DATA SCIENTIST (INSPIRE PEACH project)

DEADLINE: March 8, 2021
OPEN JOB

The African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC) is a leading Africa-based, African-led, international research institution headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya. APHRC conducts policy-relevant research on population, health, education, urbanization and related development issues in sub-Saharan Africa.

APHRC seeks to recruit a Data Scientist for the INSPIRE Platform for Evaluation and Analysis of COVID-19 Harmonized (PEACH) data project.

BACKGROUND

The PEACH data project is hosted within the Implementation Network for Sharing Population Information from Research Entities (INSPIRE) (http://aphrc.org/inspire/).

INSPIRE is building a generic model for health data from longitudinal population studies (LPS) using OMOP (Observational Medical Outcomes Partnership) database. The INSPIRE PEACH proposes to develop the key elements of a coordinated Pan-African COVID-19 data ecosystem. We will build a robust suite of data standards and technologies and diverse data integration methodologies, using the power of Artificial Intelligence and Data Science for analysis and oversight through a trusted governance and policy environment.

  • Development and training

On the job training will be provided by personnel within the INSPIRE, both within the employing institution and from other institutions that are affiliated with INSPIRE. The role holder will attend meetings and workshops held by the designated studies they are working on. There may be opportunities for further studies in Data Science commissioned by the Network as resources may allow.

  • Relationships

The post holder will report to the Project Lead or Project Members within the INSPIRE in their institution, that is, the APHRC in Kenya. S/he will work very closely, and on a day-to-day basis with their counterpart(s) based at Malawi Epidemiology and Intervention Research Unit (MEIRU) in Malawi (https://meiru.lshtm.ac.uk/).S/he will have routine interactions with other INSPIRE partners affiliated with the African NCD Longitudinal Data Alliance (ANDLA), the Analyzing Longitudinal Population-based HIV/AIDS data on Africa (ALPHA) network based at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) in the United Kingdom, South African Population Research Infrastructure Network (SAPRIN) in South Africa, and Committee on Data of the International Science Council (CODATA) in France.

Duties/Responsibilities

The Data Scientist will be primarily responsible for finding and tracking data that is relevant to COVID-19 from different sources within Kenya and Malawi. When data are found, the post holder will then extract, transform and load (ETL) the data and associated metadata to data specifications defined by INSPIRE Network. The organized data will be prepared for transfer to the INSPIRE common data model. S/he, in collaboration with other personnel in the INSPIRE network, will work on the preparation of the agreed data specifications needed for COVID-19 data and meta data.

The Data Scientist, in collaboration with the Project Leaders (in Kenya) and Co-Leaders (in Malawi) will prepare their search programs to find COVID-19 data using both traditional paper-based data search methods, and by developing programs for electronic search. The expectation is for the team of Data Scientists (based in both Kenya and Malawi) to develop AI data search programs within the first six months of their employment.

The Data Scientist will:

  • Prepare lists of potential institutions and organizations with COVID-19 data.
  • Prepare and define the required data specifications for COVID-19 data.
  • Develop scripts for data extraction and data transfer from collected COVID-19 data into the INSPIRE data specifications.
  • Conduct daily quality assurance checks on the collected data.
  • In consultation with the common data model (CDM) manager, and other technical staff, ensure data standards are aligned with program and project priorities.
  • Contribute to the development of scientific data standards for research data.
  • Take part in training and workshops organized by INSPIRE, both physically and virtually.
  • Under the direction of the INSPIRE team, engage with the training and mentoring of data staff of INSPIRE network members to ensure continuity of data and data provenance.
  • Prepare monthly progress reports on their work.
  • Inform and take directions from their line managers in INSPIRE to ensure continuity of data operations.
  • Liaise with the team managing the CDM, including INSPIRE Network members based at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), to ensure their work fits within the scope of the INSPIRE CDM.
  • Attend meetings and workshops organized by INSPIRE, as required; the workshops may be around data management, upload, analysis, writing up and planning.
  • Provide administrative support across work-streams; handle meeting invitations, bookings, training venues, training materials and support the organization of periodic meetings for the INSPIRE.
  • Develop coordination strategies for webinars and teleconferences input into various standard documents and support the organization of the training workshops.
  • Internalize the project work plan and anticipate administrative  needs  to  support implementation and project work-streams. This will include working with partners to gather project requirements, maintaining a system for monitoring project activities, milestones and deliverables on a monthly basis as well as maintaining the INSPIRE learning platform and provide support to partners using the platform as needed.
  • Prepare quarterly, intermediate and annual program  status  reports  required  for management and donors. These reports will reflect achievements made, challenges and solutions.
  • Draw narratives of how INSPIRE works with stakeholders and partners to strengthen capacity of health systems.
  • Establish and maintain technical contacts with other stakeholders and partners, lead on communication with INSPIRE members and respond to queries as needed, provide information to concerned parties on progress, problems, required changes and document actions to the project’s implementation for the consideration of the team.
  • Provide administrative support for proposal development for continued funding of the INSPIRE activities.
  • Assist in completion of administrative forms and requests.

Qualifications, Skills, and Experience 

The ideal candidate would have worked with health data (preferably longitudinal health data), has experience with health and demographic surveillance systems (HDSS) and is familiar with the data procedures from INDEPTH network (http://www.indepth- network.org/).

  • Master of Statistics, Data Science, M&E, Econometrics, Software Engineering, Demographic Research, Information Systems or equivalent in relevant area. .
  • At least 3-5 years’ post first degree experience with data management of longitudinal, medical research studies and in handling large datasets.
  • Knowledge of a programming language such as Python, Perl, R, JAVA, or equivalent.
  • Excellent communication (written and spoken) and interpersonal skills.
  • Strong organizational and program management skills.
  • Ability to take initiative and work both independently and in teams.
  • Fluent in English.

The appointment will be for a two –year period renewable subject to satisfactory performance and funding; the expected start date is preferably no later than April 01, 2021. Interested candidates are encouraged to apply through our recruitment portal https://aphrc.org/vacancies/ by March 08, 2021. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted; shortlisted candidates will be required to have a Police Clearance Certificate. Cover letters should be addressed to:

The Human Resources Officer

African Population and Health Research Center, Inc

APHRC Campus, Manga Close, off Kirawa Road, Kitisuru

P.O Box 10787-GPO, Nairobi

Website: www.aphrc.org

 

APHRC is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to the protection of vulnerable persons