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  • Posted: Apr 12, 2022
    Deadline: Apr 29, 2022
  • Never pay for any CBT, test or assessment as part of any recruitment process. When in doubt, contact us

    At the beginning of the twentieth century, tuberculosis was one of the UK’s most urgent health problems. A royal commission, entitled The Royal Commission Appointed to Inquire into the Relations of Human and Animal Tuberculosis, was set up in 1901. It aimed to find out whether tuberculosis in animals and humans was the same disease and whether animals ...
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    Microbiology Laboratory Services Manager

    Location: Fajara, Gambia
    Department: Laboratory Services
    Duration: The appointment is for 3 years initially and is subject to a probationary period of 6 months

    Established in 1947, the Medical Research Council in The Gambia has an international reputation for ground-breaking research into some of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in the tropics. Achievements include a large trial showing the efficacy of Haemophilus influenzae type B vaccine in The Gambia and the subsequent near elimination of the disease, pioneering studies of the impact of insecticide treated bed nets as a preventive measure against malaria leading up to their worldwide use, studies demonstrating the impact of conjugate pneumococcal vaccines on pneumonia and child mortality and the demonstration of a dramatic reduction in the carriage of Hepatitis B in The Gambia due to the effects of vaccination.

    To reflect changes in national and global health priorities and new international funding opportunities a new research portfolio has been organized under three themes: Child Survival; Disease Control & Elimination; Vaccinology. These themes have been selected to target national health needs, to reinforce sub-regional and international links and to address some of the major current priorities in the Millennium Global Health Goals.

    The Unit runs a Laboratory Services Platform comprising Clinical and Research Laboratories equipped with modern cutting-edge technologies to support research activities across the three themes. The platform provides services ranging from routine diagnosis to complex molecular analysis including DNA sequencing and various genotyping assays. Laboratory activities are conducted under Good Clinical Laboratory Practice (GCLP) principles with the Clinical Laboratories fully compliant and accredited also to ISO15189.

    This position will further enhance the capability of the Unit in the field of Microbiology research. Independent research interest is expected and encouraged, and up to 20% of the working time can be dedicated to personal research and career development, supported by direct mentorship by Senior Scientists/Theme Leaders.


    • The post-holder will be accountable to the Head of Laboratory Management.

    Purpose of the Job

    • The post-holder will manage all platform microbiology laboratory services, providing scientific expertise to support externally funded projects as well as conducting research to strengthen core capabilities in microbiology.
    • S/he will ensure that the platform exploits cutting edge technologies to strengthen the Unit’s research portfolio in close collaboration with principal investigators and external funders.

    Key Responsibilities
    The post-holder will perform the following:

    • Establish and implement a system to handle a complex mix of laboratory investigations and work streams for individual research projects towards meeting the key objectives of studies supported by the laboratory. This will involve supervising a team of up to 30 or more laboratory scientists and technicians in cooperation with their individual line management.
    • Develop and optimise novel microbiological procedures including new technology platforms to address emerging research project needs and advise scientific staff on experimental procedures and protocols as required.
    • Responsible for all microbiological requests (including serotyping, susceptibility testing and characterisation of bacterial pathogens etc) from externally funded projects to the research platform.
    • Oversee activities in the Research Microbiology, TB Laboratories and High Containment Laboratories ensuring that a conducive and safe work environment for laboratory work is maintained and that laboratory KPIs are met.
    • Oversee the conduct of routine microbiology assays to support ongoing research projects, including forward planning of work streams in the laboratory.
    • Provide oversight on microbiology assays and support to the clinical laboratory when required and conduct all work in accordance with the H&S practices described in MRCG@LSHTM-HSE-Hand Book.


    • Develop and establish high throughput laboratory systems for microbiological investigations including automated sample and data processing to simultaneously support multiple research projects integrating field collection, sample processing, laboratory analysis, data acquisition and report generation for platform users.
    • Advise project Principal investigators on aspects of microbiological work relating to their work as requested and establish systems for platform support for projects from sample reception to routine laboratory procedures and laboratory data processing.
    • Be responsible for SOP development, prioritising of laboratory work and staffing, as appropriate, and documenting of platform support to external projects operating in the Research Microbiology Laboratory.
    • Conduct staff appraisals, probation reviews and leave schedules of the laboratory staff.
    • Coordinate the maintenance of laboratory equipment including supervising the cleaning, inspection, calibration, testing and repair of laboratory equipment. In addition, establish laboratory time and space allocation policies to ensure all external research projects are adequately supported.
    • Create and document procedures related to sample, reagent, and chemical handling, storage, and reporting which includes developing a logging and tracking system for samples and laboratory reports.
    • Work collaboratively with other Laboratory Managers on areas of overlap and expertise.

