Job title: Research Director, Faculty of Health Sciences

Company: Aga Khan University

Job description: Aga Khan University, chartered in 1983 as Pakistan’s first private international university, is committed to the provision of education, research and health care of international standard relevant to Pakistan and the region. The affiliated Aga Khan University Hospital has well-equipped investigative services and provides state-of-the-art clinical facilities.

Reporting to the Dean, Medical College and Associate Dean for Research, Medical College, this leadership position entails strong strategic management, research administration, and analytical abilities to lead and manage a wide spectrum of community, hospital-based and multi-centre clinical research projects throughout the Faculty of Health Sciences with specific focus on Division and Departments of Medical College as well as on School of Nursing and Midwifery (SONAM). The position requires demonstrated ability to successfully manage Pre and Post grant award processes of significantly big grant portfolio in terms of numbers as well as value that are being conducted at national and international levels. It requires understanding the current processes involved in Pre and Post grant award and implementing new process by combining all the relevant activities under one office for providing one window operation and support to all the internal and external (national and international) clients and developing them to be leaders of the future.

Aga Khan University invites applications for the position of Research Director, Faculty of Health Sciences.


You will be responsible to:

  • demonstrate effective strategic planning of resources to manage the wide spectrum of research data of on-going research projects (and future projects); pertaining to grants administration, regulatory affairs, human resources, financial management, Procurement functions, IT management, Laboratory space, safety & security, field operations, events management and relationship building; being conducted in various areas of Pakistan
  • develop and implement innovative and sustainable strategies to inculcate efficiency in existing research and grants administration capacity of the Medical College and SONAM through international standards and techniques
  • spearhead the optimization of available resources for a greater cost saving on the research grants of the Medical College and SONAM through adaptation of modernized tools and techniques
  • lead the diversified portfolio of current grants and facilitate new grants acquisition for all the departments of Medical College and SONAM, correspond with the granting agencies, ensure conformity to regulatory compliance of the agencies, track and deliver narrative and financial reports and operations of research projects
  • provide active support in ensuring legal formalities of granting agencies (and sub-contractors) while ensuring they are adequately met and endorsed
  • facilitate researchers towards development of Research Proposals, finalizing contents and procedural formalities (non-technical) and ensuring timely submission
  • oversee research administration of various extramural and intramural research grants as per the international practices and standards of granting agencies
  • plan and develop promotional materials, handbooks, brochures and web-content for the Medical College and SONAM
  • lead the existing research administration teams of various departments by providing feedback for the improvement of the systems and ensuring compliance of University and granting agency’s standards
  • Overseeing the selection and establishment of outreach sites (Field Offices) of Medical College and SONAM for the various Research Projects at the community. This involves having a proactive approach to project management, liaison with AKU’s support departments for timely delivery of tasks and ensuring that the sites are established in consonance with AKU’s Housing and Construction Departments’ guidelines
  • monitor, evaluate and strife for continuous improvement of all operating procedures of administrative functions of the research administration, includes Financial Administration; Operations Management (includes travel, fleet and procurement), Human Resource Management, Procurement, Legal Compliance, Safety & Security considerations, Field site management, Training and Development, Events Management and Communications
  • integrate the existing electronic systems of Medical College and SONAM with AKU’s ERP system (PeopleSoft) to ensure greater facilitation and control to the Divisional functions
  • conduct financial and administrative audits at the field sites (outside and within Karachi) to ensure strong financial and administrative controls are in place with compliance of University guidelines and policies
  • conduct project monitoring visits at the field sites to ensure that project activities are in line with the agreed upon timelines with the granting agencies
  • facilitate external and internal audits of granting agencies
  • build strategic relationship with relevant stakeholders at national and international level which includes local, federal and national government representatives; community stakeholders; international granting agencies and research administration societies
  • represent, advocate, and promote departmental research in relevant AKU forum
  • advocate on behalf of research faculty with AKU Support Departments and Research Office when needed to solve research-related issues
  • responsible for the indoctrination of senior level staff through continuous training and development of staff to get acquainted with modern research administration techniques
  • plan the long term career development of senior staff and recommend relevant research administration focused trainings for them through in-house, national and international trainings with an aim for the enhancement of their technical capacity
  • university-level start-up service and facilitation to researchers in other Departments for pre-award, contracting and post-award grants management.


You must have:

  • Masters in Business Administration (MBA). International certifications in Research Administration would be a plus. Certifications should be relevant (clinical trials, research administration, financial management, research law, leadership etc)
  • international degree in the field of Research Administration or general administration is desirable
  • demonstrated ability to have implemented new systems in a large service based industries nationally and internationally will be preferred
  • 10 years plus relevant experience in the field of Administration with any Healthcare Institution / Service Industry
  • experience of managing extramural/intramural funded research grants and working with donor agencies would be an added advantage
  • proven track record of managing a diversified team comprising of grant, Human Resource, financial, procurement, IT, legal, audit, regulatory, trials, and events
  • demonstrated leadership skills evident from team building
  • comprehensive knowledge of modern research administration practices focusing on grants from national and international agencies
  • excellent analytical approach to the international research standards and policies, its privacy and the required confidentiality to be maintained of study related matters
  • proven track record of successful capacity development of senior staff with an aim to strengthen the individual capacity in line of achieving the overall development objectives of the division
  • demonstrated ability to work in a professional, multi-disciplinary team as a group leader, facilitator, or participant.

Expected salary:

Location: Karachi, Sindh

Job date: Sat, 15 Jan 2022 08:27:34 GMT

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