ILRI PhD Graduate Fellowship: One CGIAR initiative on protecting human health through a One Health approach - Food safety intervention in Vietnam

  • Hanoi, Viet Nam
  • Full-time
  • CapDev

The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) seeks to recruit a PhD graduate fellow to work on One CGIAR initiative on Protecting human health through a One Health Approach-Food safety intervention in Vietnam to be hosted under the Animal and Human Health (AHH) program at ILRI.

ILRI works to improve food and nutritional security and reduce poverty in developing countries through research for efficient, safe and sustainable use of livestock. It is the only one of 15 CGIAR research centers dedicated entirely to animal agriculture research for the developing world. Co-hosted by Kenya and Ethiopia, it has regional or country offices in East, South and Southern Asia as well as Central, East, Southern and West Africa. www.ilri.org

 

The AHH program seeks to effectively manage or eliminate livestock, zoonotic and food-borne diseases that matter to the poor through the generation and use of knowledge, technologies and products, leading to higher farmer incomes and better health and nutrition for consumers and livestock. https://www.ilri.org/research/programs/animal-and-human-health

About the position

The PhD position is part of the CGIAR Research Initiative on protecting human health through a One Health approach by improving the prevention, detection and control of zoonoses, foodborne diseases and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in low- and middle-income countries. The initiative will work in seven countries: Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Côte d’Ivoire, India, Bangladesh and Vietnam. More information of the initiative can be found here: https://www.cgiar.org/initiative/07-protecting-human-health-through-a-one-health-approach/ .

In Vietnam, the concern over food safety is high and growing.  A study in 2017 found that food safety was a top concern of citizens. Foodborne diseases are not only a major public health problem but are also a barrier to smallholder farmers who wish to access high value domestic and export markets. Most foodborne diseases are due to livestock and fish products or vegetables sold in traditional and wet markets. In Vietnam, pork is the most widely consumed meat and >90% is sold in traditional markets.

In these markets, hazards are pervasive, compliance to improving food safety measures are often limited, and enforcement capacity is weak. Nevertheless, market approaches to improving food safety are emerging. These light-touch and locally accepted interventions aim to change practices in traditional markets through capacity building, rewards, and provision of an enabling policy environment (for example, professionalizing street traders rather than seeking to remove them).

The PhD fellow will work on a randomized impact evaluation of a combined voluntary vendor food safety certification program and social marketing intervention in Vietnam. Through this evaluation, ILRI, in collaboration with the International Food Policy Research Institute, aims to demonstrate a practical and non-punitive regulatory path toward improving the safety of food offered through informal markets.

Eligibility

This position is open to Vietnamese nationals only.

Responsibilities of the fellow:

The primary responsibility of the fellow is to manage the implementation of randomized interventions to improve hygiene at slaughterhouse and markets, and collection of data to evaluate the impacts of these. This work will involve coordination across three site-specific teams based near the project sites of Hanoi, Thai Nguyen, Thua Thien Hue, Can Tho, Ho Chi Minh/Dong Nai.

Specifically, the fellow will be expected to:

  • Develop a PhD proposal in line with the requirements of the university of admission
  • Contribute to design, and lead implementation, of a food safety intervention at pig slaughterhouses and traditional markets in collaboration with, Vietnamese institutions and local authorities.
  • Coordinate the collection of samples at slaughterhouses and markets, and contribute to sample processing and laboratory analysis in microbiology and molecular biology, mostly bacteria and parasites from meat and environmental samples.
  • Contribute to design and implementation of a social marketing campaign to promote vendor certification program at study markets.
  • Coordinate survey and observational data collection with multiple local research partners.
  • Conduct cost-benefit analysis of food safety intervention.
  • Write a PhD thesis for academic purposes. 
  • Write scientific papers and conference presentations on the results from the PhD studies.
  • Communicate findings to relevant stakeholders (government, extension officers, farmers, etc.).
  • Undertake other tasks relevant to the project, as assigned by work supervisors.

Minimum requirements for the ideal candidate

  • Master’s degree in veterinary medicine or veterinary public health, public health, biology, or food sciences, food technology.
  • Excellent English writing and verbal communication skills.
  • Computer experience including word-processing, spreadsheets, PowerPoint and data analyses.
  • Field work experience, including management of field teams and data collection.
  • Possess laboratory skills in microbiology and molecular biology.
  • Good skills in a programming/scripting language (e.g. R and STATA), and quantitative analysis.
  • Ability to work independently and accurately in the relevant aspects.
  • Team player, willingness to work under pressure and out of office hours, if need arises.
  • Proven record of publication (papers in journals or conferences) is preferred.
  • Knowledge of animal sourced food value chains is preferred.

Location: ILRI office in Hanoi, Vietnam

Duration: 3 Years (July 2022 – June 2025)

Terms of appointment and stipend: ILRI will offer a competitive stipend to cover living expenses in the project location, medical insurance cover, tuition costs and meet research expenses. The successful candidate will be supervised jointly by an ILRI scientist and the university/academic supervisor(s).

How to apply:

All applications MUST include the following (applications without the below documents will not be considered):

  • a cover letter expressing their interest in the fellowship position and what they can bring to the fellowship.
  • CV including names and addresses (including telephone and email) of three referees who are knowledgeable about the candidate’s professional qualifications and work experience.
  • academic qualification certificates/transcripts.

Applications will be sent to the Head of Capacity Development, ILRI by clicking on the tab "APPLY NOW" on or before 30 June 2022.The position title and reference number REF: GF/ILRI/AHH-AMR HUB/01/2022 should be clearly marked on the subject line of the cover letter.

We thank all applicants for their interest in working for ILRI. Due to the volume of applications, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

ILRI does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview meeting, processing or training). ILRI also does not concern itself with information on applicants' bank accounts.

To find out more about ILRI visit our websites at http://www.ilri.org

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