Academic Engagement Lead

Date posted: 
January 5, 2022
Closing date: February 4, 2022

This position has been filled.

Context & Role Overview

The Africa Resource Centre (ARC) is a trusted, independent advisor to Ministries of Health, donors, implementation partners and the private sector to improve the capability of African governments to achieve their supply chain strategies sustainably to reach their national health objectives. ARC follows a government-led and patient-centric approach that supports Ministries of Health in coordinating the range of resources available to them to provide accessible, efficient and effective public health services. To improve the capability of African governments to achieve their supply chain strategies sustainably to reach their national health objectives.


The primary objective of ARC’s research funding is to develop policy-relevant research that provides Ministries of Health with the basis-in-fact for making optimized changes to existing supply chain system that improve public health supply chain performance, and ultimately the health outcomes of populations in the countries ARC supports.
A secondary objective is to provide opportunities for African researchers to follow an interest in supply chain management that is currently under-represented in the African academic landscape. ARC expects faculties for teaching supply chain management to strengthen and the profession to gain higher status by providing opportunities to researchers, Gradually, these changes are expected to provide Ministries of Health and private sector organisations delivering services with a better talent pool thereby creating corresponding improvements in system performance.

Scope of Work

The Research Sponsor will report to the Supply Chain Technical (SCT) Director who has overall accountability for the delivery of ARC’s research strategy. The role will review and develop the ARC research funding operating model in collaboration with the SCT Director and thereafter be responsible for:

  • Leading ARC’s stakeholder engagement with third parties concerning research work, with a focus on brokering partnerships between institutions as required to deliver research projects
  • Advising ARC’s supply chain technical team on prioritisation and development of research concepts emerging from ARC’s project work
  • Advising ARC’s supply chain technical team on creating impactful partnerships between academic institutions where relevant
  • Co-ordinating and driving the process of disseminating the outputs from ARC’s funded research work and supporting the process of publication and advocacy for the insights generated

Given the part-time nature of the position, the role is not intended to be responsible for the operations of research concept pipeline management, or for the contracting and fund administration of funds disbursed, for which the Supply Chain Technical director and rest of ARC’s board remains accountable.

Specific Deliverables

  • Review ARC’s operating model for funding research, and make recommendations for any changes to the ToR’s of Academic Forum, Research Advisory Panel and pipeline management of research concepts
  • Develop agendas and make requests for presentations at Academic Forum and the Research Advisory Panel meetings. Chair proceedings of meetings when required and support ARC’s SCT team in co-ordinating the RAP input to funding recommendations, and in post-project dissemination of research outputs.
  • Engage with external stakeholders, including those listed below, to identify research topics of interest and provide input into prioritisation of concepts in ARC’s pipeline:
    • Ministries of Health
    • Private sector
    • Global Health Thematic Groups
  • Engage with academic and research institutions to develop relationships broadly, and in specific instances support ARC’s brokering of partnerships with and between institutions to form project teams that will conduct policy-relevant research
  • In agreement with the SCT Director, take ownership and responsibility for coaching and mentoring, and reviewing research outputs from specific instances of the research partnerships formed
  • In consultation with the SCT Director, lead presentations to ARC’s funders on the portfolio and progress of ARC’s Academic Engagement activities.
  • Presentations will Include making recommendations related to the sustainability of this effort and its gender intentionality as ARC matures as an organization.

For clarity, it is helpful to confirm that the Academic Engagement Lead role is not:

  • An operational role managing the day to day running of ARC’s research portfolio; ARC’s Supply Chain Technical team will support with that
  • A position funded to undertake or project manage research teams day to day; ARC’s role is to fund and direct research efforts undertaken by others
  • A full time role; this is a part time role focussed on advocacy,strategic advisory, and on brokering new relationships.

We expect the level of effort to achieve these deliverables to be in the region of 25-40 days per year between 2022-25.

Performance Monitoring

The intended outcomes of the ARC Research Portfolio over four years are as follows. The Research Sponsor will agree on an annual basis the activities they will carry out to pursue these outcomes and will report to the SCT Director on the completion of those activities and their contribution to the achievement of the following outputs and outcomes:

ARC has funded 10-15 Research Proposals that address policy-relevant issues in public health supply chain
ARC-funded research generates five papers that meet the standard for inclusion in peer-reviewed journals
ARC has developed partnerships with academic institutions and has brokered collaborative research projects

ARC-funded research contributes to global public health policy
ARC has funded and supported academics to have an impactful voice in advocating for leading practice adoption in their country or continent-wide
The Academic Forum has grown to be a reputable forum for researchers in PHSC


We anticipate that successful applicants for this role will already be pursuing a successful academic career and would undertake the responsibilities described above in addition to their current workload. Limited travel within Africa is likely to be required for specific events, but the timing of these should be fixed well in advance. ARC has no preferred location for the role since most engagements will be conducted remotely.

Skills and Experience:

  • Doctoral degree in supply chain management, operational research, or similar field, with a strong post-doctoral record of research in supply chain management
  • Demonstrated experience and understanding of public health programmes and challenges in Sub-Saharan Africa is desirable
  • Demonstrate ability to lead a structured and consistent process for the identification and development of research concepts
  • Ability to identify and document the skills and capabilities required to conduct research projects and to approach third party organisations to form impactful partnerships
  • Experience in stakeholder management and programme coordination, gained through sponsorship or technical leadership of complex research programmes
  • Fluency in written and spoken English, proficiency in other official languages in Sub-Saharan Africa is desirable

Behavioural Competencies

  • Leadership Competencies: Plan and prioritise work to meet commitments aligned with defined goals while holding self and others accountable to meet commitments whilst leveraging diversity and inclusion.
  • Stakeholder Management: Must be able to collaborate with stakeholders at all levels, work iteratively with them to identify potential benefits and available options for consideration, and guide them towards accepting change
  • Business Acumen: Must be numbers-oriented, as this position involves a good deal of quantitative deal shaping.
  • Analytical Skills: Requires strong analytical capabilities to identify opportunities for impactful research, and to identify the mix of skills and experience necessary to deliver high-quality outputs.
  • Detail-oriented: Must be highly technical in nature and detail-oriented, as this position involves a considerable amount of research and the interpretation of data.
  • Great communication: Must be able to communicate effectively with employees and senior executives. Must be comfortable presenting programs to employee groups and members of senior management.
  • Strong Ethics and Discretion: Because this position regularly deals with confidential information, the position requires strong ethics and discretion when it comes to handling sensitive information.

Closing date: 4 February 2022
(Applicants who have not heard from us within 30 days of the closing date may assume that their applications have been unsuccessful, and are hereby thanked for their interest).