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Program Officer - Research Job in Kenya

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 eighteen (18) 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, Guinea-Bissau and Nigeria.

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.

To successfully implement the enhancement of the capacity of AVU, the organization wishes to engage a well experienced Program Officer - Research, who will be responsible for setting up a Research Unit at AVU and for the implementation of the AVU Research and Development Agenda.

Scope of Work
  • Provide support in the implementation of the AVU research and development agenda.
  • Assist with writing, editing and research projects.
  • Process and track proposal and manuscript submissions for the AVU conferences and online journal.
  • Conduct initial review of conference and journal submissions for compliance with required guidelines and correspond with authors in a timely fashion on their submissions.
  • Operate online peer-review software to facilitate the peer review process including uploading files, and ensuring a timely peer review process.
  • Communicate issues raised by editorial management to authors, editors and reviewers.
  • Assist authors, reviewers, and editors by responding to queries by email and phone.
  • Liaise with copy-editors, compositors and proof readers.
  • Troubleshoot routine conference proposals and manuscript issues, provide input on discussions and escalate issues when appropriate.
  • Provide support as needed to the editorial board.
  • Assist with the organization and logistical support for the AVU annual conference.
  • Assist with press, website updates and marketing of the conferences and the journal.
  • Maintain and regularly update peer reviewer database.
  • Maintain relevant statistics on the conferences and online journal.
  • Other duties as assigned by management.

Expected Deliverables
  • Online and open peer-reviewed journal supported.
  • Organization of annual conferences supported.
  • Conference and online journal submissions processed.
  • Peer-reviewer database maintained and updated.
  • Marketing and press on conferences and online journal supported.
  • Support provided to editors and editorial board.
  • Support provided to AVU Research & Development activities.

  • Bachelor’s degree in Education, Languages (English/French), Education or related discipline. Master’s degree preferred.
  • Educational training and some experience in conducting scholarly research including skills in literature review, research design, data collection, analysis and reporting.
  • Strong writing and editing skills, background in working for a publication (preferably academic) would be an advantage.
  • Strong communication and organizational skills.
  • Problem-solving skills.
  • Ability to work as part of a team and 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: Bilingual French-English. Ability to write and communicate proficiently in both French and English. Knowledge of Portuguese will be an added advantage.

Computer Skills: Microsoft Office, Power Point, Excel, Access, Internet Skills.
Modalities of Work: This is a full time employment.

Duration: 2 years renewable.

Reporting: The Research Assistant will report to the Manager, Research & Development

Payment: The salary will be commensurate with the qualification and experience of the successful candidate.

How to Apply

The successful candidate will be appointed for 2 years renewable.

Application must include a cover letter, detailed curriculum vitae and two writing samples. Also required is a telephone number; email and residential addresses; and names with contact addresses of three professional references.

Applications should be sent to and must have Research Assistant as the email subject.

All inquiries should be sent to

The successful candidate will be based at the AVU Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya.

The closing date for this application is 21st October 2013 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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