Head of Portfolio - NTD Research

Location: UK - flexible

Contract Type: Permanent

Closing Date: 24 October 2021

Salary: £60,000 - £65,000

Specific Hours: Standard office hours

Head of Portfolio - NTD Research

High quality evidence and research are critical for Sightsavers operations. We hold Independent Research Organisation (IRO) status granted by UK Research and Innovation (UK RI). Our in-house Research team includes over 20 staff with expertise in epidemiology, economics, social science, GIS methods and systematic reviews. We are seeking a Head of Portfolio – a senior research leader to provide strategic leadership and technical oversight for our NTD research portfolio.   


Title:            Head of Portfolio, NTD Research

Location:     Sightsavers UK Office 

Salary:         £60,000 - £65,000

Contract:     Permanent Contract


About the role

We are one of the major global players in the delivery of programmes targeting elimination of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) working primarily on five preventive chemotherapy NTDs; trachoma, onchocerciasis, lymphatic filariasis, schistosomiasis and soil transmitted helminths (STH). 

The Head of Portfolio will have a senior role within the Research Directorate and will work closely with other research leads, the NTD Technical Hub and Country Offices. Primary responsibilities will be to expand and strengthen our research portfolio and ensure that it is aligned with our NTD Strategic Plan and global research priorities. The post holder will also act as the Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator on specific NTD studies and ensure that they are delivered on time, on budget and to the highest possible methodological and ethical standards.  This position will lead the NTD research team and provide direct line management to a number of posts. 


Principal accountabilities will include:

  • Leading the development and growth of our NTD research portfolio and ensure its strategic relevance and methodological rigour
  • Providing organisational leadership in strengthening the evidence base of our NTD programmes and increasing global visibility of Sightsavers NTD research
  • Providing scientific leadership and technical oversight into specific NTD studies, acting as principle or co-investigator and undertaking quality assurance and technical guidance
  • Working closely with the NTD Technical hub and NTD programmes to identify NTD research priorities aligned with the NTD Strategy
  • Working with the research uptake and learning (RUL) advisers and Sightsavers communications team to deliver the RUL and Research communication strategies
  • Working with fundraising teams and NTD programmes to develop fundraising strategies and raise new income for NTD research and innovations
  • Providing strong leadership in raising the profile of Sightsavers as a trusted partner in high quality NTD research
  • Overseeing the work and line manage relevant research staff and consultants in line with organisational policies
  • Supporting the Director of Evidence, Research and Innovations and making contributions to cross-departmental and cross-organisational initiatives


About you

We are looking for an individual with the ability to design, lead and manage research projects. To succeed in this role, you will need:

  • A degree in Biosciences, Medicine or similar discipline (Essential)
  • An MSc in Public Health, Epidemiology or equivalent (Essential)
  • A PhD or Professional Doctorate (Essential)
  • Excellent knowledge of NTDs and communicable diseases (Essential)
  • Excellent knowledge of different study designs and methods, both quantitative and qualitative
  • Considerable discipline experience in leading and conducting operational research in low-income countries, including epidemiological and entomological surveys (Essential)
  • A soundtrack record of winning funding applications to external donors (eg. FCDO, Taskforce for Global Health, Philanthropic foundations, Research Councils) (Essential)
  • Sound knowledge of NTD research organisations and networks (Essential)
  • Considerable experience of disseminating research through scientific conferences and peer reviewed publications (Essential)
  • Track record of managing research staff (Essential)
  • Experience of managing research teams or departments (Essential)
  • Good knowledge of disability issues and equity measurements

This is an exciting and involved role, which will also include travel for up to 12 weeks per year. Please read the job description for further details. As an inclusive employer we actively encourage applications from all sections of the community.  Qualified people living with a disability are particularly encouraged to apply. 

We anticipate that remote interviews will be held in early November 2021.


Apply now