Senior Social Scientist (JD-0419-006)



Senior Social Scientist


Clinical Trials Unit (CTU)


This post is based in Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam. There will be a requirement to travel within Viet Nam and internationally.

Hours of work

Full time Monday – Friday, 37.5 hours per week, extra hours may be required.


Initially for 1 year, including a 2 month probation period, with possibility of extension

Reporting to

Head of CTU (Evelyne Kestelyn) and CHIM Grant PI (Prof. Bridget Wills)

Vacancy reference



The Oxford University Clinical Research Unit Vietnam (OUCRU-VN) is a large-scale clinical and public health research unit based in Viet Nam. We are hosted by the Hospital of Tropical Diseases (HTD) in Ho Chi Minh City, and the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases (NHTD) in Hanoi. We also have sister units in Kathmandu, Jakarta, Bangkok and Shantou.  As a Wellcome Trust Major Overseas Programme, we have received considerable support from the Wellcome Trust since our establishment in 1991.

OUCRU – VN aims to have a positive and significant impact on global health and, in particular, the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases. This is being achieved via an integrated long-term research programme, contributions to training, the scientific literature, national and international meetings and membership of national and international committees. Priority is given to health issues important to the hospitals, and to Viet Nam as a whole. All work is intended not only to benefit the patients seen daily at our host hospitals, but also to help improve patient care throughout Viet Nam and the region.

A new grant has just been awarded focusing on bioethics and stakeholder engagement aiming to: a) explore the legal, regulatory and administrative framework necessary to permit controlled human infection models (CHIMs), otherwise known as human challenge studies, to proceed in Vietnam, and b) to identify and mitigate real and perceived risks of such research. The pathogen of particular interest for this work is dengue, but if successful this framework would also permit performance of challenge studies using other pathogens (for example, Shigella and Influenza) that are of current interest to the Vietnamese public health community.

Job summary

  • The Senior Social Scientist will coordinate ethnographic research on bioethical, regulatory and legal issues surrounding development of CHIM studies in South East Asia (Vietnam in particular).
  • In addition to meeting the minimum qualifications stated below, the ideal candidate for this position will be an experienced qualitative researcher.
  • You will be working in a team to implement research activities related to the CHIM grant, under the immediate guidance/mentorship of the Head of CTU and will also be supported by a Senior Medical Anthropologist. This involves the following:
    • Design qualitative research activities;
    • Liaise with others for input into projects;
    • Develop relationships with local collaborators and stakeholders to facilitate implementation and design of research projects;
    • Conduct focus group discussions, in-depth interviews and participant observation;
    • Manage and analyse data through qualitative research processes;
    • Review and synthesize literature to provide context for the research;
    • Write up and disseminate results in reports and research papers;
    • Contribute to training and skills development workshops.


  • Contracted salary: Negotiable (depending on actual experience and education).
  • Optional insurance: In-patient and out-patient medical coverage; Personal accident insurance coverage
  • Two months’ salary for annual bonus and clothes
  • Annual leave 18 days each year for the first year
  • Other responsibilities and benefits are based on Viet Nam Labor Law.

Selection criteria


Essential criteria:

  • MSc or higher degree in social sciences, anthropology, or related field
  • Excellent spoken and written Vietnamese and English
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills in cross-cultural settings essential
  • Experience in qualitative data collection, data organization and analysis
  • Experience using qualitative data analysis software (e.g. Nvivo, Dedoose, Atlas)
  • Highly organized
  • Ability to work with a high degree of autonomy, and yet be a team player
  • Willingness to perform other tasks requested by Head of CTU


Preferred criteria:

  • Experience teaching or training in qualitative methods
  • Supervisory or managerial experience.

How to apply

Interested qualified candidates are invited to send their detailed resume and cover letter in English, including copies of relevant degrees, certificates, either by email or by post to the following address:

Oxford University Clinical Research Unit

Laboratory of Clinical Science

Hospital for Tropical Diseases

764 Vo Van Kiet, Ward 1, District 5, HCMC

Tel: 39237954



* We thanks all applicants but only short-listed candidates will be contacted for interview.

Contact person

Ms Nguyen Thi Hong Phuc

Deadline for submission

15th July 2019