WHO seeks scientist for infertility research

The Scientist assumes a technical expert role within the organization and among United Nations agencies, partners and member states in the area of research on fertility, subfertility and infertility. The scientist will conceptualize and implement research in this field, ensure its compliance with the highest scientific and ethical standards, and promote the implementation of the results of this global work.

Objectives of the programme

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 strengthen 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. For more information, see http://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/about_us/hrp/en/

Description of duties

Organizational context

The incumbent serves as a scientific and technical expert of WHO’s research in infertility. She/he will meet with high level government officials in Ministries of Health and other governmental bodies and with officials of national sexual and reproductive health programmes to promote and advise on research and programme development activities relating to fertility, subfertility and infertility. The incumbent will also liaise with WHO regional and country offices and officials of partner agencies such as UNFPA, UN Women, UNDP and the World Bank to provide authoritative advice on infertility. In leading the research agenda in this area of work, the incumbent will work with senior researchers of WHO Collaborating centres and other national and global research institutions. The work will be guided by relevant resolutions of the World Health Assembly, WHO Executive Board, and Regional Committee resolutions, recommendations of HRP’s Policy and Coordination Committee, Standing Committee of HRP Cosponsors, RHR’s Scientific and Technical Advisory Group, Gender Advisory Panel, Regional Advisory Panels, and other relevant advisory bodies. This role requires a particular sensitivity to controversial issues relating to sexual and reproductive health and sustained attention to gender and human rights issues in all areas of work. Proficiency in diplomacy in external contacts will positively affect the work of the entire Organization in this area.

Summary of Assigned Duties
  1. Provides scientific and technical expertise within WHO and among United Nations (UN) agencies for matters relating to fertility, subfertility, and infertility.
  2. Conceptualizes and implements research in this field, ensuring compliance with the highest scientific and ethical standards.
  3. Provides expert policy and technical advice to countries in the implementation of programmes to prevent and address safer conception, subfertility and infertility.
  4. Establishes and manages collaboration with relevant organizations and institutions, including NGOs in official relations with WHO that are working on subfertility and infertility and WHO Collaborating Centres in order to achieve the research, advocacy and the operational objectives.
  5. Develops evidence-based clinical and managerial guidelines on prevention, diagnosis and management of subfertility and infertility and sexual and reproductive health to complement or update the existing ones.
  6. Prepares technical progress reports on RHR’s work in this area for governing and advisory bodies, WHO reporting requirements, and donors.
  7. Assures adequate publication in the scientific literature as well as other forms of dissemination of research results.
  8. Represents WHO at specialized conferences and meetings.
  9. Carries out other tasks, as required by the Coordinator and the Director.

Required qualifications


Master’s degree in medicine, reproductive medicine, public health, epidemiology or related field.

PhD in public health or epidemiology.


Expert knowledge of infertility and its public health aspects, research and research management, communication skills. Strong research and analytical skills, as evidenced by a track record of relevant publication in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Excellent diplomatic skills and the ability to work harmoniously with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders.

WHO competencies
  1. Fostering integration and teamwork
  2. Building and promoting partnerships across the organization and beyond
  3. Ensuring the effective use of resources

At least 7 years of experience in infertility, with at least 3 years of experience relating to low or middle income countries. Direct experience working in infertility research.

Experience in health and development programmes at country or regional levels, as well as with WHO, other UN agencies or with an international organization. Leading clinical research projects in low- and middle-income countries.


Expert knowledge of English.

Intermediate knowledge of other(s) UN language(s).

Additional Information

Please visit the following websites for detailed information on working with WHO:
http://www.who.int (To learn more about WHO’s operations )
http://icsc.un.org Click on: Quick Links > Salary Scales > by date

WHO’s salaries are calculated in US dollars. They consist of a base salary and a post adjustment, which reflects the cost of living in a particular duty station and exchange rates. Other benefits include: 30 days annual leave, family allowance, home travel, education grant for dependent children, pension plan and medical insurance.

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: http://www.whed.net/. Some professional certificates may not appear in the WHED and these will be reviewed individually.

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.

Annual salary: (Net of tax)
USD 69,032 at single rate
USD 90,038 with primary dependants

Contract type:  Fixed term appointment for 1 year, renewable, subject to satisfactory performance and continued need of the post.

Duty station: Geneva, Switzerland

How to apply

Apply online by 22 September 2016 at https://erecruit.who.int/public/hrd-cl-vac-view.asp?o_c=1000&jobinfo_uid_c=34002&vaclng=en



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