Executive Director of Research (Weiss Family Faculty Chair of Research)

University of Global Health Equity (UGHE)  Butaro, Rwanda


Position TitleExecutive Director of Research (Weiss Family Faculty Chair of Research)

Reports to: Deputy Vice Chancellor of Academic and Research Affairs

Program: Institute of Research

Location: University of Global Health Equity (UGHE) in Butaro, Rwanda

Organizational Profile

University of Global Health Equity (UGHE) is a new kind of university focused on training the next generation of global leaders in health care delivery. The university launched in Rwanda in September 2015 with the Master of Science in Global Health Delivery (MGHD). Through an academic experience uniquely rooted in the values of equity, students are empowered to both ease suffering at the bedside and drive transformational, systemic changes to the health system.

UGHE is an initiative of Partners In Health (PIH), an internationally recognized non-profit organization whose mission is to provide a preferential option for the poor in health care. In over nearly three decades of operating alongside public sectors in countries around the world, PIH has developed a model to deliver high quality healthcare to some of the world’s most marginalized communities. Nowhere has this impact been more profound than in Rwanda, where Inshuti Mu Buzima—PIH’s sister organization—and our government partners have driven innovation for a decade.

Members of the UGHE community are tenacious and resolute in our drive to attain social justice, make common cause with those in need, listen to and learn from others, and operate with honesty and humility as we uphold academic integrity and intellectual curiosity. The University of Global Health Equity seeks individuals committed to these values to join the team.


Position overview

UGHE is seeking to appoint the inaugural Executive Director of Research who will lead the launch of the Institute of Research (“the Institute”) at UGHE. The Director will also hold the inaugural Weiss Family Faculty Chair of Research at UGHE.

Reporting to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Academic and Research Affairs, the Executive Director will launch an institute dedicated to improving the health of the poor by training researchers and conducting groundbreaking research aimed at improving health in low income countries.

Under the leadership of the Executive Director, the Institute will consist of three centers conducting clinical, implementation, and population health research. They will build on UGHE’s existing collaborations with Harvard University, Partners in Health, the Rwandan Government and other institutions.

The successful candidate for this role should have demonstrated potential to assemble a team and deliver on this initiative.




  • Develop training courses (including accreditation) to build capacity for research in Rwanda and Africa across all cadres necessary for effective research.
  • Assist the delivery of Research methods course to the different students at UGHE.
  • Advise and mentor students at in their research endeavors

Scientific strategy

  • Develop and advance the scientific research agenda at UGHE.
  • Provide leadership of UGHE’s research program to the highest international quality and standards, and ensure relevance to health issues in Rwanda, and other low-income countries.
  • Develop internal scientific collaborations within UGHE.
  • Convene an external Scientific Advisory Board.
  • Serve as member of the UGHE IRB
  • Lead his team and actively and look for partnerships and research grants


  • Ensure good budgetary control and value for money from the resources committed by funding organizations to the Institute.
  • Establish the research institute
  • Be responsible for the development of guidelines that govern research including research incentive mechanisms at UGHE.
  • Hire faculty and staff.
  • Develop and implement an operational plan for the Institute.
  • Report as appropriate to funders of the work conducted at the Institute.

Leadership and culture

  • Responsible for creating a culture that promotes intellectual rigor, and objectivity.


Communication, stakeholder management and collaboration

  • Define, develop and maintain appropriate working relationships between UGHE and key academic and research institutions and policy makers in Africa, and throughout the international community.
  • Ensure that the institute is an integral part of the Rwandan and African research ecosystem.

Other commitments related to the role

  • Participate in the Institutional Review Board (IRB) and Research and Publication committee (RPC) of UGHE.
  • Be willing to participate in other UGHE responsibilities and activities as requested by the UGHE leadership.




Essential (E) or Desirable (D)
Qualifications, experience and knowledge
Higher academic degree e.g. PhD, MD (with specialty) or evidence of an equivalent level of attainment in research publications. E
Experience conducting research that has led to significant outputs (e.g. publications, change in medical practice or policy). E
Experience of management within an academic and/or research setting. E
Experience working in low- and middle-income countries. D
Experience launching effective research and training organizations. D
Prior experience as a member of institutional review boards and research committees. D
Active research profile at international level with a continuing track record of external research grant funding. E
Evidence of managing research grant funding and resources effectively. E
Successful track-record of mentorship, training, and hiring of effective staff and researchers. E
Experience in working closely with national ministries, universities, and/or industry on research and policy. E
Oral and written communication skills in English. E
Experience with active learning approaches, education technology, and other innovations in higher education D
French and Kinyarwanda preferred. D
Personal attributes/attitude
Self-driven, confident and articulate with the ability to work with minimal supervision. E
Flexibility in dealing with a new organization that is rapidly expanding and an ability to adapt to unfamiliar circumstances. E
Willingness to go beyond the job description at times in order to realize the aims of the organization to succeed. E
Willingness to work in a rural setting in Rwanda with extensive travel in the region and globally. E