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Director of research (Expiration 22/04/2019)

DAKAR - Director of research
Last date for applications



ALIMA’S ETHOS: ALIMA’s purpose is to save lives and provide care for the most vulnerable populations, without any discrimination based on identity, religion or politics, through actions based on proximity, innovation, and the alliance of organizations and individuals.


We act with humanity and impartiality in accordance with universal medical ethics. To gain access to patients, we undertake to act in a neutral and independent manner..


Our CHARTER defines the VALUES and PRINCIPLES of our action:

  1. Patient First – Patient centered medical care

  2. Revolutionizing humanitarian medicine through research

  3. Responsibility and freedom: encourage decision-making by those closest to patients

  4. Commitment to a dynamic of continuous quality improvement

  5. Creating a climate of trust among colleagues

  6. Collective intelligence



Since its creation in 2009, ALIMA has treated more than 4 million patients. Today ALIMA works in 11 countries in Western and Central Africa. In 2019 we plan to work in 41 projects including 12 research projects focusing on childhood malnutrition, pediatric medicine, Ebola and Lassa fever. All of these projects will support Ministry of Health authorities through more than 320 health facilities (including 28 hospitals and 294 health centres). Alima intervenes in response to humanitarian crises with patients at the heart of all our actions. We work in partnership whenever possible to ensure that our patients benefit from the best and most relevant expertise wherever it is, whether within their own country or in the rest of the world.


ALIMA’S TEAM: more than 1800 people are currently working for ALIMA. The field teams, closest to the patients, are guided by coordination teams generally based in the country capitals. Coordination teams, in turn, receive support from the 4 regional or thematic teams (Team 1: Niger, Chad, Cameroon and DRC; Team 2: South Sudan, Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania and CAR; Team 3: Nigeria; Team 5: Guinea; Team 5: Emergency Response/Country opening team). All based at the operational headquarters in Dakar, Senegal except the Nigeria and Guinea teams. The Paris and New York groups are small and work to raise funds and represent ALIMA. ALIMA works in partnership with 5 local  medical NGOs BEFEN (Niger), Alerte Santé (Chad), SOS Médecins and KEOOGO (Burkina Faso), and AMCP (Mali).


ALIMA, INSERM (French National Institute of Health and Medical Research), the Ivorian research institute PAC-Ci (Ivory Coast ANRS Cooperation Program) and the ISPED (Public Health Institute for Epidemiology and Development at the University of Bordeaux) created the Clinical and Operational Research Alliance (CORAL) partnership entity in 2016. CORAL has both the scientific expertise of clinical and epidemiologic research combined with operational medical capability to advance the development of prevention and treatment of common diseases, diagnoses and vaccines for the most lethal diseases. The purpose of this platform is to generate expertise in improving practices that will save populations directly at risk, as well as to anticipate potential crises.



COUNTRIES WHERE WE WORK IN 2019: Mali, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Guinea, South Sudan, Mauritania.


THE WORK WE DO covers: Primary and Secondary Health Care, with a main focus on children and women - including treatment and prevention of acute malnutrition, maternal health, mental health, response to epidemics (Ebola, Cholera, Measles, Dengue, Lassa Fever), surgery, displaced populations, and gender based violence.


RECENT INNOVATIONS: Care for VHF patients in the “CUBE” – a transparent single patient isolation unit facilitating clinician contact with the patient and allowing for sophisticated supportive care including transfusion, use of vasopressors and ventilatory support. Introduction of electrolyte testing into pediatric in-patient units. Training mothers to screen children for acute malnutrition using the MUAC tape.


GOVERNANCE ALIMA is governed by a Board of Directors 10 elected positions and 4 co-opted positions from representatives of West African partner NGOs.




The Research Director will be based in Dakar with visits to field projects and representation of ALIMA within CORAL and to external agencies, conferences or meetings. She/he will be a member of the Committee of Directors (General Director, Operations Director, Finance Director, Development Director, Communications Director, Logistic Director, Human Resources Director) and will report directly to the General Director.




The Research Director is responsible for identifying and supervising the implementation of relevant research projects that contribute to the goal of improving the quality of humanitarian medical care. S/he oversees research capacities within the organization and is responsible for assuring the integration of research projects within the on-going programs, ie: integrated in the operational management.


Main Activities

S/he will oversee the current panel of research projects (see table in annex): S/he will work closely with CORAL platform and the operational desks based in Dakar to develop and run the research agenda. S/he represents ALIMA in external meetings or conferences, and assists in securing funding from donors for ongoing and new research projects.


  • Primary liaison with the CORAL research entity

The CORAL entity is composed of 2 representatives from the University of Bordeaux (clinical scientist and epidemiologist), 1 representative from INSERM, an infectious disease specialist from PAC-Ci and 3 representatives from ALIMA. The Research Director will join this team and work with the Senior Epidemiologist from the University of Bordeaux to prioritize topics of research, draft research proposals and monitor the grant submission process. S/he will be a member of the CORAL Directors’ Committee, will participate in the organization of the bi-annual meetings to discuss progress in ongoing projects (the PIPO, eg Pilotage de Projets) and the annual scientific committee.

