World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland

Skill Required:, IT and ICT
Preferred Experience: 
Above 10 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
17th January, 2020

Job Description


The Research for Health Department (RFH) sits within the Science Division. The overall mission of the Science Division is to harness the power of science and innovation to improve health in a systematic way, by ensuring the excellence, relevance and efficiency of WHO's core technical functions, including norms and standards and research. Within this Division, the specific purpose of the Research for Health department is to accelerate the impact of ethical, evidence-based research for people's health.

Its mandate is structured around three key roles:

  • to provide leadership on matters related to the impact of research on people's health around the world;
  • to ensure that ethics is central to WHO's recommendations to countries, to public health programmes and for clinical practice, with the aim of maximizing benefits while mitigating risks;
  • to secure the overall efficiency and impact of the WHO research process.

The Research for Health Department is made up of three teams:

  • Emerging technologies, research prioritization & support,
  • Health ethics & governance, and
  • Evidence to policy and impact.


  • Provides technical leadership within the Department, in the area of Emerging technologies, ensuring that activities in this area are carried out efficiently and effectively.
  • Leads within the team on developing mechanisms to identify significant emerging technologies and promoting discussion around them to enable WHO to have a credible forward-looking position.
  • Develops and proposes technical health policies and strategies for implementation through collaboration with Regional and Country Offices and provides advice in developing further the horizon scanning, analyzing and reporting on emerging technologies for strengthening and improving technical capacity of target clienteles.
  • Manages the monitoring and evaluation and reporting of the subject area of work of key performance indicators and reporting requirements and mechanisms to optimize performance of Programme deliverables.
  • Serves as the technical reference among the peer community, UN Agencies and other stakeholders at the technical levels in the respective area of expertise.
  • Liaises with and utilizes partnerships in other UN Agencies, Donor, or research institutions in horizon scanning, analyzing and reporting on emerging technologies to position the technical area of work and implementation into Global and/or National policies.
  • Represents the programme area of work at various meetings to advocate for horizon scanning, analyzing and reporting on emerging technologies.
  • Performs all other related duties as assigned.

Specific duties:

  • Leads the development of WHO strategies to maximise benefits for countries while minimizing risks from prioritized emerging technology classes working with relevant programmes in WHO, including strategies that can enable leapfrogging through development of receptive environments for beneficial advanced health technologies. This may include establishment of a WHO advisory group reporting to Director-General.
  • Identification and mapping of recent advances in health science research, including emerging disciplines and technologies, and dual use research.
  • A regular prioritization process (every 12 to 24 months) to maintain WHO's list for priority emerging technologies based on opportunities for Member States to improve the implementation of their public health and service delivery programmes, and on risks to society if technologies are applied inappropriately.



  • Essential: An advanced level university degree in health sciences, epidemiology, disease control or public health.
  • Desirable: Studies in management, international affairs or government policy.


Essential: A minimum of 10 years of professional experience in the management of Health Science Foresight and emerging health technologies, including experience in the area of health policies and strategies. Demonstrated experience managing human and financial resources. Demonstrated experience at the international level.
Desirable: Experience at country level, and regional level. Experience of work in international organizations. Experience with foresight, emerging technologies, policy and scientific regulation or related fields.


  • Concrete skills in the planning and coordination of multidisciplinary public health programmes, which may include the implementation of a public health/disease control programmes.
  • Strong scientific knowledge across a range of health technologies and developments.
  • Strong skills in the area of developing and establishing polices and strategies.
  • Excellent skills and ability in managing diverse teams and financial resources.
  • Good skills in mobilizing resources.
  • Ability to engage and communicate effectively and diplomatically with external partners including Ministries of Health, Donor institutions, Civil Society, and other stakeholders.
  • Commitment to collaborate effectively with other key partners in the Health Subject area.
  • Strong skills in the area of Health Science Foresight and emerging health technologies.


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