Africa-based Public Health Entomologist at University of California San Francisco (UCSF)

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Project Background

The MEI has received a three-year grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to provide technical assistance and targeted capacity building to national and subnational malaria programs to optimize entomological and epidemiological surveillance strategies, characterize populations at highest risk of malaria, identify gaps in protection and coverage, understand drivers of transmission, and design tailored intervention packages to reduce malaria transmission. There is growing recognition of the need to target and tailor effective interventions to the right places and populations at the right time to maximize impact and resource availability.

Using the Entomological Surveillance Planning Tool (ESPT) and the Targeted Surveillance and Response in High-Risk Populations Guide (HRP Guide), the MEI will provide technical assistance and on-site and remote training and mentorship to build capacity among national malaria programs and partners to identify priority program questions, plan entomological and high-risk population surveillance activities, and generate relevant and actionable data. As part of this grant, the MEI will also develop a user-friendly, web-based ESPT Information Communication Technology (ICT) tool for use by national programs and partners, as well as an Entomological Adaptive Sampling Framework (EASF) with new operational guidance on adaptive sampling. A further focus will be the integration of entomological, epidemiological, and other (e.g., climate) data to inform program decision-making on intervention targeting and tailoring, including the synthesis, documentation, and dissemination of best practices by MEI.

Opportunity

The MEI seeks an experienced and enthusiastic public health entomologist to provide technical assistance, capacity building, and support to national malaria programs and local partners in select countries across Africa to apply and scale ESPT methods, including the identification of priority programmatic questions, minimal essential and actionable indicators, optimal sampling strategies, standardized data management and analysis techniques, and collection and integration of human behavior data with vector behavior data, among other activities. This individual will also guide the development, evaluation, and dissemination of the ESPT ICT tool, as well as contribute to the piloting and finalization of the EASF. In line with MEI’s network model, this position is designed to help transfer entomology knowledge, skills, and tools to local malaria programs and partners towards building sustainable country and regional capacity to successfully eliminate malaria. The Public Health Entomologist will work closely with the US-based MEI team, national malaria program staff, and local and regional partners. This position will report to the MEI Associate Director, Surveillance and Response.

Scope of Work

  1. Key responsibilities for the Public Health Entomologist include but are not limited to the following:
  2. Provide technical expertise, coordination, and capacity building on entomological surveillance and vector control in select countries in Africa.
  3. Lead the development of ESPT activity protocols, workplans and budgets, standard operating procedures (SOPs), data collection tools, and training curricula and materials in select countries.
  4. Support entomological data analyses, interpretation, and results dissemination in select countries, with a focus on building capacity among national and subnational malaria program staff.**
  5. Support in-country fieldwork as needed including training and supervising field teams.**
  6. Provide on-site and remote training, capacity building, and mentorship to national malaria programs and local and regional partners, including conducting trainings of trainers (TOTs). **
  7. Coordinate, manage, and oversee piloting and evaluation of the ESPT ICT tool in multiple countries in Africa.**
  8. Contribute to the piloting, finalization, and dissemination of the EASF and related operational guidance.**
  9. Help establish insectaries and entomological laboratories where needed, and lead related capacity building efforts, trainings, and development or adaptation of SOPs.**
  10. Coordinate and collaborate with a large network of partners in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of activities. **
  11. Support the development, dissemination, and implementation of the integrated data analysis training package.
  12. Ensure strong coordination, communication, and trust among partners, and monitor and track progress on activity workplans and project targets and deliverables to ensure timely and high-quality completion. **
  13. Participate in appropriate regional and country working groups and meetings as well as routine internal MEI team calls, and contribute to MEI project reports, presentations, and manuscripts. **
  14. Proactively troubleshoot partner, programmatic, political, technical, or communication issues or bottlenecks.**

Qualifications and Competencies

Essential

  • Advanced degree (MSc, PhD) in entomology, public health, or related discipline
  • Minimum 5 years of experience working as a malaria entomologist in Africa
  • Experience working with national malaria programs in Africa
  • Experience and skills with statistical analysis and entomological database design, development, and management
  • Experience in setting up insectaries and entomological laboratories
  • Experience in capacity building and designing, developing, and facilitating training curricula and materials
  • Excellent leadership, negotiation, and diplomacy skills
  • Excellent project and time management and coordination skills including experience in workplan and budget development, partner engagement and convening, and monitoring progress and managing risk.
  • Excellent communication and problem-solving skills and ability to work well in a remote and female-led team setting
  • Creative and analytical thinker with strong coaching and mentoring skills
  • High proficiency with MS Office suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.)
  • High proficiency with the District Health Information System 2 (DHIS2)
  • High proficiency in spoken and written English
  • Ability to travel significantly (50% of total time) and on short notice, pending COVID19 travel restrictions

Desirable

  • Demonstrated skills in data synthesis, analysis, visualization, and interpretation, with a strong ability to communicate entomological data to non-entomologists and train and mentor others on this key capacity
  • High proficiency in another language spoken in sub-Saharan Africa (e.g., Portuguese, French, Swahili)
  • Skills and experience in using a statistical analysis software package (e.g., R, Stata, SAS)
  • Knowledge or experience in malaria epidemiology or disease surveillance

Period of Performance

This is a one-year full-time position with the opportunity to renew based on the individual’s performance during the first year. The planned start date for this position is July 2021. Base location is flexible in sub-Saharan Africa. Monthly international travel of 1-2 weeks’ duration to TBD countries in Africa will be required as well as annual trips to San Francisco, California (pending COVID-19 travel restrictions). An immediate start date is highly desirable.

Compensation

This is a full-time position with salary and benefits included in the total compensation package. Competitive salary offers will be determined based on the selected individual’s skills and experience and in line with local and UCSF MEI policies. Salaries are paid in local currency.

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