leading a team and of direct line management;
  • Experience of working with ethical and/or legal issues arising from genetic research
  • Knowledge of Science Technology and Innovation landscape on the African continent
  • Proven research leadership qualities and experience of carrying out key research work for priority health agendas.
  • A proven record of research capabilities in human or medical genetics or genetic epidemiology research as demonstrated by peer-reviewed publications and other quality outputs.
  • At least 3 years’ experience working in research/research leadership capacity development programme design and implementation on the African continent
  • A professional qualification and relevant experience in large scale programme/project management or training in research administration, ethics, leadership or related will be an added advantage.

Skills and Attributes

  • Strong interpersonal skills with the ability to foster and develop close working relationships;
  • Excellent management and leadership skills; demonstrated ability to build cohesive teams, develop talent, and, achieve organizational goals through teamwork;
  • Have enthusiasm, commitment to results with good planning and organizational skills.
  • Strong communication skills, presentational skills and ability to address public audiences;
  • Good financial and budgeting capability
  • Able to work in an international and multi-cultural setting
  • High moral standing with impeccable integrity

Application Process

All applicants must submit a filled application form here, curriculum vitae, and a cover letter submitted by email to, with the Position and Vacancy Number as the Subject no later than March 4 2020.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Community Development, NGO and UN, Project Management
Updated: February 24, 2020 — 6:41 am