Research Assistant Job at Population Council

  • Full Time
  • Nairobi

Population Council

ASSIGNMENT LENGTH: Two years, renewable by mutual consent and availability of funding

POSITION SUMMARY: Population Council – Kenya has a large and growing portfolio of work to test innovative solutions and scale up successful strategies to improve the well-being of adolescents and young people, accelerate positive demographic trends, and strengthen the resilience of vulnerable populations to adapt to environmental shocks and stressors. The Research Associate I will lead a portfolio of work on adolescence, including a range of research studies (longitudinal, cross-sectional and operations research). They will be involved in research uptake work to ensure that evidence generated is accessible to and used by a range of audiences. They will also be responsible for growing the portfolio of adolescent work through resource mobilization activities. They will be expected to work at very high research standards, with energy and commitment to the growth and success of the overall program. The Research Associate I will be a team player, a nimble self-starter with the capacity to contribute to the development and implementation of, and to provide technical leadership for, ongoing and new research programs related to adolescence, with a particular focus on girls.


1. Support the PC – Kenya research portfolio on adolescents in Kenya and East Africa, including designing and managing a range of research activities.

2. Conducting secondary analyses and systematic reviews on adolescent related topics.

3. Enhance the utilization of research findings by working with partners to identify mechanisms for ensuring adaptation and scale-up of interventions with proven effectiveness.

4. Oversee and ensure quality of multiple projects, including proposal and study tool preparation and review, technical and financial reporting, ethics review and training of young researchers and research assistants.

5. Provide intellectual leadership in disseminating and communicating the Council’s research results at national, regional, and international levels through presentations, preparation of reports, and publications of papers in high impact peer-reviewed journals.

6. Build strategic partnerships with government and civil society groups to enable the uptake of emerging evidence.

7. Lead fundraising activities by maintaining relationships with key donors and developing proposals for new research activities in Kenya and other sub-Saharan African countries.

8. Contribute to regional and global evidence synthesis, communicating and convening about adolescents.

9. Supervise mid-level and junior staff.

10. Represent PC – Kenya at Girl Centre convenings.

11. Other duties as may be required by the position.


1. Doctoral degree in social sciences (sociology/anthropology), public health, education, demography, epidemiology .

2. Minimum of five years’ relevant post-doctoral professional experience .

3. In-depth, substantive knowledge of thematic areas related to adolescent girls (including SRH, education, economic strengthening, SBGV, etc.), as well as evidence of disseminating research in a variety of forums, and demonstration of intellectual creativity.

4. Experience with leading research studies, including supervising data collection and publication of papers in peer review journals.

5. Track record of successful fundraising for adolescent-related research.

6. Strong quantitative skills and a strong understanding of qualitative research methodologies.

7. Ability to lead, motivate, and supervise a team working on both intervention and research activities.

8. Excellent diplomatic, representational, problem-solving, management, and interpersonal skills.

9. Excellent written and oral English-language communications skills.

10. Ability to represent PC – Kenya with high-level donors, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, civil sector society, and organizational counterparts, and to discuss program activities, lessons learned, opportunities, and challenges in a compelling and articulate way.

11. Understanding of bureaucratic systems in Africa and a demonstrated ability to work with all levels of national and international staff within a complex research and technical assistance organization.

12. Willingness to travel within Kenya, regionally and internationally as needed.

Population Council – Kenya (PC – Kenya) seeks to improve the health and well-being of vulnerable and marginalized populations in East Africa and other countries in the region. We support the design, testing, and scale-up of interventions on sexual reproductive health and rights, develop sustainable programme solutions that respond to girls’ educational needs and build their social, economic, and health assets; reduce HIV transmission; prevent and respond to sexual and gender-based violence; assess various service-integration models; and strengthen evidence for programmes related to unintended pregnancy.

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