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Professor – Head of Theme job at London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)

About the Organization

The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine is renowned for its research, postgraduate studies and continuing education in public and global health.

LSHTM has an international presence and collaborative ethos. It is uniquely placed to help shape health policy and translate research findings into tangible impact.

Job Description

The MRC/UVRI and LSHTM Uganda Research Unit (the Unit) was established in 1988 to improve the understanding and control of the HIV epidemic in Uganda and globally. Since its establishment by the UK’s Medical Research Council (MRC) the Unit has grown and now also conducts research on neglected, and emerging infections, as well as research on non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
The Unit is based in Entebbe, with established field stations in the Kalungu district and Masaka. In 2018, the Unit became part of the LSHTM family, boosting research capacity into some of the current and emerging health issues in Africa and globally. Today, the Unit hosts over 60 lead scientists and around 34 PhD students. The Unit, with a compelling record of scientific achievement and a suite of cutting-edge platforms and capabilities (including clinical trials capacity), is uniquely placed to play a leading role in tackling the changing health needs in the region, while directly supporting the development and training of talented African researchers.
While maintaining strong partnerships working with LSHTM and with the MRC, the Unit is empowered to develop and deliver its own scientific strategy. The Unit’s science is organized under three research Themes, each led by a senior scientist – the Viral
Pathogens Theme, the Vaccine Research Theme and the NCD Theme. Social sciences are firmly embedded in all the Unit’s Themes, with a vision to examine the social determinants of health across the life course, to better understand individuals’ and communities’ lived experiences of health and disease and to inform intervention design, uptake, and evaluation.
We are seeking a dynamic research leader to take on the role of Head of the NCD Theme. The NCD Theme aims to undertake world-leading research to understand how local genetic and environmental exposures, such as infections and malnutrition, shape unique manifestations of NCDs in sub-Saharan Africa. Better understanding of the fundamental underlying mechanisms will inform best ways to prevent and treat these disorders.
The Head of Theme plays a critical role for the Unit in assessing scientific opportunities for the Unit and driving forward cutting-edge research programmes around a coherent scientific vision. Current focus areas of research are cardiometabolic disorders (notably diabetes), mental health, health and quality of life of people with disabilities, and emotional stress and violence, particularly in adolescents and the youth.
The Theme currently includes two professors, three associate professors, nine postdocs and 18 PhDs
UVRI Partnership
The Unit is hosted and operates in close collaboration with UVRI, an institution of the Uganda Government’s Ministry of Health under the Uganda National Health Research Organization (UNHRO). The UVRI is the largest Government research institution dealing with diseases of viral aetiology of public health importance in Uganda. It conducts training, research, surveillance, diagnostics, and provides expert advice. UVRI hosts several national and international (including WHO) reference and specialized testing laboratories. The Institute’s scientific mission continues to be enriched through collaboration with on campus institutions/partnerships, with the MRC/UVRI & LSHTM Uganda Research Unit being the largest partnership; other partner institutions include the
USA Centers for Disease Control and Prevention laboratories; the UVRI/International
AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) HIV Vaccine Program and USA National Institutes of Health. This setup, which includes sharing of training facilities, laboratories and a joint ethics committee, provides a rich environment for collaborative research and facilitates links of partner institutions with the Ministry of Health. This was acutely exemplified the COVID-19 pandemic when MRC/UVRI & LSHTM Uganda Research Unit made a major contribution to the national response as the main source of SARS-CoV-2 genotype data to enable genomic surveillance.
The portfolio of duties outlined below will vary in accordance with the academic expectations of the role and any additional role to which you are formally appointed, which may be varied from time to time, and agreed at your annual Performance and Development Review (PDR)

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Duties and Responsibilities

Knowledge Generation

  • To deliver high quality research & scholarship in your field of study, individually and in collaboration with others, by maintaining a substantial programme of research supported by good research funders, publishing peer-reviewed outputs, undertaking, and supporting colleagues in, generating and securing (where relevant) intellectual property, and evaluating teaching practice;

  • To oversee and participate in doctoral student supervision and examination

  • To demonstrate research leadership and promote and ensure compliance of self and others with good practice in relation to the conduct of research, the ethics policy, inclusivity, and other relevant LSHTM policies;

  • To lead on, monitor and advance, the development of early-career researchers;

  • To demonstrate a visionary outlook on research and research funding opportunities that can contribute to the Unit’s strategy;

  • To develop, implement and evaluate strategic and operational goals for the NCD Theme, in alignment with the Unit’s overall scientific strategy and appropriate for the unique location and positioning of the Unit.


  • To deliver high quality, inclusive education and assessment in relation to your specific subject and within the broader area covered by your department and disciplinary field;

  • To contribute to the improvement of the quality and inclusivity of LSHTM’s education, by participating in the review and development of new and updated learning and teaching materials or approaches, and/or improving assessment practices, and/or improving aspects of the student experience;

  • To demonstrate educational leadership and management by taking responsibility for a specific element of the faculty’s education portfolio;

  • To contribute to the development and improvement of the Unit’s training activities, including overseeing and participating in doctoral student supervision and examination.


