Main purpose of the job:

  • Wits VIDA Research Unit joined the multi-national Child Health and Mortality Prevention Surveillance Project (CHAMPS), led by Emory University, in 2017
  • The Child Health and Mortality Prevention Surveillance (CHAMPS) program, supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, aims to increase understanding of how, where, and why children are getting sick, enabling scientists and public health leaders around the world to take action
  • The program operates across nine international sites with high childhood mortality rates throughout South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa
  • CHAMPS helps make the world a safer place by conducting research and strengthening capacity in poor and vulnerable countries, to recognize and address the root and emerging causes of child mortality
  • The incumbent will provide Senior Data Management for the Wits VIDA CHAMPS program, overseeing all data platforms and databases, data collection, storage, quality, and linkages, and providing leadership of data management requirements across CHAMPS streams (Health Demographic Surveillance System, pregnancy, Minimally Invasive Tissue Sampling, social behavioral science, community impact, and engagement)


  • Wits Vaccines & Infectious Diseases Analytics (VIDA) Research Unit – Soweto, Johannesburg

Key performance areas:

Data Management

  • Strategically plan and develop data collection tools and methods aligning with study design and investigators to support all relevant research studies
  • Collaborate proactively with senior researchers to plan for study requirements
  • Develop, refine, and implement data management plans and tools to ensure data is collected, processed, and stored in compliance with ethical, regulatory, legal, protocol, sponsor, and organization requirements
  • Ensure confidentiality, quality, security, accessibility, and integrity of research data
  • Overseeing the collection of data from multiple sources and ensuring data quality through regular audits and assessments
  • Providing training and support to researchers and other colleagues on how to use data management tools and systems
  • Collaborating as required to develop and maintain data-sharing agreements
  • Archiving and preserving data for future use and access
  • Developing and implementing data analysis and reporting processes to support decision-making and drive research initiatives
  • Communicating data-driven insights and recommendations to stakeholders, including researchers, funding agencies, and external partners for example
  • Develop and maintain Power BI dashboards within the team/studies
  • Support student database development requirements as needed
  • Prepare and present reports and plans including ad hoc requirements
  • Ensure that study data backup procedures are solid and regular to prevent any potential data loss
  • Ensure continuous improvement of processes, efficiency, and effectiveness, and oversee team productivity
  • Generate, update, and contribute to Standard Operating Procedures

Quality Assurance

  • Automate repetitive manual processes through scripting and design models for data cleaning, validation, and reporting
  • Checking of forms for missing data and specific edits as required by protocol
  • Liaise with the study officers at sites concerning data queries and manage the flow of queries as per specific protocol
  • Ensure that research data is entered correctly and timeously as per protocol
  • Ensure the availability of data for analysis is clean by performing logic checks as per specific protocol
  • Resolve discrepancies and queries with relevant parties as per protocol

Database Development and Maintenance

  • Perform regular data verification analysis
  • Develop databases on ODK central, ODK aggregate, OpenHDS, or SQL (or applicable) before study initiation
  • Oversee data cleaning and correction activities as per specific protocol
  • Identification and resolution of database and validation errors per protocol
  • Participate in study-specific meetings and/or study team meetings to discuss general issues and data management matters

Stakeholder relations

  • Build and maintain authentic, professional relationships and communicate effectively and efficiently with all internal and external stakeholders (suppliers, collaborators, researchers, donors, etc.)
  • Train staff effectively; foster a practice of knowledge exchange and peer learning
  • Manage internal and external stakeholder expectations and communicate appropriately with initiative and solutions
  • Maintain a high standard of successful internal and external stakeholder relations (eg. negotiations, building productive relationships)
  • Escalate issues appropriately, ensuring adequate discretion and risk management, and demonstrate integrated problem-solving
  • Effectively manage work processes, teams, and relationships to maintain high levels of productivity

Staff Management

  • Oversee data management capacity requirements across CHAMPS streams, managing the delivery of targets effectively and ensuring proactive resource planning (projects, deliverables, people)
  • Lead longitudinal data teams to promote productivity within the HDSS
  • Work with management to empower and develop teams or individuals as skills needs or deficiencies are identified
  • Foster an environment that promotes talent recognition, development as well as agency and individual leadership; promote harmony, teamwork, and sharing of information
  • Mentor, coach and facilitate personal and professional staff development wherever possible
  • Ensure teams comply with policies, unit standards, and administrative and internal communications requirements; promote company policies, strategies, and values
  • Manage staff effectively including accountability, performance, conduct, efficient working, processes, and corrective action as required
  • Demonstrative effective delegation and decision-making

Effective self-management and performance ownership

  • Take ownership and accountability for tasks & activities and demonstrate effective self-management
  • Actively and consistently maintain high standards of professionalism in all aspects of personal presentation and delivery
  • Apply knowledge of the organizational systems, structures, policies, and procedures to achieve results
  • Follow through to ensure that productivity standards are consistently and accurately maintained and provide appropriate resolution for challenges
  • Support and drive the organization’s core values
  • Maintain a positive attitude and respond openly to feedback; manage own disruptive emotions and stress
  • Take ownership of driving your career development

Required minimum education and training:

  • At least a Master’s level qualification in Computer Science/Statistics/Biostatistics/Epidemiology/Demography and/or any Data Analytics or other highly quantitative and computational discipline
  • A Doctoral qualification will be advantageous

Required minimum work experience:

  • 3 years experience in data management and analysis working in a medical research environment or population statistics experience
  • Experience in processing large complex longitudinal datasets and experience in relational database management
  • Advanced knowledge of SQL (i.e., advanced ability to write queries that involve joining tables, aggregating functions, updating, and inserting into existing tables)
  • Advanced computer programming language experience, such as C#, Java, Python
  • Experience managing staff and cross-functional teams

Desirable additional education, work experience, and personal abilities:

  • Demonstrated knowledge and track record of statistics, and proficiency using a statistical software package such as STATA or R for import, export, manipulation, and analysis of large datasets
  • Team player able to work in a high-performing collaborative environment, and support scientific investigations across disciplines
  • Ability to set priorities and work under pressure on a variety of tasks concurrently


  • Only if you do meet the minimum job requirements and experience as mentioned above, you may submit a detailed updated CV.
  • Please Apply Online.
  • Please take note that the applicants who do not adhere to the above criteria will not be considered for the respective position.
  • The closing date for all applications: 31 January 2024.
  • Note AJ Personnel is fully POPI compliant.
  • Note WHC, in accordance with their Employment Equity goals and plan, will give preference to suitable applicants from designated groups as defined in the Employment Equity Act 55 of 1998 and subsequent amendments thereto.

Please note:

  • AJ PERSONNEL is only responsible for the advertising of the advertisement on behalf of their client Wits Health Consortium.
  • Wits Health Consortium will only respond to shortlisted candidates.
  • Candidates who have not been contacted within two weeks of the closing date can consider their applications to be unsuccessful.
  • AJ Personnel does not have any salary or other information regarding the position.

Desired Skills:

  • Communication
  • Computer Skills
  • Computing
  • Data
  • Healthcare
  • Medical

About The Employer:

The Vaccines and Infectious Diseases Analytics (VIDA) Research Unit of the University of the Witwatersrand, formerly RMPRU (Respiratory and Meningeal Pathogens Research Unit) has for over 20 years conducted numerous studies to assess the burden of and prevent vaccine-preventable diseases (VPD).Current studies and projects include infant rotavirus and BCG trials.

Employer & Job Benefits:

  • Medical Aid Contribution
  • Provident Fund Contribution

Learn more/Apply for this position