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Brain and Mind Institute (BMI)
Aga Khan University
The Aga Khan University is a pioneering institution of higher education whose mission is to improve the quality of life in the developing world and beyond, through world-class teaching, research and healthcare delivery. AKU educates students for local and global leadership from campuses and teaching hospitals in six countries, primarily in Asia and Africa. It generates new knowledge to solve problems that affect millions of people, especially the most vulnerable. The University is a private, not-for-profit institution and part of the Aga Khan Development Network. www.aku.edu
The Brain and Mind Institute (BMI) is a newly minted entity at the Aga Khan University(AKU), with key hubs in Nairobi (for East Africa) and Karachi (for South and Central Asia). The Institutes specializes in mental and brain health research by harnessing existing expertise across AKU campuses and promotes interdisciplinary research, education, and related clinical programming, in mental health and neurosciences.
The Institute is dedicated to performing high impact mental and brain health research aimed at building capacity and improving clinical, promotional and prevention outcomes of mental health interventions. We conduct research aimed at understanding brain processes that contribute to mental illness; biomarkers for early detection and personalized treatments; and co-morbid conditions. One such project is a National Institute of Health supported Data Science project involving mental health and human development components (UZIMA). This study is seeking a highly ambitious predoctoral student or postdoctoral fellow to be part of its Mental Health study arm. The student or fellow will support the Core Lead in the implementation of the project and in the dissemination and administrative activities associated with this study. The selected trainee will have an opportunity to use some of the study data for their thesis and/or publications, as part of capacity building. This traineeship will be embedded in the Institute’s work package which includes funding for tuition fees, stipend, and attendance of two international conferences to disseminate the findings. The trainee will be based in Nairobi, Kenya where supervision will be offered by both the Mental Health study core leads and the students’ or fellow’s university supervisors. During the tenure at the BMI, the trainee will be expected to develop core competencies in research culminating in dissertation defense and publication of their findings.
- Contribute to development of high-quality research proposal aligned with the Mental Health study aims and lead in field work implementation and dissemination activities;
- Actively participate in scientific and management committee meetings that support the Mental Health study; and
- Contribute to capacity building activities in responsible conduct of research within the study and in collaboration with the study partners
- Must have a Doctor of Philosophy or a Master’s degree in Social Sciences, Neuroscience, or other relevant sciences from a recognized institution, with a good academic record;
- Should have a Diploma or Bachelor’s degree in health, social or behavioral sciences from a recognized institution;
- Should have demonstrable experience in conducting research activities;
- Must have demonstrable capacity on publishing articles in peer-reviewed journals;
- A specialization in mental health and/or training in biostatistics is an asset;
- Demonstrable knowledge of data analysis using artificial intelligence and machine learning will be an asset;
- Social and behavioral science data collection experience will be highly desirable;
- Demonstrate self-motivation for a career path in mental health research; and
- Must be a critical thinker with good analytical skills, diligent, creative, team player and initiative driven.
- 3 years’ tuition fees and/or stipend; and
- A supportive research environment.
To qualify for consideration, candidates must submit a brief (5 pages max) project proposal on a topic related to biomarkers for early detection of mental health disorders. The proposal format should include abstract (250 words), project introduction (1000 words), significance and innovativeness, theoretical/conceptual framework, research question, objectives, hypothesis, research approach, and references.
Note: The proposal submitted will be used to evaluate the candidates research competency, mental health knowledge and innovativeness as part of the interview process. If the candidate is successfully selected for the traineeship, they will develop a different proposal under supervision of the Mental Health study core leads and the candidate’s university supervisors.
How To Apply