Technical Officer

World Health Organization

Geneva, Switzerland

The Research for Health Department 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.

Description Of Duties:

Generic duties:

  • Conduct the programme management and coordinate the technical leadership with the Department, in particular in the area of the development of the optimized R&D process, ensuring that activities in this area are carried out efficiently and effectively.
  • Develop and propose technical health policies and strategies for implementation through collaboration with Regional and Country Offices and provide advice in developing further and optimizing the WHO R&D process. 
  • Manage the monitoring and evaluation and reporting of the subject area of work of key performance indicators and reporting requirements and mechanisms to optimize the performance of Programme deliverables.
  • Serve as the technical reference among the peer community, UN agencies, and other stakeholders at the technical levels in the respective area of expertise.
  • Liaise and utilize partnerships in other UN agencies, Donors, or research institutions in horizon-scanning, analyzing, and reporting on emerging technologies to position this technical area of work and implementation into Global and/or National policies.
  • Represent the programme area of work at various meetings.
  • Perform all other related duties as assigned.

Specific Duties:

  • Lead within the Unit on the coordination and the project management for the development of an optimized R&D process within the Organization, to improve efficiency across the various steps of the process.
  • The Technical Officer will perform project management duties to ensure milestones are met and monitor and evaluate the implementation of the activities.
  • The Technical Officer will record learnings from the implementation of the new processes, and work to integrate in a sustainable and efficient way those learnings.
  • Under the guidance of the Unit Head, the Technical Officer will coordinate interactions between the Research for Health department and the other relevant departments within the Organization, and the external partners.

Required Qualifications:

  • Essential: An advanced university degree (Masters's level or above) in health sciences, or a related field.


  • Experience


  • A minimum of seven years' experience working in R&D-related programmes.
  • Demonstrated experience at the international level.


  • Experience working in an international organization.
  • Knowledge of relevant WHO processes.


  • Strong scientific knowledge and understanding of the various phases in the research and development pathway.
  • Strong skills in writing and drafting policy and reports on R&D activities.
  • Excellent skills in project management with a sound understanding of work planning and management of financial resources.
  • Ability to engage and communicate effectively and diplomatically with external partners including Donor institutions, Civil Society, and other stakeholders.

Use of Language Skills:

  • Essential: Expert knowledge of English.
  • Desirable: Intermediate knowledge of French.