Policy Engagement Researcher

Position: Policy Engagement Researcher
Department: Communications / OUCRU Hanoi
Location: This post is based in Hanoi, Viet Nam at OUCRU Hanoi. Occasional travel to HCMC will be required. Details can be given at interview.
Hours of work: Full time
Tenure: This is a 1 year contracted position.
Reporting to: Rogier van Doorn - Director, OUCRU Hanoi; and Katrina Lawson, Communications Manager.
Vacancy reference: JDHN-19.05.05


The Oxford University Clinical Research Unit Vietnam (OUCRU-VN) is a large-scale clinical and public health research unit based in Viet Nam. The main unit in Ho Chi Minh city was established in 1991 and is hosted by the Hospital of Tropical Diseases (HTD). The unit in Hanoi was established in 2006 to have a presence in the capital city to be able to develop a working relationship with policy- and decision makers in order for our research to impact public health policy. It is hosted by the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases (NHTD), with other offices at the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology and Hanoi Medical University. As a Wellcome Trust Asia Africa Programme, we have received considerable support from the Wellcome Trust since our establishment.

OUCRU-VN aims to have a positive and significant impact on human health locally and globally 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 and capacity building, 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.

OUCRU-VN has been awarded a Policy Engagement Pilot grant from Wellcome to continue and expand OUCRUs policy engagement activities in a more systemic way. The aim of this project is to develop and pilot a system within OUCRU whereby projects are assessed for their potential policy impact; policy-making stakeholders’ interests’ are acknowledged and incorporated into project designs; and we have the infrastructure and expertise in place to support policy engagement, thereby ensuring that opportunities for policy impact are fully realized.

There are three components to the proposed project:

  • Component one: Strengthening our understanding of how policy engagement operates in Vietnam and within OUCRU. In this component, we will conduct an externally-focused policy mapping project to better understand how health policy decision-making occurs in Vietnam. Concurrently, we will undertake an internal policy engagement review to get a complete overview of all of our current policy engagement activities and identify key projects and themes for development in the policy engagement plan in Component two.
  • Component two: Implementing a pilot programme of systemic policy engagement. In this component we will develop a policy engagement plan that reflects the learnings and outcomes from part one. We will additionally establish a Policy Stakeholder Advisory Board (PSAB) to create opportunities for continuous stakeholder engagement beyond the life of this project.
  • Component three: Monitoring and evaluation. In this component we will develop a theory of change, and we will conduct evaluations of the policy engagement plan, and of the PSAB in line with that theory of change to inform the next steps.

Job summary and key tasks and responsibilities

You will initially be working to lead the externally-focused policy mapping project under Component one of the Policy Engagement Pilot.

This will involve the following:

  • Designing qualitative research activities, including guidance for in-depth interviews and focus group discussions
  • Liaising with scientists and external stakeholders for input into project
  • Conduct focus group discussions, in-depth interviews and participant observation;
  • Transcribing and translating resulting data;
  • Managing and analysing data through qualitative research processes;

Beyond Component one this will also involve:

  • Reviewing and synthesizing literature to provide context for the research;
  • Writing up and disseminating results in reports and research papers;
  • Contributing to project monitoring and evaluation activities (Component three of the Policy Engagement Pilot);
  • Contributing to other aspects of the Policy Engagement Pilot award, including the internal policy engagement review in component 1, and establishing the PSAB in Component two.
  • Contributing to training and skills development workshops.


  • Contracted salary: Negotiate (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/year for the first year, a maximum of 30 days
  • Other responsibilities and benefits are based on Viet Nam Labor Law.

Selection criteria


  • Excellent spoken and written Vietnamese and English, IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Have prior experience of conducting qualitative research, managing a research project and analyzing qualitative data.
  • Energetic and creative; open to new approaches and ideas
  • Ability to work with a high degree of autonomy, and yet be a team player
  • Willingness to perform other tasks requested

Highly desired:

  • Qualified in a social science or a related discipline, such as Anthropology, Sociology, Public Health or Public Policy. A PhD would be desirable
  • Experience working with policy and decision-makers
  • Diplomacy skills
  • Project management experience

How to apply

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

Oxford University Clinical Research Unit Vietnam
78 Giai phong, Dong da, Ha Noi
Email: [email protected]

* The cover letter should detail: What part of your education, training or employment history has best equipped you for this position?

  • Why you would make a good candidate for this position?
  • Names of two referees who can provide details of relevant experience

Only short-listed applicants will be contacted for interview. Please no telephone contact after submitting the application

Contact person: Ms. Bui Huyen Trang

Deadline for submission: 29th October 2019

Job Details
Organisation Name: 
Application Deadline: 
Tue, 2019-10-29