Clinical Mycobacteriology and Epidemiology
Welcome to Stellenbosch University

Division of Molecular Biology and Human Genetics

​​​Clinical Mycobacteriology and Epidemiology (CLIME) Group​​ 

Vacancies

Laboratory Manager Grade 9.1

Within CLIME research Group at the Division of Molecular Biology and Human Genetics, Department Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University (Tygerberg Campus, Cape Town)

Two-year fixed-term appointment with the possibility of extension (Ref. TGB02/188/0820)


CLIME is an internationally-funded research group comprised of 37 staff (25 of whom are laboratory staff) that focusses on tuberculosis, the single biggest cause of death in South Africa. CLIME is seeking a dynamic and energetic individual to manage and supervise activities within its laboratory and the various stakeholders (field staff, national, and international collaborators) that interact with our group to a high standard. The incumbent should ensure compliance with the relevant international and national norms and standards.


Duties: The Laboratory Manager position is a key position that requires developing an in-depth knowledge of the laboratory, clinical sites, and research activities in order to efficiently execute their duties, and lead and manage other laboratory personnel. The manager must gain knowledge of all projects within CLIME and be able to facilitate a flow of work and communication between the laboratory and recruitment sites. The manager needs to ensure that the laboratory is fit-for-purpose and enable research to be conducted to a high standard to produce outputs. The manager should ensure that the working environment in the laboratory allows for the effective and productive completion of tasks. They should also be able to cater for new projects, members, and objectives. The manager is also responsible for centrally maintaining lab protocols and all records pertaining to Good Clinical Laboratory Practice, Health and Safety, and study-specific laboratory deliverables. The manager will work closely with the CLIME technical officer (who oversees field-based specimen collection, processing, and testing), both of whom report directly to the Principal Investigator. Duties include, but are not limited to: 

 

  • Running, maintaining and managing the laboratory, maintaining quality standards and troubleshooting issues within the research group;
  • Assisting with facilitating and managing on-going projects and aiding with the planning and implementation of new projects;
  • Conducting orientation, training, mentoring and competency assessments for laboratory personnel, students, and clinical staff at Biosafety levels 2 and 3;
  • Ensuring that all procedures and experiments in the laboratory are validated before implementation. This involves facilitating communication between the researchers, the lab, and the sites to ensure processes and practices are unified;
  • Conducting any necessary applications for registrations or accreditation for the lab;
  • Hiring and conducting work agreements and performance appraisals for all Research Assistants and Interns, as well as providing day-to-day management; 
  • Aiding and facilitating any legal contracts between the research group and collaborators, as necessary, including assisting with the completion of internal documentation;
  • Creation and version maintenance of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), LaboratoryOperating Manuals, Safety Manuals, relevant compliance documents and lab files. This involves conducting regular internal audits of SOPs, techniques, financial records, and lab files. This includes creation and maintenance of important documents for the research team(including meeting minutes, journal club presentation rosters, lab maintenance duties, labwork duty rosters and back-up rosters);
  • Responsible for purchasing equipment, as well as the validations, servicing, maintenance, and calibrations thereof for the laboratory;
  • Carrying out ordering of stock, consumables, and reagents for the research group and for clinical activities. This includes maintaining records, stock lists and the stock room;
  • Maintaining Good Laboratory Practice compliance, Biosafety and Environmental Ethicsaccreditation and ensuring SU Health and Safety and Occupational Safety regulations are implemented in all laboratory and clinical site activities;
  • Representing the research group at senior fora, including Departmental Managementmeetings, Health and Safety meetings, the Biomedical Research Institute team, the GoodLaboratory Practice compliance team, and the COVID-19 re-integration committee;
  • Handling queries and issues for the lab and the clinical sites such as lab troubleshooting issues, project and experimental details, stock and ordering queries, online system issues, amongst others;
  • Functioning as a Health and Safety representative and conducting inspections as necessary;
  • Serving as a back-up to assist with lab duties to conduct tests on patient specimens for TB monitoring and detection, specimen processing at a Biosafety-level 3, GeneXpert testing and DNA extraction, where needed;
  • Closely coordinating all the above duties in conjunction with the CLIME technical officer.


