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Veterinary Research Fellowship in One Health, Kenya (Kenyan-Licensed)

The Smithsonian's Global Health Program and Mpala Research Centre are offering an opportunity for a veterinary fellow to conduct independent research and participate in ongoing field programs in Kenya, as well as to develop novel projects. This is a full-time, two-year appointment. The fellow will be based at Mpala Research Centre in Laikipia, Kenya. Preferred start date is May 2018.

The successful candidate will both: (1) pursue innovative research questions in the fields of conservation medicine, epidemiology and emerging infectious diseases; and (2) gain valuable experience through field and laboratory veterinary components of numerous projects with a variety of species (both wild and domestic).

They will also participate in outreach and training opportunities (as both the trainer and trainee). The postdoctoral fellow will collaborate closely with a second Smithsonian veterinary fellow, as well as individuals at Mpala Research Center, Kenya Wildlife Service, Smithsonian's Global Health Program, Ol Jogi Wildlife Conservancy and other collaborating organizations. The selected candidate will receive guidance from the director of training at GHP, the director of MRC and the head of veterinary services at KWS. The fellow will join a growing team of veterinarians, ecologists, public health specialists and other experts working on issues in conservation, domestic animal health and human health.

Learning Objectives: 
  • Collaborate with both U.S. and Kenyan colleagues to develop and conduct One Health and conservation research
  • Attend and provide community outreach and professional training programs in veterinary and public health
  • Serve as field veterinary support for capture and sampling of various species on projects of GHP, KWS, MRS and additional collaborators in Kenya
  • Gain experience with diagnostic laboratory work
  • Learn the process of acquiring appropriate permits and permissions
  • Work across Smithsonian research centers, Kenyan wildlife and scientific agencies, and local conservation groups to advance existing collaborations and develop new partnerships
  • Participate in scientific meetings, develop scientific manuscripts and engage with colleagues and collaborators pursuing related research questions
  • Expand leadership experience by providing guidance and assistance to technicians, students, fellow postdocs and others carrying out related work

Expectations: 

  • Ensure proper safety protocols and collection procedures are in place, with appropriate labeling, storage and organization (including database maintenance) of all samples
  • Maintain the highest standard of ethics in observing laws and protocols, as well as in following approved (and perhaps developing and acquiring) IACUC procedures
  • Adhere to Kenyan laws and regulations
  • Link research activities to regional issues of concern by developing applied tools and solutions that benefit both scientific research and partner groups
Qualifications: 

The fellow must have a degree in veterinary medicine from a recognized university and a registered and retained member of the Kenya Veterinary Board. A master's or Ph.D. in veterinary epidemiology, medicine, pathology or any other relevant field is an added advantage.  At least one year post-qualification working experience is required, preferably with wildlife and/or disease surveillance. Fellow should be fluent in English, proficient with Microsoft Office software (e.g., Word, Excel) and possess a valid Certificate of Good Conduct from the CID.  Incumbent should show enthusiasm for collaborating across institutions and countries to jointly pursue research topics relevant to both academic and applied audiences. Willingness and ability to visit the United States for cross-training opportunities at the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute is required.

Other preferred (but not required) skills include experience designing, organizing and managing field work; experience writing grants, scientific reports and manuscripts; and experience designing and carrying out research projects.

Stipend: 
A stipend will be provided.
Housing: 
Housing details are being worked out.
Parking: 
Free parking is available on-site at Mpala Research Center.
Term of appointment: 
This is a two-year appointment.
Application deadline(s): 
Friday, February 16, 2018
Status: 
Open
Location: 
Kenya
Internship Category: 
Animal Programs
How to Apply: 

Interested applicants should submit a CV, names and contact information for three references, and a cover letter to Dr. Lindsey Shields (ShieldsL@si.edu) by Friday, February 16. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

The cover letter should include:

  1. The applicant’s career goals and what they would hope to gain from the fellowship;
  2. A summary of the applicant’s veterinary qualifications and experience working with wildlife species;
  3. A summary of the applicant’s research and analysis experience and interests;
  4. A brief proposal of research they might want to undertake;
  5. A summary of the applicant’s outreach and training experience; and
  6. One to three examples of how the applicant has worked successfully with international collaborators or how they would plan to do so.