BURN – Head Of Research And Development.

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Head of Research & Development
Closing: Thu, 30 Sep 2021 Location: Ruiru

About the Role

BURN is looking for a Head of Research & Development whose overall responsibility will be to lead BURN’s long-term research department. The successful candidate will lead a team that will pursue, write and administrate grants (mostly responding to RFPs/solicitations), to support 3 key areas:

1.      R&D for new technologies.

2.      Pilots / field studies to test innovative new products and services.

3.      Continuous improvement of products.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Responsible for identifying and writing grants that are well aligned with BURN’s mission, vision and capacity.
  • Responsible for building and managing their team.
  • Ensure that all projects are sufficiently and appropriately resourced and that our recommended project management and analysis approaches are being adhered to.
  • To monitor on a day-to-day basis, resources for live projects, supplementing/modifying teams as required, and generally acting in the role of troubleshooter to ensure smooth progress of all projects.
  • To take an overview of the management of all live projects, ensuring that relevant meetings take place – initiation, mid-project update, product handling, field, data processing, and data analysis briefings, debrief planning and postmortems. This will involve direct liaison with each department and key personnel across the relevant departments.
  • To scrutinize proposed timings for projects and discuss them with the key departments to ensure that projects’ needs are met.
  • To keep abreast of outstanding proposals to foresee and plan workload levels.
  • Manage the new product development pipeline, including conceiving of new products and improvements of existing products, from discovery of new concepts until handed over to the production team.
  • Coordinate and deliver key information into the product development process and manage the boundary conditions according to the agreed strategies. This includes manufacturing requirements, financial analysis, customer needs and product parameters.
  • Manage and lead the detailed design of new and existing products, including process development, equipment selection, design for manufacturability, prototyping, lab and durability testing, material selection, etc.

Skills and Experience

  • 5 – 7 years’ experience in managing grant-funded or leading similar consumer product development programs in African Markets is highly desired.
  • Research management.
  • Grant writing.
  • Grant administration.
  • Project management.
  • Thrive in a fast-paced creative environment with a culture of experimentation yet value the need to organize and plan.
  • Excellent communication skills – unafraid to speak up or take issues head on.
  • A technical background is preferred.
  • Experience managing a technical team.
  • You are a strong communicator, have always the overview over all moving pieces in your team.
  • You perceive fast moving targets and changing priorities as a fun exercise, as your proactivity usually makes you faster than them.
  • You build strong, fact driven decision making materials with your teams.
  • You have tremendous experience in managing diverse teams that might span different time zones.
  • You are a product person; a people’s person and you know how to set priorities and coordinate with all stakeholders within and outside of the company. 
  • You are not shy to ask questions and are always striving to deliver the best results, considering the complexity of the system and its requirements.

We offer a role with significant responsibility, compensation including benefits matching the level of the candidate and an opportunity to have a needle moving impact on human lives and the environment across Africa.

Degree qualifications

  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • Master’s Degree

How To Apply


BURN does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview, meeting, processing, training or any other fees).




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