ILRI PhD Graduate Fellowship: Impact of hygiene intervention on practices and carcass contamination in rural abattoirs in western Kenya

  • Nairobi, Kenya
  • Full-time
  • CapDev

The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) seeks to recruit a PhD graduate fellow to work on Impact of hygiene intervention on practices and carcass contamination in rural abattoirs in western Kenya under the Animal and Human Health (AHH) program at ILRI.


ILRI is a One CGIAR research centre and is the only centre dedicated entirely to animal agriculture research for the developing world. ILRI is co-hosted by Kenya and Ethiopia and has regional or country offices in 14 other locations in Africa, South and South-East Asia. Drawn from some 40 nationalities, ILRI has a work force of about 630 staff globally and operates on an annual budget of about US$100M. The institute works through extensive partnership arrangements with research and development institutions in both the developed and developing parts of the world.


ILRI’s mission is to improve food and nutritional security and to reduce poverty in developing countries through research for efficient, safe, and sustainable use of livestock — ensuring better lives through livestock. The institute’s research for development agenda covers a range of areas from laboratory-based biosciences to field-based research. Topics include animal productivity (health, genetics, and feeds), food safety and zoonoses, livestock and the environment and policies, institutions and livelihoods. Co-hosted by Kenya and Ethiopia, it has regional or country offices and projects in East, South and Southeast Asia as well as Central, East, Southern and West Africa. For further details:  


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.


 About the position


The overall health and economic burden arising from meat contamination are likely to be substantial. Although precise estimates on returns to improved hygiene and safety standards in slaughterhouses are missing, the costs of meat contamination and transmission to food systems imply that returns to these interventions are likely to be very large. The lack of adequate hygiene and sanitation facilities in slaughterhouses in developing countries is an important impediment to the practice of international hygiene standards. In Kenya, poor working conditions, including hygiene and sanitation facilities at slaughterhouses have been shown to lead to contamination of meat and transmission of pathogens. Inadequate infrastructure, resource constraints among regulatory bodies, and low levels of awareness among those who produce, trade and process animals about the adverse occupational and public health risks associated with meat contamination compound this problem. Improving hygiene practices at slaughterhouses is crucial to reduce contamination of meat in food system, mainly because large number of animals ultimately pass through them. 


Through this activity, we will develop and test, through a randomized controlled trial, an intervention to limit the spread of pathogens at slaughterhouses in Western Kenya through hygiene and meat handling practices. Counties to be included in the study are Bungoma, Kakamega, Busia, and Siaya. The goal of the research project is to test potential approaches to improve hygiene and meat handling practices at formally registered slaughter facilities in Western Kenya.


Responsibilities of the fellow:


  1. Contribute to designing an intervention to assess the impact of training and improving hygiene on practices and carcass contamination in abattoirs.
  2. Designing data and sample collection methods.
  3. Microbiological analysis of samples to identify bacteria, quantify contamination, molecular methods to identify pathogens.
  4. Different methods to determine antimicrobial resistance including disc diffusion and molecular methods.
  5. Analysis of quantitative and qualitative data associated with the intervention.
  6. Economic assessment of the costs of the intervention.
  7. Preparing manuscripts for publications and presentation at international conferences.
  8. Submission of thesis in accordance with university guidelines.
  9. Contribute to policy briefs.


Minimum requirements


The ideal candidate should:


  1. Possess a bachelor’s in veterinary science degree.
  2. Hold an MSc in Microbiology.
  3. Demonstrate previous experience conducting field work particularly quantitative and qualitative data collection.
  4. Have experience in laboratory methods, in particular, microbiology (culture, disk diffusions) and PCR.
  5. Have demonstrable experience analysing quantitative and qualitative data.
  6. Demonstrate publication record.


Location: ILRI Kenya.


Duration: 2 Years (with possibility of renewal upon performance and funding availability).


Terms of appointment and stipend: ILRI will offer a competitive stipend to cover living expenses in the project location, medical insurance cover, university 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):


Applications will be sent to the Head of Capacity Development, ILRI by clicking on the tab "APPLY NOW" on or before 10th March 2023. The position title and reference number REF: GF/ILRI/AHH /01/2023 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