MRC LABORATORIES, THE GAMBIA - Medical Research Council

Job Description
Head of Data Management
Job title:
Head of Data Management
The post holder is accountable to the Theme Leader for Disease Control and Elimination
Purpose of the Job:
The post-holder will be responsible for improving the quality of data management in the
Unit by developing and implementing the Unit's data management policy. The postholder will be responsible for developing the Unit's capacity for managing research data
to the standard expected of an international clinical trial centre.
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 is being organized under three themes: Child
Survival; Disease Control & Elimination; Vaccination. 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 MRC Unit; The Gambia to support its increasing portfolio of grants intends to further
strength its capabilities for data management through the appointment of an
International Post as Head of Data Management. The Data Management team is a
dynamic part of the Unit, and plays a vital part in the successful implementation of
studies. The Unit has built up extensive experience in the use of Microsoft products
developing solutions using MS Access, MS SQL Server, VBA, VB.Net, C#.Net, ASP and
ASP.Net., it has also implemented Open Source Data Management tools such as
OpenClinica and the Open Data Kit. Data Management also works alongside the Unit's
Statisticians and conducts a great deal of work in close collaboration with the
MRC Gambia runs many studies simultaneously. Each study requires its own data
management solution. The Unit has an efficient and established a centralised pool of data
entry staff funded by projects but which works across all projects. The Unit has a small
core team of Database Developer, Data Manager and a Manager of Data Entry which is
supplemented by flexible externally funded project staff .
The Unit is committed to Good Clinical Practice (GCP) and its requirements, and works
steadily to improve its compliance.
Salary will be in Band 3
The post-holder will:
Be responsible for strengthening the management and quality of data
management in all studies. The person will take a lead role in developing robust
systems to manage the application production cycle, the study process, and to
ensure regulatory requirements are met.
Be expected to take a lead role in identifying weaknesses, developing managed
solutions, negotiating with senior colleagues, and implementing changes.
Be responsible identifying, establishing and implementing new technology
strategies as they affect data management at the Unit.
Develop and implement the Unit's data management policy, ensuring the Unit's
adherence to the Data Protection Act; the principles of Good Research Practice
and Good Clinical Practice; and the requirements of the ICH for clinical trials as
they relate to data processing and will also monitor and review our adherence to
these standards. This will be achieved by:
Advising research scientists on the design of databases and the development of
data processing plans.
Oversee the design, construction and maintenance of relational databases for
clinical trials and epidemiological studies for the Unit's research programmes. For
complex studies involving field, laboratory and hospital-based data collection this
will require detailed analysis of the flow of information, the follow-up of subjects
and the processing of samples, the design of forms, the design of single or multiuser databases, the design of data entry forms, checking procedures, and of data
Developing and running a formal programme of induction, training and on-the-job
supervision to build the capacity of data management staff to query in SQL
Server, and to manage study data to a high standard.
Establish standard procedures for data management that might include the use of
standardized codlings and formats for commonly used variables; the use of
encryption and coding algorithms for handling confidential data; the use of check
digits for personal identifiers; and the development of a set of standardized
questionnaire modules.
Be directly responsible for the technical supervision and management of the Unit's
database developer, data managers, manager of data entry and provide technical
guidance for data supervisors, and the Unit's data entry staff, now housed in a
single pool.
To establish an annual workforce plan for data management, working closely with
scientific staff ensuring that the effective coordination and allocation of staffing
meets the priorities and availability of resources within the Unit
To undertake any other duties consistent with the remit of the post.
The post-holder will be a full-time member of the MRC staff.
The post-holder will report to Professor Umberto D’Alessandro, Theme Leader
Disease Control and Elimination
The Unit Director is Professor Tumani Corrah.
The Director of Operations is Mr Peter Noble.
Appraisals are held at least annually.
Length of appointment:
The appointment is for 3 years and is subject to a probationary period of 6 months.
Title: Head of Data Management
MSc in an appropriate subject
Detailed and broad understanding of managing data in clinical studies. Particular
value will be placed on experience that relates to GCP compliant work. You
should have experience of quality assurance and control in a clinical data
Sound understanding of Microsoft Database solutions – including MS SQL Server,
MS Access, IIS and Net technologies. Particular value will be placed on explicit
application development experience. Experience designing and managing studies
in OpenClinica
Significant experience in leading, developing, managing and motivating effective
Excellent verbal and written English communication skills and the ability to interact
with people of diverse cultures and levels
A clear vision and capabilities to influence and introduce new technologies for
electronic data capture to ensure the Unit meets quality standards and secures
value for money.
Ability to be self-reliant, self-driven and results oriented
Capable of prioritizing and managing his/her time and work load effectively
Experience in programming and implementing mobile devices
Experience in a high-level coding language