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5 Jul 2021

Research Assistant Mbeya at Baylor College of Medicine Children’s Foundation

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Job Description

Baylor College of Medicine Children’s Foundation – Tanzania is a non-government organization (NGO) dedicated to supporting the provision of high-quality, comprehensive HIV/AIDS care and treatment to HIV – exposed and infected children and adolescents in the Lake and Southern Highlands Zones of Tanzania. Baylor-Tanzania is funded by the United State Agency for International Development (USAID), working to support the Government of Tanzania through Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children and President’s Office-Regional Administration Local Government to improve provision of services for children and adolescent infected and living with HIV in the Lake and Southern Highland Zones.

Post: Research Assistant (1)

Location: Mbeya

Position summary:

The candidate will work as part of the “Sauti Ya Vijana” research program, which aims to address and improve mental health, life skills, psychosocial challenges and adherence to antiretroviral therapy and improve outcomes for adolescent and young adults living with HIV.

Duties and Responsibilities

The research assistant will report to the Principal Investigators and closely collaborate with the study team, specifically performing the following:

  • Develop an in-depth understanding of the study design and goals so that s/he can participate fully in the successful implementation and execution of the studies.

  • The RA will work closely with adolescents and young adults enrolled in the study and MUST BE friendly, approachable, and able to answer study related questions.

  • Informed consent: Ability to describe the study to potential participants, answer questions about the study, and accurately complete informed consent with participants. Ensure all participants enrolled have age appropriate informed consent documents on file.

  • Study visits: Work with the principal investigators to coordinate study enrollment and follow-up visits, manage the timeline and keep a study log communicating with data management, phlebotomy, laboratory team about upcoming participant study visits.

    • Study visits include patient tracking (monthly phone calls and family contacts to be able to trace participants).

    • Ensure the tablet/computer-based surveys are working well and data on the tablet or paper form is received by the data management team in a timely manner. (within 24 hours). Note, paper surveys may be an option in case of technology challenges.

    • The RA must be available to answer any questions during participant data collection.

    • The RA will also be responsible for obtaining the hair sample (Cutting a small amount of participant hair and storing in aluminum foil with proper specimen labeling technique).

    • The RA will also work closely with the phlebotomy team to ensure same day blood sample collection and delivery of samples to the lab.

  • Ensure participant study results (HIV RNA) are available in the participant’s clinical file and perform pertinent data extraction from the clinical file.

  • Ensure critical results are communicated immediately to the appropriate clinician and referrals are made as needed.

  • Problem-solve on-site, with timely responses to questions about studies posed by site staff, participants, and others.

  • Liaise with site staff and laboratory staff to develop procedures to maintain adequate study supplies needed for the study visits.

  • Ensure high quality data collection through the following: assisting in testing data collection and management systems; leading regularly scheduled QC meetings and promptly. answering all queries with clinical and data teams. Maintain systems alongside data management team for tracking the movement of forms and laboratory samples and timely reporting of laboratory results.

  • Assist with regulatory matters and the administrators—ensuring all staff (including self) are compliant with ethics training.

  • Work in a professional and ethical manner with a team spirit and with competence, accountability, and integrity.

  • Protect privacy and confidentiality of all human subjects data in compliance with all appropriate laws and regulations, including but not limited to ensuring secure transmission of data through approved channels only (no names or identifying information should be transmitted through WhatsApp or unprotected email.

  • Assist study team to ensure the following Ethical Components of the study are completed:

    • Submit IRB protocols, amendments, and progress reports ensuring comments are responded to in a timely fashion, version control is maintained, and the expiration of study documents is tracked to prevent any lapse in study approval.

    • The administrator is also expected to ensure data transfer agreements; material transfer agreements, and all other administrative documents related to the study are up to date, signed in a timely manner, and efficiently tracked through the system.

    • Help facilitate in person meetings as needed to explain study objectives and gain appropriate approvals (clinical head of department; DMO; RMO; NIMR; TAMISEMI, etc.

  • Assist study team to ensure data collection, data recording, and data entry for the study is performed, including the following data tasks:

    • Maintain systems for ensuring all data (quantitative and qualitative) are properly collected, managed, and stored with appropriate back-up storage systems.

    • Collect, record, and ensure data is accurately inputted to the electronic database system.

    • Ensure timely data syncing and uploads to the central database to prevent data loss

    • Closely liaise with the local intervention study staff regarding randomization allocation of participants.

    • Qualitative Data including session notes must be received and organized and properly filed in timely fashion (within 3 days).

    • Participate in quality assurance meetings, flag any data concerns, and work with the study team to resolve any queries.

    • Ensure appropriate planning to ensure a smooth study visit for each study participant.

    • Work closely with the Duke data architect to develop and maintain the data collection and management system, complete timely data reports, and maintain open communication for trouble shooting any challenges.

    • Work closely with the Duke data architect and site study team to draft appropriate SOP(s) for data collection and management.

  • Attend monthly meetings, attend relevant study meetings with the possibility of note taking responsibilities.

  • Work in a professional and ethical manner with a team spirit and with competence, accountability, and integrity.

The above statements describe the general nature and level of work being assigned to this position. This is not an exhaustive list of all responsibilities and duties.

Remuneration and Terms

  • Attractive salary.

  • 1-year contract, renewable; probation period of 6 months.

Applications must include each of the following to be considered:

  • Handwritten and duly signed letter describing why you are interested in applying for this position.

  • Current resume or curriculum vitae.

  • Three letters of reference along with names and telephone numbers of the three referees who may be contacted by us in confidence.

  • Photocopies of certificates, diplomas, and academic transcripts.


  • Diploma, Degree or Masters Level Training in a Health Sciences Field (e.g., Public Health, Psychology, Social Sciences, Social Work).

  • Completed training program; preferably with minimum of 2 years working experience.


Computer skills (word processing, database management) essential.

Prior clinical research experience working with adolescent populations, HIV and/or mental health will be given preference.

REDCap Mobile or other electronic data collection platform experience desirable.


Proficiency in written and verbal English and Kiswahili essential.

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Method of Application

If you are qualified and wish to join Baylor – Tanzania, apply in confidence by sending an application letter, a detailed CV, relevant copies of your certificates, and the names and contact information for three referees.

Application should reach Baylor – Tanzania not later than 11th July 2021

Only candidates from Mbeya are encouraged to apply for the Mbeya position and candidates from Mwanza for the Mwanza position. The position (Research Assistant) will be for a period of 1 year. only.


Addressed to:

The Executive Director,

Baylor College of Medicine Children’s

Foundation – Tanzania

P.O. Box 2663, Mbeya for Mbeya position

P.O Box 5208 For Mwanza position

Or send to email:

[email protected]

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