FIELD RESEARCHER - Friedman School of Nutrition Sci. & Policy

Sierra Leone, Africa
Apr 16, 2014
Position Type
Posting Title : FIELD RESEARCHER - Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy
Requisition Number : 2538
City : Sierra Leone
State/Province : Freetown
Zip code : 00000
Job Description-Overview :

Job to start immediately and be located in Kenema, Sierra Leone, Africa for 1 ½  years, and then in Boston, MA, USA for approximately 6 months.  This is a Limited Appointment Position.


The Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, established in 1981, is the only self-governing graduate and professional school of nutrition in North America.  Its mission is to improve the nutritional well-being of people worldwide through:

  • the creation of new knowledge
  • the application and dissemination of evidence-based information and
  • the education and training of future leaders in the field

This mission is fulfilled by bringing together experts from the areas of clinical nutrition, social and public policy, and biomedicine. Faculty at the school include biomedical scientists, economists, epidemiologists, nutritionists, physicians, political scientists and psychologists who focus on a myriad of issues with the common thread of nutrition and its role in fostering the growth and development of human populations.

The Friedman School of Nutrition is seeking a full-time Senior Field Researcher to work on a project relating to the assessment of the quality and programmatic uses of fortified food products used in U.S. Title II food aid programs.  The project, called the Food Aid Quality Review, ( is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Office of Food for Peace (FFP).


The project was established in April 2009 to review the quality of Title II food products and programming through literature review, expert consultation, industry consultation, survey methods, and studies. The project completed its second year of research in April 2011 and submitted a final report to USAID with recommendations on changes to U.S. food aid products and programming. The next phase of the Food Aid Quality Review will involve presenting findings and recommendations, implementing many of the recommendations, and testing recommendations through follow-on studies or trials. 


The Senior Field Researcher will work closely with the Principal Investigator (PI) and co-PI of the Food Aid Quality Review to implement a study to assess the effectiveness, cost, and cost-effectiveness of recommended changes to Corn Soy Blend. The study will compare:


1) Corn Soy Blend 14 (with whey protein concentrate and enhanced micronutrient profile), prepared with fortified vegetable oil (FVO)

2) Plumpy’Sup (LNS/RUSF)

3) Supercereal Plus (CSB++), the FBF used by WFP, which has an enhanced nutrient profile, dairy ingredient (non-fat dry milk), and oil already embedded into the CSB

4) Supercereal/CSB+ with FVO

Objective: To test the effectiveness of four supplementary foods in the prevention of MAM in normal programmatic settings in Sierra Leone, in amounts as normally programmed by WFP. This study will be implemented in conjunction with Project Peanut Butter, Washington University in St. Louis, and World Food Programme. The Senior Field Researcher will be leading the Tufts activities which include household data collection, community data collection,  and household samples of porridge. The Senior Field Researcher will coordinate closely with the PI of the intervention study, who will be supervising research activities in the field.


Study Design

Comparison of four different supplementary foods in the treatment of moderate acute malnutrition in children in Sierra Leone. Twenty local sites in Sierra Leone will be used for a primary study to test the effectiveness of four supplementary foods in the treatment of MAM in normal programmatic settings in Sierra Leone: 1250 children per arm, 5,000 children in total will participate.


Children will be enrolled and graduate based on MUAC; weight and height will be recorded as well and available for final analysis. Locations (communities, clinics) will be assigned to one of the four arms (that is, commodities to be tested).  Enrollment of children will be ongoing until the required sample size is reached. Children are enrolled when they qualify for supplementary feeding based on MUAC. These studies are effectiveness trials, meaning that the programs’ operation and the beneficiary households’ compliance with recommendations regarding treatment will be studied along with correct preparation and consumption of the food provided as determinants of the differential impact measured in the four arms of the study. 

Job Description - Requirements :

Basic Requirements:

  • MS/MPH in food policy/nutrition related field, and 1-2 years' related experience
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Office Suite. Familiarity with data analysis programs (such as SPSS, STATA or Nvivo) and GIS programs (ArcGIS) highly desirable.
  • Willing to live and travel internationally, between Boston, MA and Sierra Leone. 
  • Field research experience required. 
  • Ability to lift 20 pounds with or without accommodation.


“The finalist for this position must pass a CORI (Criminal Offender Record Information) and other appropriate background checks as required.”


Preferred Qualifications:

  • 3-5 years experience strongly preferred or Ph.D. in food policy or nutrition plus 1-2 years experience.
  • Experience conducting research in less developed countries in nutrition, health, or related programs at the community level.
  • Experience withWFP feeding programs. .
  • Experience with IRB approval process.
  • Excellent organizational and managerial ability, attention to detail, and ability to multitask.
  • Excellent research skills.
  • Excellent writing and editing skills.


Special Work Schedule Requirements This position will be full time in Kenema, Sierra Leone for approximately 1 ½  years during the period of study implementation and data collection, with trips to the US periodically. The needs of field research are erratic; there will be periods of intense activity as well as regular internal travel to research sites in the country. 


The remainder of the time (approximately 6 months), the Senior Field Researcher will be based in Boston, Massachusetts, at Tufts University. During analysis and report writing (in Boston), the schedule will be more predictable but still may require overtime when reports are due.


Please Apply with Requisition #2538



Tufts University is an AA/EO employer and actively seeks candidates from diverse backgrounds.