Scientist (Lung & HPV-driven cancers)

World Health Organization, Lyons, France

Skill Required:, Research and Analysis
Preferred Experience: 
2 years of relevant work experience
Closing Date for Applications: 
13th July, 2020

Job Description


The Genetic Epidemiology Group (GEP) at IARC is investing in projects aiming to improve early detection of smoking-related cancers, with a particular focus on lung cancer and HPV-driven head & neck cancer. This involves coordinating major international consortia projects of prospective cohort studies, with the long-term objective to implement efficient screening strategies.

The creation of this position is primarily in response to two major initiatives funded by the US National Cancer Institute (NCI) focusing on early detection of lung cancer and HPV-driven cancers, respectively. GEP activities within these fields have developed rapidly and involves establishing leading consortia with investigators from around the world. There is now a pressing need to recruit scientific staff who can assume a high level of autonomy and responsibility to ensure the success of these projects, as well as to develop other ancillary projects. These projects contain major components of coordination of multi-partner collaborations, leading or supervising statistical analyses, and preparing manuscripts and grant applications, and offer excellent opportunities to attract additional competitive funding.

Note: Start date for this position is normally set for 1 September 2020. However, in light of the evolving Covid-19 situation (notably in terms of confinement and travel restrictions), the start date of the position may be impacted until such date that the successful candidate be able to physically report for duty in Lyon, France.


Key duties of the incumbent include:

  • Work alongside the supervisor to coordinate major consortia-based projects focusing on early detection/screening for lung cancer, and HPV-driven head & neck and anogenital cancer. This will involve the following specific tasks:
  • Development of study-protocols.
  • Organization of consortium meetings and phone conferences.
  • Liaising with internal and external collaborators to establish necessary agreements, organize sample shipments, biochemical analyses, and preparation of study databases.
  • Working with technical staff to monitor progress and accuracy of samples and data collected, and organization of study databases.
  • Analysis of large datasets and presentation of results to the study group.
  • Preparation of grant progress reports.
  • Preparation of scientific manuscripts in related GEP studies focusing on risk modelling and screening for both lung cancer and cancers of the head and neck.
  • Presentation of scientific results at international conferences.
  • Actively participate in the conception and development of new or ancillary projects related to early detection and/or screening of cancer.
  • Writing of grant proposals with a view to attracting research funding from competitive sources. The incumbent may also lead on specific grant applications.
  • Contribute to the design, planning, and/or conduct of other studies relevant to GEP objectives. Writing of scientific manuscripts or reports.



  • PhD degree in Epidemiology, public health, or in a closely related field.
  • Training in mathematical statistics is also required.



  • At least two years of postdoctoral experience in cancer epidemiology.
  • Prior experience in studies dedicated to screening for lung cancer and/or HPV-driven head & neck cancers.
  • Prior experience in coordination of consortium-based studies involving international partners.
  • Prior experience in risk modelling using prospective data.
  • Scientific publication record in subjects relevant for the position.


  • Experience in working with biomarker data in the context of cancer epidemiology.
  • Experience in credibly communicating research ideas on social media.


  • Strong programming skills in R and/or STATA;
  • Excellent understanding of epidemiological study design and analysis;
  • In-depth knowledge in screening for smoking- and/or HPV-related cancer;
  • Strong problem-solving, organisational and coordination skills;
  • Ability to "think outside the box";
  • Excellent communication skills for liaising with internal and external partners;
  • Proven ability to draft scientific manuscripts and familiarity with the preparation of grant applications.

WHO Competencies

  • Technical expertise
  • Produces high quality results
  • Works collaboratively with team members and counterparts to achieve results
  • Knowing and managing yourself
  • Quality and quantity of communication targeted at audience
  • Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences

Use of Language Skills

  • Expert knowledge of English is essential (read, written and spoken).


  • IARC salaries for staff in the Professional category are calculated in US dollars. The fixed remuneration for the above position comprises an annual net salary plus a post adjustment which reflects the cost of living in a particular duty station.
  • Total fixed remuneration for this position currently amounts to USD 67915 (i.e. approximately EUR 59700) per annum which is the sum of: 1) annual net salary of USD 47895 at Level P2 of the UN professional salary scale, plus 2) post adjustment for Lyon, France currently amounting to an annualized figure of USD 20020.
  • The fixed remuneration is expressed net of income tax but before deduction of the employee share of contributions for mandatory participation in the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund and in the Organization’s private insurance plans covering health, accident, illness and disability.
  • Other benefits include 30 days of annual leave and allowances for dependent family members.
  • Subject to certain conditions, under temporary appointment, internationally-recruited staff may also be entitled to relocation travel & shipment, settling-in grant upon appointment, home leave and/or education grant for dependent children.
  • Employment status is that of international civil servant.


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