Job Description


The Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Research Programme (MLW) (http://www.mlw.mw) is an internationally recognised centre for research and research training, affiliated to the Kamuzu University of Health Sciences (KUHeS). MLW has 2 aims, to conduct excellent research to benefit health and train the next generation of researchers and leaders. Our Blantyre-based offices located within the vicinity of the largest hospital in Malawi, Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) provide for the optimum research environment.

As a demonstration of its drive for research growth and excellence, MLW has developed a successful training programme focusing on undergraduate to early career stages, producing an internationally competitive pipeline of candidates winning fellowships, scholarships, and studentships. However, there is a noticeable gap in successfully funded fellowships and grant applications from the PhD level to early career researchers (ECRs) and Mid-Career Researchers (MCRs) due to limited investments in targeted programs to support transition to research independence. To address this gap, MLW has co-developed a solution with ECRs and MCRs to address the noted gaps

As a testament to complement this drive, we are piloting a project with the support of the Wellcome (https://wellcome.org) to operate as a regional Discovery Research Support Hub with the aim of supporting ECRs and MCRs in Malawi and the wider SADC region (initially focusing on Zambia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Mozambique) in developing competitive grant applications for Wellcome’s Discovery Research Schemes and other fellowship schemes applicable to Low- and Middle Income Countries (LMICs).



Responsible for overseeing the operational aspects of the Regional Hub and involves strategic planning, program management, stakeholder engagement, monitoring, and evaluation to support the career development of Early Career Researchers (ECRs) and Mid-Career Researchers (MCRs) within the SADC region.


The major duties and tasks of this job.

Program Management and Operations

  1. Oversee the day-to-day operations of the Hub, ensuring programs align with the Hub’s strategic goals.
  2. Manage the implementation of the work packages, including fellowship preparation, targeted scheme support and learning and development initiatives.
  • Coordinate the development and delivery of training programs, workshops, and networking events for ECRs and MCRs.

Stakeholder Engagement

  1. Liaise with internal and external stakeholders, including academic institutions, research organizations and funders to foster collaborations and partnerships.
  2. Engage with the College of Experts to facilitate mentorship, grantsmanship support and peer review processes.
  • Work closely with the Hub Steering Group and External Advisory Panel to ensure strategic alignment and programmatic success.
  1. In liaison with the Hub Lead, formulating Terms of References (ToRs) for the Hub Sterring Group, Management team, External Advisory Panel and College of Experts

Monitoring and Evaluation

  1. Develop and implement a monitoring and evaluation framework to assess the impact of Hub activities and identify areas for improvement.
  2. Gather feedback from program participants and stakeholders to inform ongoing program development and optimisation.
  • Produce regular reports on program progress, outcomes and impact for the Hub Lead, funders, and other key stakeholders.

Resource Management

  1. Manage the Hub’s budget and resources, ensuring efficient use and compliance with funding requirements.
  2. Oversee the application and selection processes for fellowships, seed grants, and other funding opportunities provided by the hub.

Advocacy and Communication

  1. Advocate for discovery research and the development of a supportive research ecosystem in Malawi and the SADC region.
  2. Develop and disseminate communication materials to promote the Hub’s activities.
  • Organize and participate in relevant meetings, conferences, and workshops to raise awareness and support for the Hub’s mission.


  1. To take full responsibility for ensuring a safe work environment by always following health and safety rules for colleagues, study participants and oneself and maintaining awareness of Health and Safety issues, for example by attending scheduled refresher meetings and other Health and Safety mandatory trainings.
  2. To ensure that all people (staff, students, and visitors) under their supervision always follow Health and Safety regulations.
  • To ensure that all staff in their department/project receive all mandatory health & safety inductions and training.
  1. To conduct risk assessment and implement mitigation measures for all work under their management.
  2. To ensure that Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and all health and safety provisions related to their work are provided and maintained in good working order.
  3. Timely reporting and investigation of incidents.
  • To ensure that MLW infrastructure meets standard health and safety requirements.

All staff are employed under the MLW Programme and are ultimately responsible to the Programme whether directly employed under the core grant, a research fellowship or project grant. All staff are expected to be flexible and may be required to contribute to the activities of the Core Programme or another project(s).


QUALIFICATIONS: (i.e., Education, Training and Experience Requirements).

  1. Education: The minimum level of education required to perform all the duties of the job to standard.
  • Master’s Degree or higher in Project Management or Public Health or Clinical Research or Biomedical Sciences. (Essential)
  1. Experience: (The minimum number of years of experience required to perform all the duties of the job to standard).
  • Five (5) years of progressively responsible, professional-level experience in developing, implementing, and/or monitoring programs or project management within an academic, research, or international development context. (Essential)
  • Strong understanding of the research environment in low and middle-income countries, particularly in the SADC region. (Essential)
  • Experience in stakeholder engagement, partnership development, and working with multidisciplinary teams, international funders, and senior members of academia. (Essential)

KEY COMPENTENCIES/ATTRIBUTES AND SKILLS (e.g., IT Skills, Personality, Communication, Teamwork etc.)

  • Excellent planning, communication, coordination, and leadership/interpersonal skills. (Essential)
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team. (Essential)
  • Situational awareness particularly within a high-level multicultural environment (Cultural sensitivities). (Essential)
  • Willingness to travel regionally as required. (Essential)
  • Creative and proactive problem solver. (Essential)
  • Willingness to learn and be open to continuous improvement. (Desirable)

DECISION MAKING: 3-5 decisions required on the job with minimum input or checking by supervisors.

  • Expenditure below a pre-specified financial threshold
  • Follow ups with Hub-supported ECRs and MCRs
  • Active engagement with the College of Experts
  1. Manuals, policies, procedures, or guidelines that govern decision-making:
  • Finance Manuals and SoPs
  • Staff Handbook
  • Regulatory
  • Safeguarding
  • Donor/Funder requirements
  1. Financial decisions required in this job (e.g., budgets, expenditures, petty cash etc.)
  • Producing annual budgets
  • Monitoring and verifying expenditure
  • Managing petty cash


  1. For people (supervisory): describe the type of supervision exercised and the number of employees directly reporting and are accountable to this position.
  • One
  1. For resources: describe the type, volume, and value of resources/equipment, etc. for which you have direct responsibility.
  • Hub Funds

 WORK COMPLEXITY: The degree of complexity of the job i.e., how simple, standardized or complicated the work is:

  1. Complicated
  2. Multi-tasking
  • Dealings with different stakeholders

I           ACCOUNTABILITY FOR ERRORS:  The impact of errors on organizational resources, customers, processes, equipment etc.

  • Loss funder/donor confidence

J           WORKING CONDITIONS:  Inconvenient or disagreeable aspects of the job e.g., exposure to heat, dirt, outside work, constant interruptions, hazards, uncomfortable situations etc.

  1. Uncomfortable Conditions:
  • Pressure of work
  1. Job Hazards:
    • Travel

 ORGANISATIONAL RELATIONSHIPS/CONTACTS: Local and international contacts, frequency, purpose, and method etc.

MLW recognizes its responsibility in safeguarding and protecting communities, research participants and patients with whom MLW is working. Please note that successful candidates will be requested to undergo a safeguarding check prior to appointment and at regular time points during employment.

Mode of application and Requirements

  • copies of relevant certificates,
  • a detailed CV with 3 contactable referees
  • All documents should be sent in the applicant’s names as one (1) pdf file.
  • Please indicate the position title (Hub Manager) as the heading of the email.

To vacancies@mlw.mw not later than 28th February 2024