Technical Advisor NTD Research – 12 month maternity contract

Haywards Heath, West Sussex
£45,000 per annum
16 Sep 2016
10 Oct 2016
Full Time
Contract Type

Our vision is of a world where no one is blind from avoidable causes and where visually impaired people participate equally in society. Each year, we improve the lives of millions of people in the poorest parts of the world. Sightsavers is growing rapidly and offers a great place to work.

Technical Advisor NTD Research – 12 month maternity contract

Haywards Heath

Salary: £45,000 per annum

Sightsavers has an exciting vacancy for a Technical Advisor for Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) Research who will join the team in our Haywards Heath office and bring technical expertise to Sightsavers NTD operational research portfolio.

The Technical Advisor will work closely with the NTD Programmes and other members of the Research team to identify programmatic challenges and design and implement research studies to overcome these.  The successful candidate will come with demonstrable research management experience and good knowledge  of NTDs, particularly but not exclusively blinding NTDs.

You will be responsible for line managing one programme epidemiologist (NTD)  and providing support to our NTD research and M&E work.    

The successful candidate should have a Masters in Public Health, Epidemiology or related field and experience in managing operational research in low and middle income countries.  Strong communicattion skills  both in writing and orally and ability to travel regularly in sometimes difficult locations  are essential for this role. 

Closing date:  Wednesday  10th October 2016

Starting date: mid November


Job Purpose:

Sightsavers is an international non-governmental organisation working  towards eliminating avoidable blindness and promoting equity of opportunities for people with disabilities. We have programme in over 30 countries, largely in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. In the area of NTDs, we work primarily on trachoma, onchocerciasis (river blindness), lymphatic filariasis (LF), schistosomiasis and Soil-transmitted helminths (STH).

The postholder will provide technical expertise and management of the NTD research portfolio, focusing on operational research to improve programmatic performance as guided by the Fast Track Initiatives and NTD policy.  To contribute to the sharing of lessons learnt and evidence from Sightsavers programmes and research with the wider NTD and research community.

Principal Accountabilities:

  1. To manage and provide technical expertise to Sightsavers NTD operational research portfolio, including leading on or being the primary support for specific research studies, which use various funding sources  
  2. Work closely with the NTD programme team to identify programmatic challenges and design and implement relevant operational research to help address these To line manage the Programme Epidemiologist for NTDs and their inputs into NTD research and M&E work.
  1. To identify other technical support required for country NTD programmes (for operational research), and to facilitate country offices’ links with relevant external technical expertise; management of consultants as required.
  1. Input and provide support to organisational best practices for the monitoring and evaluation of NTD work – specifically around the development of and implementation of coverage surveys and epidemiological surveys (impact surveys) To liaise with international and national groups and organisations in order to develop research studies and share learnings. Where applicable to contribute to the development of international guidelines and protocols for relevant NTD practices. Represent Sightsavers at relevant external meetings and international conferences and to lead on the drafting of relevant papers for publication in peer-reviewed journals. Provide technical inputs in to NTD related grant applications, project reports and other strategic initiatives

The principle accountabilities are not meant to be an exhaustive list of tasks. The need for flexibility is required and the job holder is expected to carry out any other related duties that are within the employee's skills and abilities whenever reasonably instructed.

Jobholder Entry Requirements - the essential knowledge, skills and behaviours required

Knowledge (Education & Related Experience):

  • Masters in Public Health, Epidemiology or equivalent (Essential)
  • Extensive experience in conducting operational research studies in developing countries, including  epidemiological surveys and NTD research  (Essential)
  • Good knowledge of leading  NTDs (onchocerciasis, lymphatic filariasis and trachoma, soil transmitted helminths, and schistosomiasis) and other communicable diseases (Essential)
  • Good knowledge of NTD organisations and  networks (Desirable)
  • Experience of presenting at external meetings e.g scientific conferences and author on publications in peer reviewed papers (Essential)
  • Experience of working on funding proposals to external donors (eg. DFID) (Desirable)
  • Line management and project management experience (Essential)

Skills (Special Training or Competence):

  • Excellent communication  skills in English, both orally and in writing (Essential)
  • Excellent data analysis skills using  statistical analysis softwares e.g STATA (Essential)
  • Strong ability to write funding applications, study protocols and donor reports (Desriable)
  • Project, team and consultant management skills (Essential);
  • Ability to work across a variety of disciplines (Essential)
  • Skills in planning and  organising own work and that of others (Essential)
  • Skills in introducing and implementing change and improvement in systems and behaviours (Essential).
  • An understanding of and commitment to, equality of opportunity for disabled people (Essential)
  • Ability to write academic reports and publications (Essential);
  • Decision Making skills (Essential)
  • Delivery and Implementation (Essential)
  • Ability to work with qualitative data, eg. using NVIVO (Desirable);
  • Experience of GIS software e.g ArcGIS (Desirable)
  • Written and spoken French (Desirable)

Key Relationships


  • SPIDER teams: Research, evaluation
  • All Sightsavers departments, particularly the NTD team and Programme Systems and Monitoring Team
  • Regional and country offices


  • NTD community, especially London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Schistosomiasis Control Initiative, Task Force for Global Health, CDC
  • In country research institutions and consultants
  • In-country governments and health professionals
  • WHO

Ability to Travel

Ability to travel - on planned visits, for 25% of the year, in sometimes difficult locations.