Internal Contribution

  • To demonstrate good internal citizenship by undertaking PDRs and promoting staff development, and by leading on the recruitment, mentoring and support of colleagues as appropriate;

  • To take on senior leadership and managerial responsibilities in a Faculty, Department, MRC Unit or Centre and LSHTM committee roles as appointed, and by supporting activities that ensure a vibrant, supportive and productive academic environment;

  • To proactively demonstrate LSHTM’s EDI goals in your work and behaviour;

  • To contribute to the effective running of the Unit in Uganda;

  • Take strategic leadership for the Unit as part of the Unit Management Committee and Unit Executive Committee;

  • To contribute intellectually and managerially towards coordinating large strategic funding opportunities such as infrastructure/strategy awards;

  • Support initiatives that aim to make research more sustainable.

External Contribution

  • To demonstrate good external citizenship by initiating and building LSHTM’s links with appropriate external and international organisations, supporting LSHTM fundraising and development activities and maintaining a strong national and international profile;

  • To promote knowledge translation and enterprise by exploiting academic knowledge beyond academia;

  • To continue existing collaborations partnerships in the region and globally and initiate new ones;

  • To work towards and take leadership in strengthening a productive Unit-UVRI partnership.

Professional Development and Training

  • To keep up-to-date with the latest research/thinking in your academic field and with changes to pedagogic practice within LSHTM and more generally;

  • To undertake and successfully complete the mandatory training required by LSHTM appropriate to the role;


  • All academic staff are free within the law to question and test received wisdom, and put forward new ideas and controversial or unpopular opinions, to enable LSHTM to engage in research and promote learning to the highest possible standards.

All staff at LSHTM are also expected to:

  • Act at all times in LSHTM’s best interests;

  • Treat staff, students and visitors with courtesy and respect at all times;

  • Comply fully with policies, procedures and administrative processes relevant to the role including when acting as Principal Investigator, accepting academic, managerial, financing and ethical responsibility for a project;

  • Uphold and support LSHTM’s values (as set out in the LSHTM Strategy)

  • Act as ambassadors for LSHTM when hosting visitors or attending external events;

Academic Expectations

  • All academic roles have a statement of academic expectations attached to each level. Please ensure that these have been read and understood. For further information please refer to the Academic Expectations page.

  • The above list of duties is not exclusive or exhaustive and the role holder will be required to undertake such tasks as may reasonably be expected within the scope and grading of the role.

  • Role descriptions should be regularly reviewed to ensure they are an accurate representation of the role.

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Qualification, Experiences and Competencies

  • PhD in a relevant discipline.

  • Distinguished academic achievement appropriate for appointment as Professor.

  • Expertise in NCDs.

  • Proven ability to obtain research funding from major funders, including salary recovery, and manage a significant portfolio of research projects.

  • Excellent track record of publishing as lead, senior and co-author in peer-reviewed outputs, as expected by the subject area/discipline in terms of types and volume of output; significant contributions to at least four outputs within the most recent 5 years which are internationally excellent and/or world leading ; supporting members of own research team to also meet their expectations for outputs.

  • Clear vision of a future research agenda.

  • An understanding of the strategies for improving equity and inclusion in research and/or learning and teaching.

  • Experience of leading and managing research teams.

  • Evidence of ability to deliver high quality research-informed teaching at postgraduate level and supervise doctoral students to successful completion.

  • Substantial evidence of recognition within external research community.

  • Demonstrate strategic leadership in the development of research.

  • Track record of successful teamwork and collaboration in an academic environment.

Desirable Criteria

  • Evidence of ability to forge productive, long-term collaborative research relationships.

  • Experience of innovation in teaching delivery and assessment.

  • Experience of senior teaching management such as Programme Director, and/or Exam Board member, Periodic Review panel member etc.

  • Demonstrable evidence of improving equity and inclusion in research and/or learning and teaching.

  • Experience of engagement with national and/or international research and/or policy advisory bodies.

  • Demonstrate adaptability in research interests and undertake multidisciplinary research.

How to Apply

Applications should be made on-line via our jobs website. Applications should also include the names and email contacts of 2 referees who can be contacted immediately if appointed. Online applications will be accepted by the automated system until 10pm of the closing date. We regret that late applications cannot be accepted. Any queries regarding the application process may be addressed to

The supporting statement section should set out how your qualifications, experience and training meet each of the selection criteria. Please provide one or more paragraphs addressing each criterion. The supporting statement is an essential part of the selection process and thus a failure to provide this information will mean that the application will not be considered. An answer to any of the criteria such as "Please see attached CV”, “Yes” or “No" will not be considered acceptable and will not be scored.

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