Medical Anthropologist opening at Brain and Mind Institute, The Aga Khan University

Brain and Mind Institute

Medical Anthropologist, Term Appointment (3 years, renewable)

Brain and Mind Institute

Pakistan or Kenya


Chartered in 1983, Aga Khan University (AKU, ) is a private, autonomous and self-governing international university, with 13 teaching sites in 6 countries over three continents. An integral part of the Aga Khan Development Network (, AKU provides higher education in multiple health science and social science disciplines, carries out research pertinent primarily to low- and middle-income countries and operates 7 hospitals (soon 8) and over 325 outreach clinics, all at international standards. It has almost 2,500 students and 14,000 staff. The University is both a model of academic excellence and an agent of social change. As a leading international institution dedicated to excellence and change, AKU operates on the core principles of quality, relevance, impact and access.

The Brain & Mind Institute seeks to build capacity in the domains of mental health and neuroscience. In collaboration with partners, the Institute will advance leadership capacity and support service delivery across East Africa and other regions served by AKU. The Institute supports: (i) a hub for scholarship, exchange, and action on mental health issues, and (ii) educational, clinical, and community-based programs. Research focuses on the context of today’s youth in Africa and South Asia and programmatic offerings address mental health related issues, such as stigma and resiliency. The Institute develops new curricula integrating behavioral sciences and mental health for AKU’s medical colleges and nursing education. A significant area of interest is the implementation of science-based programing in hospital and community clinics that translate new discoveries into prevention and treatment programs.

Do you want to improve mental health in low- and middle-income countries? Are you ready to conduct transdisciplinary research that will help experts understand the determinants of mental health and shape our responses to complex and mounting problems?

The Brain and Mind Institute at the Aga Khan University is looking for a bold, entrepreneurial, and boundary-pushing scholar in medical anthropology who is enthralled by the challenges and opportunities to transform in mental health landscape and help improve the quality of life for millions – on a national and international scale, and on an accelerated timeline.

This is an interdisciplinary research position for a new faculty member in medical anthropology to help elucidate how different sociocultural settings influence the experience and expression of mental illness and the acceptance/use of various treatment modalities. Working with a BMI-based implementation science team in Kenya and Pakistan, this position involves working with colleagues across many disciplines and geographies to inform a wide range of research studies, support academic programming, and mount policy influence, toward the goal of attenuating the mounting burden of mental illness in East Africa and South and Central Asia.


  • Working on a wide research portfolio with colleagues in the Brain and Mind Institute, Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations, Institute for Human Development, Institute for Global Health and Development, Medical Colleges and Schools of Nursing and Midwifery, as well as in other academic entities across Aga Khan University to develop and apply advanced knowledge in medical anthropology, particularly as it relates to mental health research and intervention.
  • Collecting and interpreting medical data, so as to support and lead research teams and healthcare professionals with a deeper understanding of effects that historical, social and cultural factors have on human diseases, especially mental illness, and healthcare systems.
  • Designing research and survey studies and securing research grants for implementation
  • Communicating research findings in scientific publications and to various stakeholder groups through attractive and informative presentations.
  • A minimal, but impactful, contribution to teaching,


  • A PhD and/or Medical degree(s) in Anthropology, Medicine, Social Work, Psychology or other relevant disciplines.
  • Information Technology (IT) literacy, including excellent technical skills (e.g., in MS office, data analytics, etc.)
  • Experience in scientific research, analysis, evaluations, and reviews, with a track record of publications.
  • A completed internship or post-doctoral experience is advantageous.
  • Superb and proven research and mentoring skills.
  • Good understanding of epidemiological and qualitative analysis.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English (additional linguistic capacities in Urdu and/or Swahili would be an asset).
  • Analytical mindset and insatiable curiosity.

To Apply

Interested candidates should submit a Cover letter, detailed Curriculum Vitae, names and email contacts of three professional referees, telephone contact, e-mail address and copies of relevant academic certificates as well as transcripts to the Director, HR Academic, Aga Khan University’s Campus Nairobi, Kenya.

P. O. Box 30270-00100 or by email to

Your application should bear the reference number MA-BMI. Applications by email are preferred.

Only short-listed candidates will be contacted. More information about the Aga Khan University is available at