Job Title: Communications and Engagement Officer (KTE)
Organisation: Medical Research Council (MRC UK) /UVRI and LSHTM Uganda Research Unit
Duty Station: Entebbe, Uganda
Position Code: C&EO – 423
Reports to: Head Communications & Engagement
The Medical Research Council (MRC UK) is an internationally recognised centre of excellence with dominant research themes in the areas of HIV and emerging infections, vaccines and immunity, and chronic diseases and cancer. Through a multidisciplinary approach, intersecting basic science, epidemiological research, social-behavioural research and the conduct of new intervention evaluation studies, the Unit contributes knowledge on changing epidemics and diseases, the evaluation of innovative health care options, treatment and prevention and the development of health policy and practice in Africa and worldwide. Following the signing of strategic transfer agreements between the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and the Medical Research Council (MRC UK), the Unit formally joined LSHTM on 1st February 2018. The exciting new partnership will boost research capacity into current and emerging health issues in Africa and throughout the world. The Unit is based at the UVRI Entebbe campus with established outposts in Kalungu, Masaka, Wakiso and Kampala Districts.
Job Summary: The Communications and Engagement Officer (KTE) will support the implementation and monitoring of the Unit’s knowledge transfer and exchange (KTE) strategy, writing and disseminating publicity material, responding to inquiries from the public and media, and coordinating on and offline promotional events.
The successful applicant will make a significant contribution to the Unit’s achievement of its overall KTE goal to make knowledge from its research relevant, accessible and practical in application and impact. As a core member of the Units Knowledge Exchange, Engagement and Communications Hub (KEECH), the role holder will coordinate processes to link Unit research to policy and public engagement goals, support the establishment of a network of engaged KTE partners and stakeholders, support the development of research impact case studies, and the institutional processes and infrastructure to facilitate that work; and contribute to an institutional research culture that promotes and captures the value of KE, innovation and impact.
This requires the post holder to have an excellent understanding of Research Impact, developing and delivering the activities that feed into creating impact, tracking and capturing evidence and articulation of outcomes; thorough knowledge of how to plan and prepare research impact case studies and experience of building and maintaining professional networks, partnerships and collaborations across different organizations and sectors.
Key Duties and Responsibilities:
- Collaborate Convene monthly KEECH meetings to liaise with research and research support teams, gain an understanding of Unit research and KTE activity across all themes and platforms, and identify/facilitate opportunities for policy engagement and public outreach;
- Support colleagues to identify opportunities to achieve research impact, including by helping to broker and maintain relationships with partners and research users, and advising on the collection and management of evidence of impact;
- Coordinate and make a leading contribution to the development of KTE Impact Case Studies for potential inclusion in biennial reports, including close involvement in the production of evidence-based impact narratives;
- Play a significant role in the development of systems, tools and processes to improve the collection, monitoring, evaluation, management and understanding of evidence of research impact at the Unit;
- Contribute to relevant guidance and training to help research teams gain a better understanding of how to plan, enhance and assess research impact;
- Coordinate opportunities for public engagement with research, including the promotion and showcasing of Unit research and KTE to relevant audiences and stakeholders;
- Update the Unit publications list and share regular reports to the Senior Science Meeting;
- Work in close collaboration with communications and engagement staff across Unit stations seek opportunities to enhance the reputation of the brand, and coordinate publicity events as required;
- Represent the Unit on communications and engagement forums/networks to ensure enhanced visibility and positioning of the Unit’s mission;
- Manage and grow the Unit’s online presence through intuitive usage of contemporary social media channels;
- Coordinate the implementation of relevant, influential communications campaigns around international days;
- Support the promotion of Unit impact through design and dissemination of infographics through relevant platforms;
- Assist in the development of the Unit multi-media library, adding photo and video assets with appropriate metadata to improve users’ experience;
- Support the timely development and dissemination of the Unit quarterly newsletter;
- Support capacity building of staff in communications and engagement; and,
- Any other duties within the remit of the post as assigned by the line manager.
