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Scientific Officer, South Africa

Scientific Officer, South Africa

Job ID 
Regular Full-Time
Hutchinson Centre Research Institute of South Africa
ZA-Cape Town
Laboratory Research Sciences

More information about this job


The Cape Town HVTN Immunology Laboratory (CHIL;, a division of the Hutchinson Centre Research Institute of South Africa (HCRISA), performs standardized endpoint assays compliant with GCLP guidelines to analyze immune responses elicited to HIV vaccines in clinical trials.  The laboratory is a state-of-the art facility located in the Gardens neighborhood of central Cape Town.


The position will involve designing and conducting experiments to evaluate immune responses to vaccines tested in clinical trials. The Scientific Officer (SO) will conduct laboratory studies, train research technologists and implement laboratory quality assurance processes, maintaining an endpoints lab compliant with Good Clinical Laboratory Practices (GCLP). S/he will report to Cape Town Laboratory management and will work in conjunction with the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN) Laboratory Program GCLP and R&D teams based in the US, as well as with members of the HVTN consortium to perform this job.


Laboratory Activities:

  • Perform and oversee laboratory assays, data analysis and troubleshooting of experiments. Establish and implement new techniques in the laboratory and conduct exploratory studies to answer immunological questions related to vaccination
  • The SO will also carry out validation of assays and/or equipment for the GCLP laboratory
  • Assist with writing procedures, study plans, final study reports, and reports to sponsors
  • Train and supervise laboratory technologists
  • Participate in both formal and informal sharing of data amongst collaborating researchers.
  • Provide guidance to visiting scientists within the lab
  • Facilitate and implement additional HVTN laboratory studies as needed.


Project Management:

  • Oversee lab studies, tracking progress and ensuring adherence to timelines
  • Coordinate lab activities with key collaborators
  • Assist with progress report and grant writing as needed.
  • Assist with budget development and management of laboratory expenditures.
  • Assist with and participate in funding agency communications and site reviews; prepare materials as requested.


Other duties as assigned


  • The ideal candidate will have a PhD in Immunology or a related field, along with experience training staff. Substantial experience with assay development and standardization is required. Special qualifications: will work with biohazardous (e.g., HIV-1, EBV, vaccinia) and radioactive materials.
  • Experience with GCLP/GCP is desirable, as well as a high level of attention to detail, organizational skills, and a commitment to accuracy.
  • Duties will require working in a team-oriented research environment and the ability to work independently. A background in project completion is preferred, with the ability to manage project schedules, including tasks, deliverables, and milestones.
  • Excellent communication (oral and written) and problem-solving skills are required. Motivation, independent work and adaptability are essential, as is a keen interest in the vaccine field. 
  • Experience managing staff
  • Proficiency in the following computer programs is necessary: MS Office, Illustrator or other drawing program, Graph Pad Prism or other graphing program