Research Associate – Novel Foods

DanChurchAid (DCA)

  • Entry Level
  • Kakuma
  • Applications have closed


Vacancy Description

DCA is seeking to recruit a competent, experienced and motivated Kenyan National for the position of Research Associate – Novel Foods. The position is based in Kakuma – with travel within Turkana County as needed – and reports to the Project Officer: Novel Foods.

Role purpose

The successful candidate will join our novel foods research team in Kakuma to study the feasibility of production, adoption and utilization of non-traditional foods – namely mealworms and spirulina – as a means of food security within the refugee and wider host community. S/he will also work closely with the Food Security and Livelihoods team to ensure harmony with the novel foods components in other DCA and partner led projects and achievement of DCA’s overall goals. The Research Associate (RA) will also assist in supporting and facilitating innovative programming initiatives in the project area and wider country office.

Key responsibilities:

  • Assist in the pilot production of mealworms and spirulina for food, with emphasis on establishing protocols and standards.
  • Support in conducting field experiments related to the production of mealworms and spirulina, including setup, monitoring, and data collection.
  • Aid in the collection and entry of data into suitable software for analysis, ensuring accuracy and completeness.
  • Support in extracting and reporting on data-driven conclusions for each salient undertaking, contributing to the generation of valuable insights for reporting and scientific publications and presentations.
  • Collaborate in revising and creating novel implementations to address shortcomings in existing initiatives, fostering continuous improvement.
  • Collaborate with team members and external partners to achieve the objectives of the research project.
  • Promote the adoption and utilization of non-traditional foods, such as edible insects, spirulina, and mushrooms, by engaging stakeholders and conducting capacity building activities as needed.
  • Provide technical assistance to DCA incentive staff in the execution of project activities.
  • Employ a proactive approach to learning, thus advancing knowledge for the enhancement of the project.
  • Undertake any other duties as may be assigned by the direct supervisor.

Key Qualifications and Experience:

  • University level education in Marine biology & Fisheries, Food Science & Technology, Agriculture or related courses.
  • Proficiency in data analysis using statistical analysis software will be an added advantage.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, with the ability to effectively present research findings.
  • Demonstrated experience in research projects, including field and laboratory work.
  • Experience with grant writing and research proposal development is desirable.
  • Good interpersonal skills with the ability to work independently and collaboratively in a multi-stakeholder context.
  • Prior experience in the blue economy and/or edible insect farming will be a great advantage.

The position is for 20 months (renewable subject to satisfactory performance and availability of funds), with a three-month probation period. DCA offers a competitive salary package (salary, insurance, and benefits) in accordance to experience and DCA Kenya Employee Handbook.

About DCA

DanChurchAid (DCA) is working in Turkana, West Pokot, Baringo, Elgeyo Marakwet, Nyandarua, Nakuru, and Nairobi counties with refugees and local communities to enhance peace, livelihoods, and resilience. DCA implements projects directly as well as through local partner organizations. For more information on DCA, please visit

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Application Guidelines

Any published closing dates are estimated. We aim to fill this vacancy as quickly as possible. This means that we will close adverts as soon as we have found the right candidate, and this may be before the published closing date. We would therefore advise interested applicants to apply as early as possible.

 The deadline for applications is at COB 8th April 2024

 Only online applications will be accepted.

 Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, abilities or ethnic affiliation are encouraged to apply for the vacancy. DCA conducts an anti-terror check as part of the recruitment process. It is a prerequisite that you can pass this check and maintain this status throughout your employment with us.  Everyone applying for a job with DCA must be ready to comply with our Staff Policy on Prevention of Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Harassment and our Child Safeguarding Policy.

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