Social Science Research Assistant

Research topic: Nodding Disease/Nodding Syndrome

Research Context
The research study titled “An interdisciplinary study contributing to the identification of the cause of nodding syndrome in Cameroon, Tanzania and Uganda” will be conducted in Northern Uganda as a collaboration between the Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITM) in Antwerp, Belgium (ITM) and Makerere University. Makerere University is one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in Africa that is well known for its high standard of education and research. The Institute of Tropical Medicine is internationally recognized as a centre of excellence for education, research and service delivery in the field of tropical medicine, HIV/AIDS as well as, medical anthropology, health policy and management of health services.
This interdisciplinary study will be taking place in Tanzania, Cameroon and Uganda and will have three components, anthropology, epidemiology and entomology. We are looking for a social scientist who wishes to be a research assistant to a PhD candidate conducting the anthropological and epidemiological component of the study in Northern Uganda. The research assistant will be working on an interdisciplinary research project contributing to the identification of the cause of Nodding Syndrome and will be a key person in the data collection of the anthropological component. The research project will collect and analyse data on the socio-demographic, behavioural, environmental and clinical circumstances in which Nodding Syndrome epidemics occur. The outcome of the study combined with the epidemiological and entomological components will eventually contribute to the development of control strategies against Nodding disease.


  • Assist the PhD candidate to conduct in-depth interviews, focus group discussions, informal conversations and observations in study sites selected in Adjumani, Gulu, Pader and Kitgum districts in Northern Uganda.
  • Translate interviews from Acholi or Madi to English while they are being conducted
  • Transcribe and translate interviews
  • Support PhD candidate in other relevant research tasks.


  • A Ugandan citizen
  • Have at least a Bachelors degree in social science and sufficient experience with qualitative research methods (in-depth interviewing and conducting focus group discussions)
  • Have excellent knowledge (written and spoken) of English and Acholi/Madi
  • Willing to live in rural areas in Gulu, Kitgum, Pader and Adjumani (expected 3-4 months total reviewed on basis of need)
  • Experience in community work
  • Good communicator and respect and value people and their differences

We offer:

  • The opportunity to work on a groundbreaking interdisciplinary research project to identify the cause of Nodding Syndrome and contribute to potential disease control interventions.
  • A full-time position starting as soon as possible – up to December 2016, depending on need & availability.
  • Appropriate compensation set according to qualifications & experience
  • An intellectually stimulating, international and socially committed environment, with room for personal initiative.

For more information about this position or interest in applying, please contact Julia Irani ( Applications should include a motivation letter and CV. Please apply before August 10th 2015.

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