In a research organisation like this there is a need for different professionals. We busy and every person will learn-by-doing. We will provide some informal training and supervision. We therefore only take on people who are able to stay more than 2 months.
You will contribute to ground breaking research that will affect the health of millions of African women. You will be working in an international/South African work environment and will get to know other cultures, South African and African research history. The international work experience will add value to your future and might open doors to new opportunities. Accommodation for non-South Africans (for the first 3-6 months in SA) is only 300 meters from the beach. Previously people with the following professions have participated:
- Medical doctors and medical students
- Laboratory personnel
- Nurses, public health workers and social workers
- Administrators, development management officer and social economist
- Media people
- Logisticians and drivers
Every professional must be a “multi-tasker” and must be willing to help out where needed. General requirements:
- Flexible, able to take direction and accept feedback
- Fluent in English, both spoken and written
- Drivers license
- Team worker
- Previous experience with fieldwork in Africa would be great, but is not necessary.
Application should contain
- 1-page letter of motivation. Please indicate the possible time period(s).
- CV should contain
- ‘rustic’ experiences (such as back-packing, hiking, rural childhood, farming et.c.)
- at least two references
- Certificate preparatory course 1 HSP (2 hours) (all) – also useful for other jobs
- Certificate preparatory course 2 GCP (6 hours) (all) – also useful for other jobs
- Academics read, sign and include “Data use and publications”.
- Scanned certificates (originals and notarised copies later). Proof of qualification(s) and experience must be translated into English (but may be sent afterwards).
We have a wonderful staff constituting academics, health professionals, research assistants and support staff. Please note that the project will not employ people full time who are currently working in local health or teaching organisations. However, we are keen to participate in increasing the competence in our districts and locally employed staff can take on part-time PhD and Masters studies with us.
You are responsible for your own funding but we will be involved in the application.
We often have volunteering opportunities in Europe or in Africa. Volunteers make invaluable contributions to the research and are a treasured resource. Should you wish to volunteer your time with BRIGHT you may be asked to assist our work through:
- undertaking research support or research tasks
- raising funds
- organising meetings
- supporting human resources, website or accounting
- loaning your specialist expertise to an area of our work
Volunteers are generally recruited for 2 to 12 months and the tasks will be varied, sometimes menial, always multi-cultural, always learning experiences for flexible open-minded people. The volunteer will apply for travel and food expenses together with one of the seniors in the project – that too is a good learning experience.
Being a part of a collaborative project – Imperialism check list
Checklist for all: The last decades a new trade has emerged of harvesting experiences, degrees or publications for first world benefit. First world professionals will visit exotic study sites, they need help to get started, help to implement work and research; they will enjoy the hospitality, the weather, and the adventure. They will use goodwill, infrastructure and permits.
- Make sure you are not a burden in any way
- Share the financial burden (e.g. through your own applications)
- If you want to give something you must ask the seniors what is needed
- Give more than you take
Checklist for academics: “BRIGHT is doing groundbreaking work and it must reach the larger community. Therefore with BRIGHT, your focus will be publishing rather than writing for ‘the dusty shelves’ of your institution.” Researchers will collect data for a worthy cause. However, many publish interesting results in journals that are not available to African health professionals and visiting scientists work only to further only their own careers or their home institutions. It is the responsibility of the academics in this project to:
- Contribute to the work beyond your own data collection
- Make sure that the information is given back to those that need it
- Publish so that information is accessible to those that need it in scientifically reknowned journals
- Publish good work, reliable, sound data within reasonable time
- Recognise that you can only do this because you are part of a team
- Invite others to participate as equal partners
- Ensure that the data you have collected is useful
- Ensure that your unfinished work can be inherited easily
- Ensure that your needs for data and information are fulfilled before you leave
- Make a plan in case you need anything after departure
There are three “codes of conduct” that researchers in Africa must adhere to:
- The universal codes of research (Vancouver regulations and IRBs, National Boards of Ethics etc) must always be adhered to.
- Secondly, in pre-colonial disadvantaged scientific communities we must take care not to become exploiters just because we have vantage points to do so (money, time, opportunities, institutional support, access to computers, literature, night-time electricity etc. etc. ). We cannot harvest data for European careers only. It is not right to have an all-white authorship on articles that were generated from African problems. It is our duty to involve local collaborators and provide opportunities at an early stage of the work so that the code above is not breached. There are many ways to promote this.
- The collected data must be useful to the locals. We have a responsibility to give this information back – in some way – to Africa. This is particularly important if we identify “new” (in any sense of the word “new”) issues that may affect Africans. It is not acceptable to test medication on Africans for a brief time if there is no intent to make it (realistically) available to Africans. The local African scientists can help us manage these ethical dilemmas.
Notice for academics
For non-medical students: If you do not have Bachelor’s or Honours. Before getting in touch with BRIGHT please explore if you are eligible for a Masters programme in your home country through special dispensations on experience and age.