Behavioral Research Director at International Aids Vaccine Intitiative

The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative is a global not-for-profit, public-private partnership working to accelerate the development of vaccines to prevent HIV infection and AIDS.

Position Summary: The Behavioral Research Director will lead strategic development and guide execution of all aspects of IAVI’s socio-behavioral (SBR) project portfolio in Africa including landscape analyses, needs assessment, design and oversight of qualitative and quantitative research implementation, analysis and dissemination of key findings to internal teams, IAVI partners and external audiences. The Behavioral Research Director will be responsible for providing robust social-behavioral evidence on key population needs, attitudes and behaviors for HIV prevention in Africa. He or she will ensure that the research supports Research and Development (R&D) and access goals, and is integrated with other regional research efforts.

The Behavioral Research Director will report to the Vice-President, Global Access and will have a dotted line to the Africa Regional Director. The candidate will work closely with relevant Product Teams, Clinical Protocol Teams, IAVI research partners, external consultants/contractors and other Regional/Country teams.

Key Responsibilities:   

  • Evidence Strategy and Development of the Research agenda
    • Lead development of the SBR strategic portfolio in Africa that utilizes existing evidence or generates new evidence to ensure R&D and access plans are informed by a robust understanding of the needs and behaviors of at risk populations, healthcare providers and policymakers. At-risk populations include: adolescent girls and young women, fishing communities, men who have sex with men, sex workers and people who inject drugs.
    • Identify social-behavioral evidence needs, attitudes and behaviors for research to be performed in Africa. Work closely with research partners and key stakeholders to conduct a comprehensive needs assessment and landscape analyses to identify gaps and key socio-behavioural issues to accelerate product development or global access of novel HIV prevention products including vaccines and antibodies. SBR issues could relate to a broad range of issues such as product acceptability, feasibility and desirability, product initiation and adherence, stigma, gender violence, HIV risk perceptions, mobility patterns, health systems delivery, market barriers, and policy pathways.
    • Define and oversee the SBR agenda for the USAID supported ADVANCE (Accelerate the Development of Vaccines and New Technologies to Combat the AIDS Epidemic) initiative.
    • Represent IAVI externally to showcase leadership in SBR and help to secure funding for future research.
  • Community and Market Insights
    • Seek, consolidate, assess and disseminate key insights from communities to inform R&D decisons (e.g. product design, clinical research plans, etc.) and global access objectives and plans. Key insights could be leveraged from secondary data sources or primary research from clinical and epidemiological studies or new, independent SBR projects.
    • · As a subject matter expert, understand qualitative and quantitative research methods and the optimal mechanism to gather key insights based on SBR objectives.
    • · In collaboration with IAVI partners, develop and implement a communications strategy to ensure that key insights are shared with policy makers and are translated into national and regional policies and practices.
    • · Monitor the broader landscape of SBR projects, including those sponsored by USAID and PEPFAR, to identify opportunities to leverage insights, methods and/or technical expertise.
  •  Execution
    • Provide oversight on the design, execution, analysis, publication and dissemination of findings from research studies. Oversight could include development and/or review of SBR protocols, consent forms, data collection instruments, Institutional Review Board (IRB) submissions and preparation of suitable educational materials and regulatory documents.
    • Lead selected SBR projects in Africa with IAVI partners, as directed. Coordinate with IAVI office in India on selected projects.
    • Work closely with collaborating investigators to strengthen internal capabilities for SBR including mentor ship, training, grant writing and publications.
    • Guide a team of highly motivated managers and staff at IAVI and research partners to support successful execution of socio-behavioral research and integration with global access, advocacy, policy and communications objectives.
    • Participate in the development and submission of work plans and budgets for SBR research studies, and monitoring/reporting achievement of work plan milestones and budgets (both internally and donor-specific)
    • Participate in the development of proposals, grant applications and other funding opportunities to secure and sustain funding for SBR research.

 Experience and Skills:   

  • Advanced degree in socio-behavioral research, social sciences, market research, behavioral economics or related field required.
  • Minimum of 5 years experience leading generation of socio-behavioral evidence through leveraging existing research or overseeing socio-behavioural research studies, preferably in Africa. Experience with HIV/AIDS and /or sexual and reproductive health SBR research preferred.
  • Proven experience in quantitative and qualitative research design and data analysis (using NVIVO or similar software) is required.
  • Demonstrated experience in utilizing key to insights to inform biomedical research decisions or engage with biomedical researchers is highly desirable.
  • Proven experience in translating research findings into global, regional or national policies and practices is highly desirable.
  • Demonstrated experience in disseminating key findings from SBR evidence in peer-reviewed publications, conferences and/or policy forums required.
  • Proven track record in leading multi-country and interdisciplinary projects is required.
  • Strong organizational, analytical, research and writing skills, resourceful, and mature self-starter is essential, with proven experience in building a strong, coherent program and operations, preferably in resource limited settings.
  • Willingness to travel at least 20% of the time.

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