Postdoctoral Research Fellow opportunity at Africa Health Research Institute 


Africa Health Research Institute (AHRI) is seeking to recruit a highly motivated Postdoctoral Research Fellow, with a background in immunology, microbiology, molecular biology, biochemistry or related fields, to conduct fundamental and translational HIV and SARS-CoV-2 immunology work.

The incumbent will be based in the Ndung’u Group at AHRI. The Group, led by Professor Thumbi Ndung’u,  works on basic and translational HIV and TB immunopathogenesis studies by combining techniques in immunology, virology, molecular biology and biochemistry to better understand protective and control mechanisms in HIV, TB and SARS-CoV-2 infections.  The ultimate goal of this work is to develop or inform the development of effective HIV, TB or SARS-CoV-2 vaccines or immune-based therapeutic and cure strategies. The laboratory is funded through grants from the South African Research Chairs Initiative, the Max Planck Society, the African Academy of Sciences and others.

The incumbent will be required to be highly motivated, meticulous and hard-working and be able to work independently.

Areas of research

The incumbent’s areas of research will include fundamental and translational HIV and SARS-CoV-2 immunology work. This includes characterisation of interactions of the human immune system with the HIV and SARS-CoV-2 viruses with the ultimate goal of developing an effective vaccine, immunoprophylactic or immune-based therapies against these pathogens. Some of the work may also involve studies of immune responses against TB in HIV or SARS-CoV-2 co-infected individuals.

Minimum requirements

  • PhD degree in immunology, virology or related fields
  • Background in immunology, microbiology, molecular biology, biochemistry or related fields
  • Experience in immunology, virology or molecular biology


  • South African nationality or permanent resident
  • High level of English language competence appropriate for scientific journal article submissions
  • Good communication skills
  • Capable of interacting with people of different cultures
  • Self-directed, highly motivated, adaptable
  • Publications in peer-reviewed journals

How to apply

Applicants are required to submit a detailed CV, highlighting their experience in each of the minimum requirements listed above, together with the name, email address and telephone number of three referees who are available to comment on your acquired relevant experience in relation to the post. Please email your CV to

The closing date for applications is 31 July 2020. The Institute, however, reserves the right in special circumstances to accept late applications or to extend the above date to facilitate further searches. The selection process will commence in August 2020 and will continue until suitable candidates are appointed or a decision is taken not to fill the post.

Terms of appointment and selection process

The post will commence immediately on identification of a suitable candidate and will be offered on a one-year, fixed term contract. The terms and conditions governing this appointment will be in compliance with those of the Africa Health Research Institute. The position is potentially renewable, depending on availability of funds.

About AHRI

AHRI is a multi-disciplinary, independent health research institute based in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. AHRI uses population-based, clinical and laboratory science to address some of the country’s most critical health challenges. These include the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of HIV, TB and related diseases. To achieve this, AHRI brings together leading researchers from different fields, uses cutting-edge science to improve people’s health, and helps to train the next generation of African scientists. AHRI’s primary funders are Wellcome Trust and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The Institute’s academic partners are the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) and University College London (UCL).