    Research and Training:

    • Provide scientific support to external research projects, including contributing to the preparation of grant applications, evidenced by recovery of the equivalent of 30% salary support as notional charges to external projects.
    • Devote up to 20% of time towards developing an area of personal scientific research interest in line with the Unit’s research agenda and portfolio.
    • Provide support as needed to the Head of Laboratory management and Head of Staff Development and Training on laboratory technical staff training opportunities and initiatives.
    • Create user maintenance procedures and work instructions for the research microbiology laboratory and provide competency training for their implementation.
    • Oversee media preparation services and provide quality control (QC) and quality assurance (QA) of relevant processes for the research microbiology and TB laboratories and run periodic proficiency testing of Laboratory Technicians.
    • Undertake all work strictly following the relevant safety rules and regulations as laid down in the MRCG@LSHTM-HSE-Hand Book and according to the basic principles of GCLP and other international quality standards.


    • Create and maintain active positive communication channels and relationships with scientists, clinicians, visitors, collaborators, and other MRC staff to enhance the role of laboratory management in the MRCG @LSHTM.
    • Ensure publication of research output in peer-reviewed journals.

    Financial Management:

    • Implement an efficient recharge system for the recovery of assay costs and other support activities provided to research projects.
    • Manage the sub-budget of the laboratory and have delegated authority of up to £1000.


    • Travel within The Gambia, the sub-region and overseas based on the work demands.
    • Perform weekend and Public Holiday duty when required and assist the biological sample shipment team in sending samples to collaborators and other institutions.

    Working Relationships

    • The post holder is a full-time member of staff at the MRCG@LSHTM.
    • The post-holder will report to the Head of Laboratory Management, Dr Ousman Secka.
    • The Chief Operating Officer is Dr. Davis Nwakanma.
    • The Unit Director is Professor Umberto Dalessandro.


    • Appraisals are held at least annually.

    Any other duties:

    • To perform any other duties consistent with the remit of the post.

    Person Specification

    • M.Sc in Microbiology with a strong background in both Basic and Advanced Molecular Microbiology and an interest in Infectious Diseases.
    • At least 3 years research management experience.
    • Ability to simultaneously manage different complex laboratory processes and to co-supervise a team of over 30 staff ensuring timely delivery of output to platform users while maintaining high standards at all times.
    • Demonstrated knowledge and training in GCLP and ISO15189 and good understanding of the process for implementing international quality accreditations.
    • Experience working in Bio-safety level-3 facility.
    • Ability to supervise staff, ensuring that high standards are maintained at all times.
    • Excellent written and spoken English.
    • Good communication skills including scientific discussion and writing evidenced by publications in peer-reviewed journals.


    • Demonstrated ability to conduct demanding laboratory work in a productive and disciplined manner.
    • Willingness to work outside working hours.
    • Ability to work co-operatively in a diverse team
    • Training in quality management systems and processes as they pertain to research and/or research laboratory environments.
    • Excellent time management skills.
    • Good budgetary and cost management skills
    • Good organisational and staff management skills (note: with the ability to co-supervise staff with other managers).
    • Experience of working with people from different disciplines and cultures.

    Salary and Benefits

    • Grade: 2 - 32 points.
    • The salary will be paid in Grade 2, 32 Points of MRCG at LSHTM’s payscale at a minimum net monthly salary of 72, 307 Dalasis. This converts to a take home pay of $1, 440 approximately per month using the prevailing Dalasi/USD exchange rate.
    • Please note that the salary will be paid in Dalasi and the USD figure is only given as a guide.
    • For displaced staff the package will include rent-free furnished accommodation, flights, displacement allowance for spouse and children, contribution to school fees for children and shipment of personal effects.

    Method of Application

    Interested and qualified candidates should download the Application Form below. Completed Application Forms and relevant qualifications should be emailed to:


    • We cannot accept applications from individuals who are currently, or in the last six months, employed by The Gambia Government.
    • MRCG at the LSHTM is an Equal Opportunities Employer and operates a strict no smoking policy.
    • Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

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