The research director will assist in recruitment of junior scientists to staff research projects and will mentor them in the drafting of protocols, navigating ethics committee approvals, study implementation and monitoring, and writing manuscripts for peer-reviewed publication. 


  • Supervise the research funding advisor to identify and obtain funding for relevant research projects

The Research Director will work closely with the Research Funding Advisor and members of CORAL to identify appropriate funding streams for research projects under consideration. S/he may also participate in liaising and maintaining relationships with donors, and providing regular information on on-going research and operations.  

  • Support the regional and country teams in the implementation of research projects

The Research Director, based in Dakar, develops familiarity will all ALIMA operations and maintains regular contact with Dakar-based operations teams. S/he visits field projects regularly, and in particular those countries whose operational teams are not in Dakar (Guinea and Nigeria). S/he advises the operations teams on research project development and program strategy and may assist with drafting financing proposals for operational projects that include study components. The Research Director is an active participant in the annual project planning sessions. 

  • Represent ALIMA regionally and internationally

The Research Director oversees ALIMA representation regionally and internationally with UN Agencies (UNICEF/WFP) and other international NGOs. S/he proactively anticipates appropriate fora for presentation of ALIMA research or relevant programmes and works with field staff and junior scientists to submit abstracts and prepare presentations. The Research Director will represent ALIMA on technical committees such as the Council of Research and Technical Advice for Severe Acute Malnutrition (CORTASAM) and on the WHO Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Working Group.


  • Responsible for developing ALIMA’s capacity for research

As the technical lead of the Research pool within ALIMA, he/she identifies the key staff in ALIMA involved in research projects within ALIMA and, with the support of the HR department, contributes to develop individual professional path to reinforce their research skills.

The Research Director will be encouraged to develop professional and scientific relationships with the healthcare and humanitarian community in West Africa – with a view towards developing research partnerships with West African academic institutions and identify clinical training sites for ALIMA personnel.





    • Medical doctor, with proven track record in clinical and/or epidemiologic research

    • 10 years minimum clinical experience, with emphasis given to practice in Sub-Saharan Africa and humanitarian context

    • Proven ability to independently secure funding for medical research

    • At least 10 peer-reviewed publications, of which at least five as first author.

    • Interest in teaching and training junior clinical staff and scientists

    • Demonstrated competence in research in the areas of infectious disease, maternal-child health, childhood malnutrition

    • Experience in team management/leadership



  • Fluent English, written and spoken.

  • French, spoken. Written is advantageous.




Contract : Open Ended Contract, 3 months probationary period renewable once - maximum 6 months of probationary  period.


Starting Date: ASAP



Minimum net salary after taxes and social contributions euros 3 900 per month



- Travel costs between the employee’s country of origin and Dakar, unless recruited locally;

- Five weeks annual leave per year as well as a recovery system for days spent on work travel; + one additional month paid leave after 3 years at HQ

- One round trip per year between Dakar and the employee’s country of origin for the employee and her / his dependents + one individual round trip ;

- One-time relocation allowance at the beginning of the contract in Dakar;

- School annual enrollment fees for children from 2 to 18, according to the ALIMA HQ policy;

- Comprehensive medical insurance including repatriation insurance for the employee and her/ his dependents, according to ALIMA’s insurance policy.




Please use “Create a login to apply to send your CV with a cover letter that highlights what you consider to be your most significant professional achievements and how these contribute to the vision you have for further development of research capacity within ALIMA. Specify when you would be available to start and provide the names of 2 or 3 references.



N.B.: Applications are processed in the order of arrival and we reserve the right to close the offer before the term initially indicated if a good application is successful.


Overview of research projects


Year begun










Lassa Fever observational study - Nigeria

On going



OptiMA-DRC. RCT acute malnutrition

Inclusions begin 5/2019



OptiMA-Burkina Faso. Observational

Manuscript in progress



OptiMA-Niger. RCT funding requested

Awaiting financing



UNITAID Pulse-oximetry for pneumonia. 4 country study in consortium with Solthis, Terre des Hommes and INSERM

In negotiation



1000 Days – Niger. Cohort study 1700 pregnant women and 1500 children until 2nd birthday. Cohort closed Dec 2018.

In analysis



ALERRT – non-malarial fever surveillance and epidemic response capacity. Large consortium through Oxford University

Fever surveillance sites being identified



Cryptosporidium diarrheal research




Community identification of pregnancy








Pre-Vac. Ebola vaccine trial in Guinea. ALIMA = implementing partner for NIH and INSERM




Bedside PEWS, Maiduguri Nigeria in partnership with Toronto Sick Kids

Ethics cmte submission currently



Ebola therapeutics trial - Beni




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