IMPERIAL COLLEGE LONDON
JOB DESCRIPTION
Job Title:
Research Assistant / Associate in Food Policy
(SM142-13)
School:
Public Health
Department:
Infectious Disease Epidemiology
Job Family/Level:
Academic and Research
Level A (Research Assistant)
Level B (Research Associate)
(Level of appointment will be dependent on
qualifications and experience)
Salary Range:
£28,200-£31,250 per annum (Research Assistant)
£28,200-£40,720 per annum (Research
Associate)
Responsible to:
PCD Senior Research Manager
Key working relationships:
Home Grown School Feeding (HGSF) country
personnel in Africa, Kenya Medical Research
Institute, UN agencies, Bilaterals, Multilaterals,
CBOs, and NGOs
Contract:
Full time and fixed term until 30 September 2015
in the first instance
Location:
St Mary’s Campus, Paddington
The Post
The Partnership for Child Development consists of a global consortium of civil society
organizations, academic institutions and technical experts with a streamlined
Coordinating Centre based at Imperial College London. The role of the Centre is not
as an implementing agency, but to engage specific experts, in specific countries, on
specific issues, as and when required. In this way, we are able to bring together a
distinct combination of academic excellence, technical expertise and high level
networks to governments and international organizations, resident in many different
countries.
PCD is part of the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology which is in turn
part of the School of Public Health within the Faculty of Medicine of Imperial College
London.
PCD is an organisation committed to improving the education, health and nutrition of
school-age children and youth in low-income countries. Our ongoing research and
operational activities in the field of school health and nutrition and HIV and education
now provide an impressive evidence-based platform that assists countries and
international agencies turn such findings into national interventions.
The key objectives of PCD are to:
1) Strengthen the evidence base: PCD advocates basing policy decisions on
good evidence. Our ongoing research and collaboration in the development of
new technologies supports this goal.
2) Strengthen the capacity of education sectors in low and middle income
countries: PCD provides expert support of government planning for SHN
activities, providing high quality training of educationalists and public health
professionals and supporting other sectors’ participation in SHN activities.
3) Improve, collect, share and disseminate knowledge: PCD enhances the SHN
through a variety of media ranging from websites, interactive forums and
publication of hard copy documents that serve to enable advocacy, policy and
planning for SHN practitioners.
4) Strengthen global, regional, national and local partnerships: PCD enables
global policymakers and planners to share ideas, innovations and experience.
We facilitate consensus building towards good practice in SHN at global,
regional, national and local levels, as well as supporting effective programme
coordination and implementation.
Background
Child development requires a life-cycle approach to intervention. School health and
nutrition programmes are a key part of this continuum, providing the foundation for
physical, cognitive and educational development that will allow children to reach their
full and equal potential. Today, every country for which we have information is
seeking to provide food, in some way and at some scale, to its schoolchildren.
However, where the need is greatest, in terms of hunger, poverty and poor social
indicators, the programmes tend to be the smallest. Past experience shows that
countries do not seek to exit from providing food to their schoolchildren, but rather to
transition from externally supported projects to nationally owned programmes.
Countries that have made a successful transition have often explored linking school
feeding programmes to agriculture and economic development –an approach also
known as “Home Grown School Feeding” (HGSF).
In 2003, African governments included locally-sourced school feeding programs as a
key intervention within the food security pillar of the Comprehensive Africa
Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP). That same year, the New
Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), launched a pilot HGSF programme.
Many countries, including Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Mali and Nigeria, are
implementing national programmes, and many more are seeking to develop or
strengthen scaled and sustainable HGSF. In response to this demand, the World
Bank, WFP, PCD, and other key stakeholders have been working together since
early 2008 to help governments develop and implement cost effective, sustainable
national school feeding programmes.
HGSF provides an integrated framework with multiple impacts across agriculture,
health, nutrition and education. HGSF is clearly a complex intervention and there are
several important gaps in the evidence on optimal programme implementation and
measures of cost-effectiveness. With support from the Bill & Melinda Gates
Foundation, the Partnership for Child Development (PCD) has launched a
programme to support government action to deliver sustainable, nationally owned
HGSF in sub-Saharan Africa. The programme is providing direct, evidence-based,
and context-specific support and expertise for the design and management of HGSF
programmes.
As part of this programme, PCD and partners are working with governments to
strengthen the policy frameworks for school feeding, including a focus on improving
the management of existing strategic grain reserves through linkages with school
feeding programmes. This work includes providing evidence based technical
assistance, including innovative technologies, to support governments that wish to
deliberately link their SGRs to their school feeding programs in order to improve the
rotation and management of the reserve stocks (e.g. reduce stock age) and to
strengthen the procurement from smallholder farmers.
The post holder will work with a multi-disciplinary team of researchers from PCD and
partner organisations on the development and implementation of a research program
on strengthening the evidence base of HGSF. The position focuses on strengthening
food policy and legal frameworks for HGSF in sub-Saharan Africa, including the area
of strategic grain reserves.
Key Responsibilities
 Work with a team of colleagues from PCD and partners to implement HGSF
portfolio of research
 Work with the team on developing the food policy component of HGSF
programmes in selected countries, and on the design and implementation of
field research activities, analysis, and publication of findings
 Engage with a variety of stakeholders, including donors, partners from other
research centers, other partner institutions, and policy actors to stimulate new
research and investments in school food policy
 Analyse data from primary research, write up results and publish in peerreviewed journals, other publication outlets within PCD, and the wider
scientific community
 Work with colleagues on research proposal development, as needed
Other Responsibilities