- The post holder will support the supervision of Communications Assistants as well as staff engaged in community engagement across different sites (via “dotted lines”).
- Support activities that drive the further integration of the Unit’s Communication function into LSHTM;
- Collaborate with colleagues across all 3 LSHTM sites (London, The Gambia, Uganda); and
- Work closely with London-based colleagues to maintain and manage the Unit website.
- Participate in carbon emission reduction activities across the Unit and wider LSHTM; and,
- Act as an advocate for the responsible and efficient use of resources.
Qualifications, Skills and Experience:
- University degree in Mass Communications or another relevant subject area
- Post graduate taught qualification in a related discipline is an added advantage;
- At least three to five years of experience working in a communications and advocacy role in a fast paced environment;
- Experience in building and maintaining professional networks, partnerships and collaborations across different organizations and sectors;
- Experience in public engagement and event planning;
- Good knowledge and understanding of the policy advocacy landscape in Uganda;
- Understanding of all aspects of Research Impact, its facilitation, tracking and capturing evidence, analysis of results and articulation of outcomes;
- Good knowledge of how to plan and prepare Impact Case Studies;
- Should possess good networking skills; confident to represent employer in different situations and adept at building relationships with a range of partners, collaborators, stakeholders and audiences for Unit research;
- Ability to identify opportunities and develop new initiatives, with the necessary persistence to implement and complete them effectively;
- Proficiency in relevant software and applications (including but not limited to MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint) to quantify and present KTE performance and research impact;
- Proficient in the use of standard software tools for office work;
- Demonstrable understanding of the principles of content development;
- Ability to translate technical language and complex research into communications that a variety of audiences can understand and engage with (donor community, NGOs, general public, etc.);
- Excellent interpersonal and communication (written and verbal) skills, including strong presentation and report-writing abilities, and the capacity to persuasively and effectively convey information to different audiences;
- Good skills in photography and/or videography;
- Excellent knowledge of writing for the web and using web content management systems (CMS) such as Drupal, WordPress, etc.;
- Desktop graphics software such as Adobe creative suite;
- Excellent command of English and widely spoken local languages;
- Should have interest in neglected tropical diseases and/or public health;
- Excellent reflective, analytic and problem-solving skills, and good decision-making ability; and,
- Ability to work with a high level of independence;
How to Apply
Follow the link below to fill a form and submit your application documentation:
Filling the form more than once will lead to automatic disqualification. High level of integrity while filling the form is required and will be considered during shortlisting.
All candidates should combine all their application documentation i.e. cover letter, CV & certified copies of academic documents into one PDF document. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for an interview. This position is open to Ugandan nationals only. Strictly follow the application procedure as failure to do so will lead to automatic disqualification. Only online applications through the link provided will be accepted. You will receive a notification in your email if your application and documentation have been successfully received.
N.B: You will be required to present certified copies of your academic documentation before employment.
The applications should be addressed to:
The Head of Human Resources,
MRC/ UVRI and LSHTM Uganda Research Unit,
P.O. Box, 49, Entebbe,
Consider your application unsuccessful if not contacted within eight (8) weeks after the closing date of the advert. Any form of lobbying at any stage will lead to automatic disqualification. By submitting your personal information, you consent to the MRC/ UVRI and LSHTM Uganda Research Unit holding and using it in accordance with its recruitment policy and procedure. The Unit reserves the right to verify documents attached with the relevant awarding institutions to authenticate their validity.
NB: MRC/UVRI & LSHTM Uganda Research Unit strives for inclusion and diversity and therefore considers all job applicants based on merit without regard to race, sex, color, national origin, religion, age, marital status, and disability. We highly encourage persons with disabilities to apply and compete for different job openings at the Unit. The Unit is an equal opportunity employer committed to having a diverse work force and does not ask for money at any stage of recruitment.
Deadline: 26th April 2023 by 5:00 pm.