Job Listings

Research Associate, Sierra Leone - RPCA

Boston College
Job Location:
Chestnut Hill, 02467
Laboratory and Research
Boston College Introduction

Founded in 1863, Boston College is a Jesuit, Catholic university located six miles from downtown Boston with an enrollment of 9,484 full-time undergraduates and 5,250 graduate and professional students.  Ranked 35 among national universities, Boston College has 888 full-time and 1,281 FTE faculty, 2,711 non-faculty employees, an operating budget of $1.4 billion, and an endowment in excess of $3.5 billion.

Job Description

salary commensurate with relevant experience.

This is a benefits-eligible full-time
grant funded position.

This position is based in Sierra Leone.

The Research Program on Children
and Adversity (RPCA) at Boston College School of Social Work focuses on
observational research to understand trajectories of risk and resilience in
children facing multiple forms of adversity while also using these research
outcomes to develop and test evidence-based interventions to promote child
health, development and family functioning. The program team, including a
network of talented local collaborators, has developed and evaluated several
transdiagnostic interventions that are both feasible, effective and able to be
integrated into a range of social protection, health and education programs in
low- and middle-income countries. The research project links to the 20-year
history of the intergenerational study of war affected youth in Sierra Leone.
This study will allow us to look at early child development and the potential
influence of parental trauma on family functioning among families with
children. This study will contribute to a longitudinal study of war to further
address exposures to trauma, and risk and protective factors across the social
ecology. The RPCA manages a diverse global research portfolio; including
several active projects, the details for which can be found at

Research Associate be based in Sierra Leone. The Research Associate will
provide oversight between partners to ensure they are executing program plans.
The Research Associate will serve a vital role in overseeing research,
evaluation, and data management. This role will be responsible for programmatic
reporting and preparing the study ethics and regulatory applications for the
study. The role will work closely with partner organization, Caritas Freetown.

The Research Associate reports to
the Sierra Leone Program Manager. The Research Associate supervises and trains
a team of 5-10 research assistants at partner organization, Caritas Freetown,
and 1-2 Boston College interns.
The Research Associate will serve a vital role in
overseeing research, evaluation, and data management. This role will be
responsible for programmatic reporting and preparing the study ethics and
regulatory applications for the study.

Essential Functions include:

Project Implementation (60%): Work
closely with the Sierra Leone Program Manager and Caritas to plan, implement,
and conduct research related activities for the intergenerational /
longitudinal study of war, specifically supporting data collection and research
deliverables as indicated by the sponsor; Create project implementation plans,
together with partners and Caritas Freetown, and oversee the ethical and
appropriate research protocols related to the collection of data for the
vulnerable population; Support the recruitment of participants from prior waves
of the longitudinal study alongside partners and research assistants; Travel to
the field as needed around Sierra Leone during data collection periods and
support the research assistants on risk of harm management for all IRB
reporting both in country and at Boston College.

Data Management (20%): Ensure
data gathered is stored through secure systems as directed by the Data Analysis
Manager of the RPCA and Data Manager at Caritas Freetown; Develop data
management plans for project deliverables; Support the supervision of research
assistant(s) at the RPCA on necessary data tasks, including analysis and
presentation materials.

Research and Dissemination (20%): Collaborate with team members to complete deliverables,
including participating in and developing a media outputs, dissemination
reports, community advisory board content development, and grant reporting; Support
Sierra Leone Program Manager on federal reporting to ensure compliance with
stakeholders; Lead stakeholder development in Sierra Leone and coordinate
meetings and events to advance the dissemination of research outputs at the

The Research Associate may be
required to work nights and weekends during data collection periods and to meet
project deadlines such as IRB submissions, federal grant submissions, or risk
of harm monitoring.

The Research Associate will live
in Sierra Leone. Applicant should be aware of the following conditions in
Sierra Leone: Hot, humid, tropical climate. Extremely limited medical
facilities. Potentially contaminated water. High incidence of HIV/AIDS.
Prevalence of common diseases that include Rabies, Lassa fever, water-borne
diseases, malaria and other tropical diseases.

  • Masters in Social Work, Early
    Childhood Development, Psychology, Public Health. Prior international work in a
    low resource or field setting particularly in sub-Saharan Africa are required. Very strong bachelors' degree
    applicants will be considered.
  • The
    Research Associate needs to be self-driven with strong interpersonal skills,
    flexibility, and cultural sensitivity.
  • The
    Research Associate will need to operate on an independent level to contribute
    to the deliverables of the research.
  • The
    Research Associate will need to serve as a clinical liaison between Boston
    College and partnering agencies in Sierra Leone.
  • The
    incumbent supports the team on complex issues related to data collection, risk
    of harm management, and dissemination of results.
  • The
    incumbent will work with senior team members to address challenges that arise
    and make recommendations for processes in conjunction with the PI and other
    in-country investigators.
  • Research experience in qualitative and quantitative research methods required.
  • Previous experience working and
    living internationally, preferably in sub-Saharan Africa required.
  • Experience with cross-cultural communications
    and interpersonal relations required.
Closing Statement

Boston College offers a broad and competitive range of benefits depending on your job classification eligibility:

  • Tuition remission for Employees
  • Tuition remission for Spouses and Children who meet eligibility requirements
  • Generous Medical, Dental, and Vision Insurance
  • Low-Cost Life Insurance
  • Eligibility for both University-Funded 401k and Employer-Sponsored 403b Retirement Plans
  • Paid Holidays Annually
  • Generous Sick and Vacation Pay
  • Additional benefits can be found on

Boston College conducts pre-employment background checks as part of the hiring process.

Boston College is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer. In concert with our Jesuit, Catholic mission, Boston College is dedicated to the goal of building a culturally diverse and pluralistic faculty and staff committed to teaching and working in a multicultural environment and strongly encourages applications for women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and covered veterans. To learn more about how BC supports diversity and inclusion throughout the university please visit the Office for Institutional Diversity at

Boston College's Notice of Nondiscrimination can be viewed at

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