Social Science Researcher - SENZOR, ACEGID, Nigeria

SENZOR Project

SENZOR (social-ecological network approach to understanding zoonotic outbreak risk) is a project trying to understand the risk of zoonotic outbreaks. For that, we intend to create a more comprehensive understanding of local scale infection dynamics over three years in The Gambia and Nigeria. A multidisciplinary team will sample small-bodied wild animals, domestic animals, and humans, in a systematic, structured sampling regime in two landscape types (highly agricultural and semi-natural). We will employ participatory modelling and ethnographic methods to gain a deeper insight into how humans interact with a network of animals and the environment. We will use a socio-ecological systems modelling approach to predict risks both across the landscapes and in plausible future scenarios to inform outbreak preparedness and management strategies. This will be done in a dynamic way and in consensus with a group of representatives from the selected involved communities and stakeholders. A better understanding how pathogen contact networks vary over time and space will help us better prepare for, predict, and prevent future outbreaks and pandemics.

SENZOR in Nigeria

In Nigeria, the project is led by Dr. Anise Happi and is part of the African Center of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Disease (ACEGID). Research will be conducted in two states: Ondo State (in Southwest) and Ebonyi State (in Southeast) in Nigeria.

Job Description

The successful candidate will conduct research as part of a Volkswagen Foundation Pandemic Preparedness initiative funded project. The researcher will be part of an international team of anthropologist and will lead the collection and analysis of ethnographic data on human-animal-environment interactions and risk factors for zoonotic spillover.

The researcher will be expected to travel and stay in research sites in urban and rural Nigeria for extended periods of time. The researcher will establish trustful relationships with local authorities and communities to conduct research. He/she will keep a daily research journal, co-design de interviews’ and focus groups discussions’ guide, and do the transcripts of interview. The candidate will organize feed-back exchanges on preliminary and final findings. The researcher will also accompany One Health interdisciplinary teams.

The ideal candidate for this position will have a strong knowledge of human-animal, environmental interactions, Lassa fever, and other zoonotic disease socioeconomic drivers. The candidate will have proven experience working with ethnographic research and other qualitative methods. Candidates will have skill to perform qualitative analysis (Nvivo) and writing skills. Candidates are required to have a PhD in social science (anthropology), and experience conducting research in multidisciplinary teams.

This will be a two-year contract.


The main activities will be:

  • Conduct literature reviews
  • Conduct long-term fieldwork in rural areas
  • Organize and document meetings with local stakeholders and communities
  • Keep a fieldnotes record after each field visit, meeting, important interaction, and participant observation
  • Recruit and/or interview subjects
  • Based on fieldnotes, prepare interview questions
  • Transcribe and translate the interviews
  • Maintain accurate records of interviews, safeguarding the confidentiality of subjects, as necessary
  • Manage and respond to project-related email
  • Upload regularly the research data to the shared server
  • Attend Project meetings
  • Summarize project results
  • Discuss results with a transdisciplinary team to align cross-disciplinary data
  • Prepare articles, reports, and presentations
  • A minimum of 2 years' experience working as a social science research assistant at a laboratory or research facility.
  • Solid organizational skills and the ability to work accurately with data. Knowledge of human-animal-environment interactions and zoonotic diseases.
  • Skilled in qualitative research methodology and analysis. Great analytical and critical thinking skills.
  • Good communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Publishing experience (at least 1 paper published or in the process of publishing)
  • Field work experience as social scientist (ideally with methods from anthropology, e.g., participant observations, informal discussions, qualitative interviews)
  • Available for 2 years minimum
  • Fluent in Igbo, and or Yoruba
    - Willing to reside and do fieldwork in rural settings for multiple weeksAdditional qualifications of advantage:
    - Knowledge in medical anthropology, One Health, public or global health
    - Work experience in transdisciplinary and international projects

To Apply

Please send a cover letter, resume, and copies of relevant credentials to on or before Friday, August 18, 2023. Kindly indicate the job title in the subject of your email.

Employment Type
Date posted
July 18, 2023
Valid through
August 24, 2023
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