Graduate Research Assistant


In this position, the Research Assistant will report to Lwala’s Impact Director with technical oversight from the Lwala Research Manager. The RA will directly assist with a variety of responsibilities related to research, monitoring and evaluation.


Lwala Community Alliance (Lwala) is a community-led innovator proving that when communities lead, change is drastic and lasting. A small community in rural western Kenya founded the organization as a response to extreme health challenges. The region experiences some of the highest HIV, maternal mortality, and infant mortality rates in East Africa. As such, community members built their region’s first health center.
From these humble beginnings, Lwala is now the largest provider of health services for a population of over 90,000 people. The work extends far beyond the original hospital, as we support communities in their homes, schools, and farms to advance their own comprehensive well-being. We address the complex causes of poor health through a multi-dimensional strategy, which engages community members in driving their own change. We have built a model for community-led health and are now working with the Ministry of Health to improve how millions of Kenyans access healthcare.


Research and Analysis

  • Participate in strategic thinking about Lwala’s long-term research and evaluation strategy, alongside Lwala research team and academic researchers
  • Lwala Household Survey and other key research studies
  • Assist in preparation of the Lwala Household Survey or other Lwala program surveys carried out in Rongo Subcounty, western Kenya in 2020-2021 (including IRB approval, review of the survey tool, creation of survey tools in various programs, assistance with the sampling frame, etc.)
  • Participate in the survey implementation from the U.S., carrying out data quality assurance or other duties as needed
  • Carry out data cleaning and verification exercises during and upon completion of the survey
  • Analyze survey data using a statistical software tool and utilizing faculty resources at Vanderbilt and/or other partner research institutions as needed
  • Assist with data analysis for other surveys and evaluations
  • Assist with abstract and manuscript development and submission as necessary

Monitoring & Evaluation Team Support

  • Update and review data quality for Lwala’s Impact (Key Indicators) Dashboard on a monthly basis in collaboration with the M&E team in Kenya
  • Collaborate with the US communications team on updating metric graphics in reports and on Lwala’s website
  • Participate in ongoing or ad hoc M&E projects as assigned, such as developing survey or data collection tools

Program Planning & Team Support

  • Take on other short-term responsibilities as requested by the Lwala team in Nashville, such as donor mailings or events
  • Assist in speaking engagements at Vanderbilt about Lwala and potential opportunities for students; act as a ‘spokesperson’ for Lwala among MPH and other students



  • Bachelor’s degree in relevant field
  • Currently enrolled in a graduate study program such as Master of Public Health or Health Economics

Skills & Experience

  • Knowledge of monitoring & evaluation, research and learning, and public health principles
  • Ability to work independently, accurately and to solve technical and methodological issues that arise
  • Ability to apply sound research techniques, methodology and logical critical analysis
  • At least introductory statistical abilities and willingness to learn statistical analyses
  • Proficiency using Excel (data cleaning, pivot tables, basic formulas, descriptive statistics, data visualization)
  • Experience in a data collection tool such as Survey CTO or RedCap a plus; or willingness to learn
  • Strong organizational and interpersonal skills
  • Strong written and oral communication
  • You’ll impress us if…
    • You have experience with statistical analysis and visualization software (e.g., STATA, R, SPSS, Power Bi), DHIS2, and/or SQL.

Critical Qualities

  • Resourceful creative problem-solver
  • Detail- and task-oriented
  • Optimistic, positive, and resilient
  • High level of patience, with ability to quickly react to unexpected priorities
  • Demonstrated interest in global health, international development or social justice


  • Initial term through Spring 2021 with possibility to renew
  • Up to 20 hours per week
  • Must be enrolled in a degree-seeking program


Please send the following to

  • Current CV/resume
  • Letter of Interest detailing related skills and experience
  • 3 professional or academic references with name, title, email, phone contact, and relationship to the applicant

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis with a preferred start ASAP.