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Research Assistant Job in Kenya

Vacancy: Consultant – Research Assistant

: The African Virtual University (AVU) is a Pan African Intergovernmental Organization established by charter with the mandate of significantly increasing access to quality higher education and training through the innovative use of information communication technologies. 

A Charter, establishing the AVU as an Intergovernmental Organization, has been signed so far by nineteen (19) African Governments - Kenya, Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Cote d’Ivoire, Tanzania, Mozambique, Democratic Republic of Congo, Benin, Ghana, Republic of Guinea, Burkina Faso, Niger, South Sudan, Sudan, The Gambia, and Guinea-Bissau. 

The AVU has its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya and a Regional office in Dakar Senegal with Host-Country Agreements and Diplomatic Status with the two governments.

The AVU Business Plan 2009-2014 has two main thrusts: 

(a) Educational and support services provided on a fee basis; and

(b) Not-for-profit development services. 

The Not-for-profit development services aims at building the capacity of AVU Partner Institutions (PIs) with an objective of increasing access to quality education through the following activities: updating and developing content; Open Educational Resources (OER) Development; AVU Capacity

Enhancement Program (ACEP); set up/upgrade ODeL centers; developing professional networks through Communities of Practices; Research and Development; and Quality Evaluation and Benchmarking.

Some of the Not-for-profit development services were delivered from 2005 to 2011 through the AVU Multinational Project I, funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and implemented in 10 African countries.

The AfDB is funding a second phase of the Multinational Project which will build on the first phase and will extend its benefits to more countries. 

The overall objective of the AVU Multinational Project II is to strengthen the capacity of the AVU and a network of 27 institutions to deliver and manage quality ICT integrated education and training opportunities in 21 African countries.

The project has the following activities: 

(1) Establishment of new Open Distance and eLearning (ODeL) Centers and/or upgrading of exiting AVU Learning Centers as well as Internet connectivity provision at AVU Partner Institutions;

(2) Development and/or improvement, and delivery of four ICT integrated Programs: AVU Capacity Enhancement Program (ACEP); Teacher Education (TE), Computer Science (CS), and Peace and Conflict Resolution; 

(3) Gender Mainstreaming, 

(4) Research and Development; 

(5) Promotion and development of Open Education Resources (OERs); and 

(6) Enhancement of AVU Capacity.

The AVU Multinational Project II will be implemented in 27 AVU Partner Institutions in the following 21 countries: nine (9) Francophone African Countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal; three (3) Lusophone African Countries: Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau and Mozambique; and nine (9) Anglophone African Countries: Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sudan, South Sudan, and Tanzania.
B) Research & Development
Research and Development is a new area for the AVU and the objectives of the AVU R&D Unit include; 

(1) strengthen capacity for quality research in open, distance and e-learning (ODeL) in higher education in Africa; 

(2) identify research areas (e.g. OERs, mobile learning) and conduct research related to AVU activities, such as the MSPII; 

(3) coordinate the implementation of research in mobile learning;

(4) promote dissemination of ODeL research by organizing international conferences and publication of a peer reviewed open access online journal; 

(5) strengthen the capacity of the AVU to make strategic plans and to provide technical assistance on the basis of research findings.

The R&D Unit will be conducting a number of ongoing studies including on open education resources (OER) and mobile learning, and wishes to engage a consultant to provide research assistance according to the details outlined below.

2.0 Qualifications
  • Minimum: Master’s Degree in any field, Education preferred.
  • Knowledge, skills and experience in academic research including: literature review, research design, data collection, data analysis, report compilation and writing.
  • Have sample of research work or writing
  • Strong communication and organizational skills.
  • Problem-solving skills.
  • Ability to work as part of a team as well as independently.
  • Ability to collaborate with individuals from different location and cultures.
  • Self-starter and able to take initiative.
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment.
  • Language: Ability to write and communicate proficiently in English. French or Portuguese desirable but not necessary.
  • Good computer skills as well as familiarity with common used research software.
3.0 Scope of Work
The consultant will be expected to provide research assistance in the following areas:
  • Conducting and compiling literature reviews,
  • Desktop research,
  • Research design (surveys, interview protocols etc)
  • Data collection including administering surveys, conducting interviews and if needed travel to research sites.
  • Data coding, data analysis, statistical analyses, document analysis,
  • Report compilation and writing
  • Correspond and follow-up with research participants as needed
4.0. Expected Deliverables: Research support provided as agreed in conducting and compiling literature review, desk top research, research design and instrument development, data collection, data analysis, report compilation and writing, and corresponding with research participants. 
5.0. Modalities of Work: The modalities of the work will be agreed upon with the Manager, Research & Development.

The consultant will be required to fill a time sheet and provide a monthly report of tasks accomplished as per deliverables indicated above.

6.0 Duration: The consultant is expected to provide support for an initial period of 6 months, renewable for another 6 months if performance is satisfactory.
7.0 Reporting: The consultant will report to the Manager Research & Development
8.0 Payment: The consultant will be expected to work for 8 days in a month for a nominal fee as will be agreed. The opportunity is suitable for an advanced student (masters/doctoral) looking to gain additional experience.

How to Apply

The successful candidate will be appointed for Eight (8) days a month for a period of Six (6) months. 

Application must include an application letter and a detailed curriculum vitae with: a telephone number; email address; and names with contact addresses of three professional references. 

Applications should be sent to and must have Consultant – Research Assistant as the email subject The successful candidate will be based at the AVU Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya.
The closing date for this application is May 7th 2015 at 18:00 East African Time (UTC/GMT + 3)
Note: ONLY shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

The African Virtual University (AVU) is an equal opportunity employer.


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