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Job# 6660 - Research Associate/Project Site Manager - HPTN 068 Cash Transfer Trial (Mpumulanga, South Africa)
Full Time
Posted: May 1, 2013
Closes: June 1, 2013


An exciting HIV prevention trial is underway in rural South Africa to test the impact of a conditional cash transfer to young women and community social mobilization.

The Project Site Manager oversees the site management of the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) 068: Effects of cash transfer for the prevention of HIV in young South African women. This study is a multi-level, multi-year HIV prevention randomized controlled trial that will evaluate structural and social factors that contribute to young women's increased vulnerability to HIV. The cash transfer study began enrollment in March of 2011 and is currently following 2500 young women/parent guardians enrolled in the trial until the end of 2014.

The position requires full-time residence in the Bushbuckridge municipality of Mpumalanga, South Africa--about 500 km northeast of Johannesburg. The PSM is responsible for oversight and coordination of day to day research activities of this large randomized NIH network trial with an HIV incidence endpoint, management of a large and diverse research team, communication with investigators at UNC and other partners, leading and attending management meetings, management of budget expenditure, and ensuring high quality, timely outputs.

Principal Functions:

55% - On-Site Staff and Research Management

  • Coordination: Coordinate all day to day research activities. Monitor progress of the research from all on-site departments ensuring all study required timelines and objectives are met and all procedures follow GCP and all statutory requirements.
  • Personnel Management: Oversee project staff including, but not limited to: direct reports: assistant project manager, data manager, lab manager, quality control manager, monitoring &evaluation manager, qualitative manager, and two administrative assistants. Responsible for approximately 70 other staff who are not direct reports and include: assistant data managers, data typists, fieldworkers, drivers, lab technicians, 8 nurses, nursing assistants, and 5 counselors. Assist with on-site project administration issues as needed (hiring and release of staff, assigning work schedules, conducting performance appraisals). Train staff as needed on new study processes or refreshing on old processes.
  • Communication: Ensure that members of the research team from multiple institutions are kept up-to-date on the status of the project, including preparing weekly written and verbal updates for the UNC based management team, providing monthly updates for all members of the HPTN group and all other study related conference calls. Ensure strong communication between the HPTN 068 study team and the core Agincourt unit. The PSM will report directly on a day-to-day basis to the Investigator of Record in the site and also reports to the study PIs. 

10% - Research Tool Development and Review

  • Alongside investigators and state-side project manager, develop/revise research project plans/standard operating procedures, data collection instruments and timelines to keep the research project on schedule.
  • Oversee implementation of systems to ensure timely, cost-effective and high quality conduct of all research activities and with management staff continually monitor and problem solve to adjust systems to be responsive to the needs of the project.

15% - Project Meetings

  • Coordinate and participate in local and international meetings regarding the study (i.e. HPTN annual meeting, monthly meeting with budget staff based in Johannesburg).
  • Run weekly team meeting with local management.

5% - Visitor Support

  • Provide support to all visitors conducting site visits and on-site students conducting project related research

5% - PPD visits

  • Prepare for and lead PPD visits quarterly at site and respond to all study based queries

5% - Budget

  • Assist with budget development. Supervise on-site financial management including invoicing on subcontracts, local reconciliation and communication with fiscal representatives of UNC and partner organizations. . 

Education Requirements:

A Masters degree in public health, social sciences, or related area is required.

Qualifications & Experience Requirements:

  • At least 5 years of Project Management experience working on a complex data collection project is strongly preferred. 
  • Experience managing a large team of staff with various skill levels and expertise in desired.
  • Experience working with a large group of researchers from varied disciplines is strongly preferred. 
  • International and public health research experience, including IRB submissions and SOP/SSP development, is strongly preferred. 
  • Experience developing plans and timelines for research protocols is strongly preferred. 
  • Strong organizational and communication skills required. 
  • Intermediate to advanced knowledge of Microsoft Office applications, including Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Access strongly preferred. 
  • Experience working on an HPTN trial, or other NIH research network, preferred
  • Experience in data and lab (biological endpoint) management preferred.
  • Prior clinical trials experienced preferred. 
  • Intermediate knowledge of data analysis software (i.e. SAS or STATA) including creating and running programs preferred.

Salary range: $65,000-$75,000

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