Project Manager Job – Medical Research Council (MRC UK) /UVRI and LSHTM Uganda Research Unit

Job Title:  Project Manager (3 Job Vacancies)

Organisation: Medical Research Council (MRC UK) /UVRI and LSHTM Uganda Research Unit

Duty Station: Entebbe, Uganda

Position Code: PM-623

Reports to: Head of the Research Support Office

About US:

The Medical Research Council (MRC UK) is an internationally recognised centre of excellence with dominant research themes in the areas of HIV and emerging infections, vaccines and immunity, and chronic diseases and cancer. Through a multidisciplinary approach, intersecting basic science, epidemiological research, social-behavioural research and the conduct of new intervention evaluation studies, the Unit contributes knowledge on changing epidemics and diseases, the evaluation of innovative health care options, treatment and prevention and the development of health policy and practice in Africa and worldwide. Following the signing of strategic transfer agreements between the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and the Medical Research Council (MRC UK), the Unit formally joined LSHTM on 1st February 2018. The exciting new partnership will boost research capacity into current and emerging health issues in Africa and throughout the world. The Unit is based at the UVRI Entebbe campus with established outposts in Kalungu, Masaka, Wakiso and Kampala Districts.

Job Summary:  The Project Manager will work with the Unit’s Research Support Office (RSO) to manage a portfolio of research projects under the supervision of the Head of the Research Support Office. The post-holder will facilitate the successful and efficient delivery of a portfolio of projects, oversee operational activities and ensure that synergies between projects are maximised. S/he will be responsible for monitoring and evaluation of project performances and lead in the coordination of collaborator relationships and project outputs. S/he will coordinate the management of project finances, human resources, other resources, logistics and administrative affairs for the assigned portfolio ensuring compliance to funder and grant conditions as well as MUL & LSHTM policies and procedures.

Key Duties and Responsibilities:

Portfolio Management;

  • In collaboration with the Program Manager, oversee a portfolio of projects ensuring that efforts and vision of portfolio are harmonised with Principal Investigator’s (PI) efforts and vision;
  • Be the focal point for all internal communications relating to the portfolio and ensure timely flow of communications between the PI, the research team and other support departments;
  • Liaise closely with the PI and the Head of program to ensure that portfolio activities are in sync with overall program activities ensuring that proposals are well aligned to the strategic direction of the Program, synergies are realised for existing projects, and efficiencies identified across the portfolio and Program;
  • Work with the various research teams in the portfolio to prepare work plans and implementation strategies required to ensure projects achieve their objectives in a timely manner; and,
  • Report to PIs regularly on performance of projects and in close collaboration find constructive solutions to issues identified, providing technical advice regarding funder terms and conditions harmonising these MRC/UVRI&LSHTM research unit, as well as LSHTM policies.

Planning and Implementation;

  • Prepare research contract briefs for PIs and research teams which highlight research deliverables, special contract conditions that the teams need to adhere to;
  • In consultation with PIs, research teams, Programme Manager and collaborators, develop various work plans required for the implementation of the projects;
  • Work with PI, research team and other support departments to obtain all authorisations for implementation of the grant including approvals form government, health facilities, Medicines Control Agency, ethics committees etc.;
  • Coordinate the implementation of grants in the portfolio and maintain mechanisms to ensure adherence to donor requirements related to budget presentation, acceptability of cost allocation and other donor and MRC/UVRI&LSHTM as well as LSHTM requirements;
  • Support timely response to donor requests relating to grant deliverables, reporting and other administrative documents as required during implementation;
  • Lead in the communications concerning grant conditions, budget and expenditure and project activities. Encourage information sharing between partners aimed at building familiarity to grant conditions and best practices in grant implementation;
  • Work closely with project teams and provide technical overview and support in the management of the grant ensuring that performance is in sync with financial expenditure and categorized budget;
  • Actively participate in project meetings as appropriate to keep teams informed and reminded about project financial performance, deliverables, timelines and general grant conditions;
  • Responsible for reviewing of financial supporting document, monthly financial expenditures, budgeting and assessing budget request for change (Cost or No-cost Extension), request for grant disbursement, compiling and filing grant documents, conducting portfolio/project financial performance assessment;
  • Provide technical support and oversight during grant audit exercises; and,
  • Take the lead in monitoring timely grants closure engaging both finance and project staff well in advance of closure deadlines and advise on issues related to staffing, commitments, and reporting.

