Director Africa Centre for Health and Population Studies

The Wellcome Trust and the University of KwaZulu-Natal are searching for an outstanding scientist to lead and develop an important community-based health research programme in South Africa.

The Africa Centre was established in 1998 with funding from the Wellcome Trust to conduct research into health issues affecting populations in sub-Saharan Africa. The Centre runs detailed demographic surveillance systems with a particular focus on HIV. Its main work is in rural KwaZulu-Natal, with an institutional base at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban. It is affiliated with the Medical Research Council of South Africa. International funding sources supplement the core funding from the Wellcome Trust.

The Director will lead, refresh and implement the Centre’s scientific vision. Key challenges include:

  • strong strategic planning to secure a sustainable international scientific centre
  • attracting, developing and retaining a cadre of leading South African and international scientists
  • ensuring that financial, operational and governance arrangements are fit for purpose for the delivery of cutting-edge science
  • ensuring effective engagement and support of stakeholders, communities and the public.

Candidates will combine scientific strategic vision with the ability to lead a large multidisciplinary programme combining biomedical and social

research and community engagement. Candidates should possess:

  • MD, PhD or equivalent degree in health-related sciences
  • substantial leadership and managerial experience
  • extensive research experience in infectious diseases (especially HIV and TB) and population sciences, maternal and child health or related fields
  • excellent communication, influencing and diplomatic skills.

Experience of working in a low-resource setting is highly desirable, and experience in leading research training and capacity building would also be advantageous.

The post will offer a competitive salary and benefits package and be held primarily through an appointment at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, although secondment arrangements will be considered.

For further information on this post please contact either Dr Jimmy Whitworth or Dr Simon Kay at the Wellcome Trust on +44 20 7911 7230 or email

For more information and to apply online, visit Alternatively, send a CV and covering letter explaining how you meet the criteria for this post, plus the names and contact details of two confidential professional referees to: HR, Wellcome Trust, Gibbs Building, 215 Euston Road, London, NW1 2BE, UK or to

The application deadline is 7 June 2013. Interviews will be held on 30 July 2013.

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