Scientific Adviser

Full Time
Posted 3 days ago


The World Health Organization’s Department of Reproductive Health and Research (RHR) includes the UNDP-UNFPA-UNICEF-WHO-World Bank Special Programme of Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction (HRP). HRP is the main instrument within the United Nations system for identifying research priorities on sexual and reproductive health and rights; for promoting, conducting, evaluating and coordinating related interdisciplinary research; for collaborating with countries to build national capacity to conduct research; and for promoting the use of research results in policy making and sexual and reproductive health programmes. The Department draws on research and global expertise to set norms and standards and develop global guidelines on sexual and reproductive health and rights. More information about HRP can be found at



Focussing on research in sexual and reproductive health and rights, the incumbent will:

1) Provide expert advice on the conceptualization, design and implementation of the full range of research studies on sexual, reproductive, maternal and newborn health and rights supported by HRP, drawing on the expertise of STAG, GAP, HRP Alliance partners, WHO Collaborating Centres and other research methodology experts.

2) Guide implementation of research capacity strengthening strategies for the HRP Alliance so that research partner organizations and individuals develop the capacity and skills to carry out high quality research that is compliant with generally accepted scientific and ethical standards, as well as to strengthen the research capacity of other research organisations.

3) Provide scientific leadership and support to HRP staff members to improve and expand their research skills, and particularly for implementation science and research utilisation, so that HRP continues to provide expert and credible leadership in SRHR research.

4) Guide HRP’s data management and analysis facilities so that all data products are of the highest quality.

5) Assure that HRP’s research findings are of sufficient quality to be published in high impact scientific journals, as well as other through other forms of dissemination.

6) Oversee the implementation of all research management procedures so that research protocols and budgets are developed, reviewed (technically and ethically) and approved as efficiently as possible. Manage HRP institutional review bodies.

7) Represent HRP on global health research networks, committees and commissions so that the Programme and WHO is able to inform and learn from key influential bodies; and engage with all relevant research groups within WHO Headquarters and Regional and Country Offices, and within other UN agencies as appropriate, to provide scientific leadership in evidence based guidance.

8) Support the Office of the HRP Director in raising and leveraging funds to implement and expand the research and research capacity strengthening roles of HRP.

9) Carry out other tasks, as required by the Director.




Essential: University degree at PhD level or equivalent in a discipline related to research in sexual and reproductive health and rights. Recent training and certification in Good Clinical Practice in research and/or research ethics.
Desirable: Specialization in field related to sexual and reproductive health, such as public health, epidemiology, or obstetrics and gynaecology.



Essential: At least 10 years of experience in research and research management, with at least 5 years of experience at the international level. At least 5 years of direct experience working in research in sexual and reproductive health and rights Recent experience in fundraising or research grant writing.
Desirable: Experience in research knowledge and data management.



Expert knowledge of research in sexual and reproductive health and rights and its public health aspects, as evidenced by a track record of recent publication in peer-reviewed scientific journals in the topic area. Experience of managing a portfolio of research projects in public health.Implementation research in public health. Expert knowledge of research methods. Knowledge and skills in capacity building. Fundraising knowledge and skills, as evidenced by success in mobilizing resources.


WHO Competencies

Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences
Building and promoting partnerships across the organization and beyond
Promoting innovation and organizational learning
Creating an empowering and motivating environment


Use of Language Skills

Essential: Expert knowledge of English.
Desirable: Intermediate knowledge of one of the other official languages (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, or Spanish).


WHO salaries for staff in the Professional category are calculated in US dollars. The remuneration for the above position comprises an annual base salary starting at USD 85,543 (subject to mandatory deductions for pension contributions and health insurance, as applicable), a variable post adjustment, which reflects the cost of living in a particular duty station, and currently amounts to USD 6031 per month for the duty station indicated above. Other benefits include 30 days of annual leave, allowances for dependent family members, home leave, and an education grant for dependent children.



  • This vacancy notice may be used to fill other similar positions at the same grade level
  • Only candidates under serious consideration will be contacted.
  • A written test may be used as a form of screening.
  • In the event that your candidature is retained for an interview, you will be required to provide, in advance, a scanned copy of the degree(s)/diploma(s)/certificate(s) required for this position. WHO only considers higher educational qualifications obtained from an institution accredited/recognized in the World Higher Education Database (WHED), a list updated by the International Association of Universities (IAU)/United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The list can be accessed through the link: Some professional certificates may not appear in the WHED and will require individual review.
  • Any appointment/extension of appointment is subject to WHO Staff Regulations, Staff Rules and Manual.
  • WHO is committed to workforce diversity.
  • WHO has a smoke-free environment and does not recruit smokers or users of any form of tobacco.
  • WHO has a mobility policy which can be found at the following link: Candidates appointed to an international post with WHO are subject to mobility and may be assigned to any activity or duty station of the Organization throughout the world.
  • Applications from women and from nationals of non and underrepresented Member States are particularly encouraged.
Grade: P5
Contractual Arrangement: Fixed-Term Appointment
Contract duration: 2 YEARS
Closing Date: 25 April 2018
Primary Location: Switzerland-Geneva
Organisation: HQ/RHR – Reproductive Health and Research
Schedule: Full-time
More information on the vacancy is available  here

Job Features

Job CategorySenior Advisor