Monitoring & Evaluation and Reporting;

  • Ensure that a monitoring and evaluation plan is completed for all projects within the portfolio as well as for external partners with contributing roles towards the achievement of project outcome;
  • Develop a reporting and feedback schedule for partners;
  • Ensure programme milestones and timelines are collected for effective monitoring and evaluation of project activities;
  • Report to PI and the research team performance report and financial summaries monthly;
  • Prepare and share a quarterly performance report on milestones and deliverables considering collaborator/partner performance where they exist. Report should be shared with PI, Head of program and RSO; and,
  • Ensure that the management information system established in the department and within the Unit is utilized which allows for the efficient and effective collection, storage and analysis of data throughout the project life cycle and across programmes.

Research Operations Management;

  • With the support of the PI and project staff, plan, develop and execute research operation activities for designated externally funded grants carried out at field stations level;
  • Develops plans to accomplish work operations and objectives of projects through the efficient use of resources;
  • With the support of the PI and project coordinator, plan resources needed for project implementation, maintain inventory control, coordinates space, field, equipment and/or facilities;
  • Work closely with other support departments to ensure cohesive work flow; and,
  • Ensures adherence to procedures and work standards; recommend changes to procedures to relevant department heads.

Compliance;

  • Review, communicate and monitor compliance with donor requirements related to staffing, purchasing, and asset management and reporting;
  • Identify compliance gaps and related solutions including differences between donor and MRC/UVRI&LSHTM as well as LSHTM internal policies and procedures, including cost allocation;
  • Support PI and research coordinator to ensure that all project personnel are trained on GCP/GCLP and or have valid certifications as required;
  • Collaborate with other support departments to ensure compliance with Unit policies and procedures for grant implementation; and,
  • Ensure compliance to funder grant conditions and escalate to PI and Programme Manager where there is non-compliance.

Budget and Financial Management;

  • Liaise with Finance Analyst and prepare project financial summaries. Identify and report back anticipated project financial issues and come up with effective solutions to identified issues in compliance with both Unit and funder/grant financial conditions;
  • Preparation and review of budget forecast and virement requests to ensure adherence to budget conditions ensuring that planned expenditures are aligned to budget conditions; and,
  • Supervision of operations of sub awardees, and coordination of payment with Finance.

LSHTM Integration;

  • Close working relationship with the Research Operations Office (ROO) in London, especially the post award management section;
  • Participate positively and proactively in the process of integrating and harmonising procedures across all LSHTM sites; and,
  • Provide performance data and reports in meetings as applicable.

Qualifications, Skills and Experience:

  • The applicant must hold a degree in Business Administration/ Degree in public health/ Degree in social Sciences/ Degree in Nursing or clinical research Management;
  • Post graduate diploma or a master’s degree in Project Planning and Management is an added advantage;
  • A minimum of five years of oordinating projects in a busy research organization;
  • Experience in management of medical research project (such as Clinical trials) is an added advantage;
  • Should possess advanced operations in excel, PowerPoint presentations, sub award management, MS dynamics; and,
  • Team player, willing to work beyond designated working hours, and good analytical skills.

How to Apply

Follow the link below to fill a form and submit your application documentation:

Click Here

Filling the form more than once will lead to automatic disqualification. High level of integrity while filling the form is required and will be considered during shortlisting.

All candidates should combine all their application documentation i.e. cover letter, CV & certified copies of academic documents into one PDF document. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for an interview. This position is open to Ugandan nationals only. Strictly follow the application procedure as failure to do so will lead to automatic disqualification. Only online applications through the link provided will be accepted. You will receive a notification in your email if your application and documentation have been successfully received.

N.B: You will be required to present certified copies of your academic documentation before employment.

The applications should be addressed to:

The Head of Human Resources,

MRC/ UVRI and LSHTM Uganda Research Unit,

P.O. Box, 49, Entebbe,

Uganda.

Consider your application unsuccessful if not contacted within eight (8) weeks after the closing date of the advert. Any form of lobbying at any stage will lead to automatic disqualification. By submitting your personal information, you consent to the MRC/ UVRI and LSHTM Uganda Research Unit holding and using it in accordance with its recruitment policy and procedure. The Unit reserves the right to verify documents attached with the relevant awarding institutions to authenticate their validity.

NB: MRC/UVRI & LSHTM Uganda Research Unit strives for inclusion and diversity and therefore considers all job applicants based on merit without regard to race, sex, color, national origin, religion, age, marital status, and disability. We highly encourage persons with disabilities to apply and compete for different job openings at the Unit. The Unit is an equal opportunity employer committed to having a diverse work force and does not ask for money at any stage of recruitment.

Deadline: 28th June 2023

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