​There is also scope for additional project management tasks, depending on the incumbent’s preferences and training. 


Job requirements: 

  • A Master’s degree in Microbiology, Medical Sciences, Molecular Biology, or a related field;
  • A minimum of two to three years’ experience in laboratory management;
  • Up-to-date Good Clinical Laboratory training;
  • Knowledge of applicable computer software programs is required.


Recommendations: 

  • Excellent knowledge of methods, materials, techniques, and equipment used in a Medical Microbiology research laboratory;​
  • Ability to solve problems effectively and timeously;​
  • Excellent planning, organisational, interpersonal, communication and time management skills;
  • Ability to prioritise tasks and meet deadlines;
  • Ability to work independently, as well as in a group environment;
  • Ability to train and mentor laboratory personnel according to regulated standards and safety regulations.

Commencement of duties: 1 October 2020 or as soon as possible 

Enquiries: Prof. Grant Theron on 021 938 9693, or at gtheron@sun.ac.za 

Closing date: 31 August 2​020​

Please note:

Candidates must apply online on http://www.sun.ac.za/english/careers

CVs cannot be received over email.​


Two funded PhD positions in Tuberculosis Diagnostics

PhD position in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University (Tygerberg Campus, Cape Town)

Screenshot 2020-08-19 at 11.11.41.pngScope: Evaluation of the diagnostic accuracy and potential clinical effect of novel non-sputum tests for the diagnosis of incipient and active TB. 

Duration: 3 years (renewal possible beyond this period contingent on funding). 

Project description: Tuberculosis (TB), despite being curable, remains the single biggest infectious cause of death in the world. New diagnostics are key to identifying people who would benefit from preventative or first-line treatment, thereby curtailing transmission. After decades of innovation, several promising close-to-market technologies are now ready for field evaluations in settings representative of routine clinical care in Africa. This is required to inform regulatory approval and optimise their update in a manner that could be transformative for patient and clinical care. 

The Clinical Mycobacteriology & Epidemiology (CLIME) group at Stellenbosch University is seeking to fill two exciting key PhD positions in this area. 

Both positions are embedded within long-term internationally funded research projects that span several African countries. These projects are evaluating the Xpert Predict3 and SeroSelectTB assays on capillary blood for the diagnosis of incipient and active TB, respectively. A package of other early and late-stage tests will be evaluated. The effect of using results for patient management will be estimated. Both projects are, in terms of scientific scope and logistical activity, interlinked and offer considerable training opportunities and scientific leeway for additional activity. They also involve commercial test developers and policymakers. 

Successful candidates will join a broader team of individuals working on different TB diagnostics projects within CLIME. Candidates’ typical day-to-day activities will include co-supervising and assisting with specimen collection and processing (including in a BSL3 facility), diagnostic testing (including troubleshooting and optimisation), field site implementation, data queries and data extractions, interim analyses, preparing reports, and manuscript and funding application writing. The positions are multidisciplinary in nature and require liaising with diverse stakeholders, including academic, clinical, and logistical staff.​

Prospective candidates are encouraged to familiarise themselves with literature in the field and CLIME’s track record. 


Application details: 

Applicants should have attained a Masters-level degree within the last 2 years (grade at least 60%), and have a strong background in medical microbiology, epidemiology, public health, clinical trials, or related disciplines. 

A competitive tax-free bursary is provided. The successful candidate will be assisted in applying for additional funding that they will be permitted to keep, provided it complies with the funders’ and the University’s rules. 

To apply, please send a cover letter, a CV containing details with relevant experience, grades, and the email addresses and telephone numbers of three references to Drs Anna Ojo (annaojo@sun.ac.za) and Shima Abdulgader (sabdulgader@sun.ac.za) before Monday 14 September 2020. Please include “CLIME PhD positions in TB diagnostics” in the subject of your email. Early applications are encouraged. We will stop looking when we find candidates we like. We are seeking to fill these positions as soon as possible. 

For questions, please contact the CLIME group head Prof Grant Theron (gtheron@sun.ac.za) and copy the above staff. To find out more about CLIME, visit https://goo.gl/6vNAxl

The SU Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences is situated about 20 minutes from central Cape Town and 30 minutes from the Stellenbosch campus by car.​