Observe and comply with all College policies and regulations, including the key
policies and procedures on Confidentiality, Conflict of Interest, Data Protection,
Equal Opportunities, Financial Regulations, Health and Safety, Imperial
Expectations (for new leaders, managers and supervisors), Information
Technology, Private Engagements and Register of Interests, and Smoking.
Undertake specific safety responsibilities relevant to individual roles, as set out
on the College Website Health and Safety Structure and Responsibilities page
(http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/safety/policies/organisationandarrangements).
Job descriptions cannot be exhaustive and so the post holder may be required
to undertake other duties, which are broadly in line with the above key
responsibilities.
Imperial College is committed to equality of opportunity and to eliminating
discrimination. All employees are expected to adhere to the principles set out
in our Equal Opportunities in Employment Policy, Promoting Race Equality
Policy and Disability Policy and all other relevant guidance/practice
frameworks.
PERSON SPECIFICATION
Qualifications
Essential (for appointment to Research Assistant)
 MSc or equivalent in agriculture, development economics or food policy
related field

Essential (for appointment to Research Associate)
 PhD or equivalent in agriculture, development economics or food policy
related field
Experience
Essential
 Demonstrable analytical and policy experience to equivalent level in an
appropriate field
 Understanding of literature on institutional development, regulation and the
changing roles of the state
 Demonstrable experience of working with governments on policy/regulatory
development
 Demonstrable experience in the area law, governance or public
administration
 Substantial work, research and/or policy experience in low and middle-income
countries
 Experience in communicating results in different multicultural and multistakeholder settings
 Experience working public health professionals
Essential for appointment as Research Associate

Record of publications in the peer-reviewed journals
Skills and Abilities
Essential







Demonstrated ability to design and manage qualitative research studies,
including design of field work, supervision of data collection, data analysis,
writing and publication of results
Demonstrated ability to publish in peer-reviewed journals
Demonstrated ability to work in multi-disciplinary teams with a variety of
stakeholders on multi-sectoral projects
Ability to translate academic knowledge into policy and practice-relevant
outputs
Ability to multi-task, work in a dynamic environment, and take initiatives to
resolve issues
Excellent written and spoken communication skills
Excellent interpersonal skills
Other
Essential
 Willingness to travel extensively as required
Imperial Expectations
These are the 7 principles that Imperial leaders, managers and supervisors are
expected to follow:
1) Champion a positive approach to change and opportunity
2) Communicate regularly and effectively within, and across, teams
3) Consider the thoughts and expectations of others
4) Deliver positive outcomes
5) Encourage inclusive participation and eliminate discrimination
6) Support and develop staff to optimise talent
7) Work in a planned and managed way
APPLICATION GUIDANCE
Please read the person specification carefully and describe, as part of your
application, how much you feel you meet each of the criteria.
If you attach a CV it should include the following information:
Applicant’s full name, private address and private telephone number
A confidential fax number and e-mail address, where possible
Degrees (including University and dates)
Past and present posts
List of publications
Brief description of future research plans
Names, addresses and, email, fax numbers, of three referees.
Thank you for your interest in this post. We look forward to receiving your
application.
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