CALL FOR APPLICATION
At
Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research

The Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR), University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana with funding support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has instituted a Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, to train future research leaders who would contribute to infectious diseases control efforts. The program seeks to train young African scientists towards building a critical mass for control of poverty-related diseases, equip them to compete effectivelyfor international funding for research work in Africa, offer them international exposure, and facilitate their networking and collaboration with other institutions. Applicants are invited to either submit proposals to carry out studies in any of the following thematic areas or apply to work on already identified projects:
 

Malaria

  • Studies that will lead to the development of highly sensitive and robust measures for monitoring transmission both at the population and individual levels
  • Studies that will lead to a deeper and clearer understanding of host responses to infection.  Such studies should lead to improvement in our ability to evaluate current interventions and also to the development of new interventions.
  • Studies leading to a deeper understanding of the epidemiology of disease and host-parasite-vector interactions in the face of intensified application of control strategies.
  • Understanding the molecular mechanism of gametocyte production, prevalence and their role in the development of malaria transmission blocking immunity in Ghana.  Information on this project can be found here.
  • Phagocytic function, associated host genetic polymorphisms and the risk of clinical malaria. Information on this project can be found here.
  • Endothelial Cells and platelets in microvascular damage and repair in cerebral malaria. Information on this project can be found here.
     

Mycobacterial Infections

  • Develop and validate a point-of-care diagnostic test for BU. The ideal test format would involve taking either a small amount of body fluids (blood, saliva, urine) or material from the site of the infection for a simple and rapid dipstick or line-test assay
  • Host-pathogen interaction in Tuberculosis: functional implication of pathogen genomic diversity. Information on this project can be found here.

HIV /AIDS

  • Cellular and viral mechanisms underlying HIV maintenance and persistence
  • Persistence of HIV in patients on long term ART treatment
  • Host immune mechanisms in the control of infection and viral persistence
  • Host immune activation and inflammation in patients on ART treatment

 

Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)

Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) impose a heavy socio-economic burden on the poor living in sub-Saharan Africa (and other regions), and aggravate poverty and social stigma in endemic communities. The main NTDs of our interest include:

 

Onchocerciasis

  • Studies to investigate the status of sub-optimal response of O. volvulus to IVM treatment in the savannah regions of Ghana, and to elucidate the potential impact of sub-optimal response on onchocerciasis elimination
  • Longitudinal studies into the transmission, morbidity and feasibility of onchocerciasis elimination in the presence of sub-optimal response to ivermectin treatment under annual and biannual regime
  • Studies leading to standardizing and validating methodologies and cost-effective protocols for diagnosis in monitoring and evaluation of onchocerciasis to support criteria for onchocerciasis elimination.
     

Soil-transmitted Helminths infections (STHs)

  • Studies to develop geospatial maps for the prevalence and the intensity of STHs nationwide using model-based geostatistics
  • Studies to carry out well-designed dose-finding studies to optimize the dose regimes and combinations of current drugs used for the  treatment of STHs
  • Studies to identify diagnostic biomarkers as well as optimizing and combining existing diagnostic tools for detection and management of STHs
  • Studies that will increase the understanding of the effects of host genetics and parasite population structure on the transmission dynamics and control of soil-transmitted helminth infections.
     

Schistosomiasis

  • Development of assays for monitoring changes in the efficacy of praziquantel, (the current drug of choice for the reatment of schistosomiasis) and to investigate the association of such changes with parasite genetic and phenotypic factors.
  • Studies to elucidate the effects of schistosome parasite/snail/human host interactions on the genotypic and phenotypic characteristics of the parasite, and parasite population structure on the transmission dynamics and control of schistosomiasis.
  • Development of a dynamic GIS-based database system with information sharing interface that promotes easy accessibility of appropriately packaged information/data. The ultimate goal is to achieve enhanced schistosomiasis management and control through the provision of evidence-based decisions.

 

Eligibility

Applicants must be Africans and should have Ph.D., MD/Ph.D. or equivalent degree with strong background in relevant biomedical sciences.

Individuals who have submitted their Ph.D. dissertations are also eligible to apply but must submit proof of this submission (e.g. a letter attesting to the submission from the Registrar of the University).

Applicantsmust be highly motivated, exhibit strong research and conceptual skills and be interested in developing novel research directions.

Individuals should have proven abilities to organize and execute research project with minimal supervision and to perform independent work and document the results to a high standard.

Applicants must have strong written and oral communication skills in English. Experience and oversight and training of junior staff Desirable. Applicants must also have the ability to work in an inter-disciplinary research environment involving collaborations with other NMIMR staff.

Application is open to nationals of any African country (member of the AU).  Working knowledge of English would be an advantage. Successful candidates will be engaged at the Research Fellow grade in the Institute on a year’s contract, renewable up to a maximum of 2 years based on satisfactory performance.  Individuals will be responsible for developing their research protocols, obtaining the necessary regulatory approvals and carrying out all the required experiments at the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research.


How to Apply  (Click to Apply)

The complete application package should include the following:

(i)  The applicant’s CV,

(ii)  One page vision statement

(iii) One page description of the applicant’s research career objectives,

(iv) Letters of recommendation with contact information from three (3) referees,

(v) The applicant’s proposed research in one of the thematic research areas described above using the Application and Proposal Development Form attached.


Applications for vacancies under section 2 should complete the application form in line with the information attached to the proposal topics.The supporting statement should set out how the applicant’s qualifications, experience and training meet the selection criteria.  This is an essential part of the application and a failure to provide this information will disqualify the application. Statements such as see attached CV will not be considered an adequate response.

Electronic copies of the application package should be sent to postdoc@noguchi.ug.edu.gh

Mail hardcopies to:

The Coordinator

Post-Doctoral Office

Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research

University of Ghana

P.O. Box LG 581 Legon

Accra, Ghana

 

Successful applicants will be notified by  20th  January, 2016 and would be expected to commence the fellowship soon after, but not later than 30th March 2016.

 

Deadline of Application Submission:

Applicants should send both electronic and hardcopies of their applications to The Coordinator, of the Post-Doctoral Office by November 30, 2015 (18.00hr GMT)