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  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: Geneva
  • Grade: P-2, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Junior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Public Health and Health Service
    • Malaria, Tuberculosis and other infectious diseases
  • Closing Date: 2019-08-09

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WHO JPO  - Technical Officer, Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals (IVB)

Geneva (Switzerland)


Objective of the WHO Programme/Department:

The IVR team is housed within the Department of Immunization Vaccines and Biologicals, within the Family, Women and Children’s Health cluster. The IVR team has three functional groups, namely: Vaccine Research and Development; Optimize Policy Recommendations for New Vaccines; and Vaccine Implementation Research and Economic Analyses. The position is in the Vaccine Implementation Research and Economic Analyses (IMR) Group.

The IVR team has the following seven research areas:

  1. Minimize barriers to improve coverage with vaccines currently in use. Explore ways to improve vaccination coverage and develop interventions, strategies and tools to make more effective use of existing infrastructure.
  2. Improve evaluation of vaccine impact. Support the development of impact evaluation methods and critically appraise evidence on vaccine impact at global, regional and country level.
  3. Improve methods for monitoring immunization programmes. Enhance quality and availability of Information that is critical to monitoring the success of immunization programmes including improved disease surveillance indicators and results of serological surveys to inform design of immunization strategies.
  4. Optimize policy recommendations for existing vaccines. Generate reviews of evidence and identify critical data gaps on existing vaccines, to adjust policy recommendations with the aim of further extending public health benefits of immunization.
  5. Inform policy recommendations for candidate vaccines in late clinical development. Facilitate generation of data to fill key evidence gaps for new vaccines for public health policy-making.
  6. Accelerate licensure of vaccines in early clinical development. Develop consensus-based clinical trial design guidance so that clinical data answers the public health priorities.
  7. Enable development of vaccines in early stage R&D. Provide product development roadmaps, preferred product characteristics and clinical development pathways to enable develop of priority public health products.

Assignment Summary:

WHO/IVB/IVR (Initiative for Vaccine Research team within the Department of Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals) coordinates and leads research to demonstrate the full public health value of vaccines and immunization programmes specifically in low and middle income countries (LIMCs). An essential component of this is country level research to identify barriers for vaccine uptake; vaccine preventable disease impact analyses; and improve methods for monitoring immunization programmes. Identifying implementation research priorities and reviewing evidence for policy making is guided by an independent standing Advisory Committee on Immunization and Vaccine related Implementation Research (IVIR).

Under the supervision of the WHO Technical Officer, the Junior Professional Officer (JPO) will provide technical support to coordinate activities such as immunization and vaccine related implementation research and economic analyses. This will include management and coordination of the IVR Advisory Committee; coordination and involvement in analyses of global and country level research studies including regular site assessments and training.

The JPO is also expected to assist in norms and standards activities to support countries in translating evidence into national policies.  The JPO is specifically expected to contribute to the uptake of new and underutilized vaccines in a variety of LMICs.

Content and methodology of supervision:

As part of the UNDP JPO programme overall framework, the JPO will benefit from the following supervision modalities:

  • Structured guidance provided by the supervisor, especially in the beginning of the assignment, with the purpose of gradually increasing the responsibilities of the JPO
  • Establishment of a work plan, with clear key results
  • Effective supervision through knowledge sharing and performance/development feedback throughout the assignment
  • Easy access to the supervisor
  • Participation in Unit/Team/Office meetings to ensure integration and operational effectiveness
  • Guidance and advice in relation to learning and training opportunities within the field of expertise
  • Completion of the yearly UNDP Performance Management Document (PMD)
  • If more than one supervisor; clear agreement of the roles and responsibilities between the relevant parties

Learning Objectives:

  • To achieve competency in evidence-based decision making for vaccine uptake at global and country level;
  • To understand and achieve global recommendations of vaccines and immunization programmes.
  • Understand the mandate, functioning and scope of WHO at the three levels. 
  • Build and hone leadership and management skills.
  • Build collaborative and rewarding professional relationships and networks with other stakeholders in the field, in particular with academia and research institutes. 

Training and learning opportunities:

As part of the UNDP JPO programme overall framework, the JPO will benefit from the following training and learning opportunities:

  • Participation in a two-week long Programme Policy and Operations Induction Course in New York within the first 3 to 6 months of assignment
  • Use of yearly JPO duty-related travel and training allocation (DTTA), as per the online DTTA guide
  • Other training and learning opportunities, as presented in the UNDP JPO Orientation Programme

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the overall supervision of the Technical Officer for implementation research and economic analyses, the JPO shall perform the following duties and responsibilities:

  • Assist in implementing research and economic data analyses and interpretation
  • Review scientific literature and country level data on disease and economic impact of vaccines to advocate for the uptake new and under-utilized vaccines for global recommendations and to develop norms and standards on impact analyses (40%)
  • Assist in country level disease and economic impact studies
  • Coordinate with RO and WCO relevant research topics related to implementation research and economic analyses for vaccine uptake and decision making. Liaise with academia, research institutes and other partners to support the development impact tools and guidance documents (40%).
  • Assist in coordination of the IVIR Advisory Committee
  • Track the progress of the Committees’ agenda relevant to global vaccine recommendations made by SAGE on immunization and stakeholders requests. Prepare biannual IVIR-AC summaries and reports and assist in preparation of consultations.  (20%)
  • Perform other tasks that may be assigned by the supervisor.

During the period of assignment, the JPO would have contributed to the following key outputs:

  • Global recommendations of vaccines
  • Norms and standards on disease and economic impact of vaccines and immunization programs
  • Maintaining a global network of stakeholders in vaccine and immunization related implementation and economic analyses research.


WHO competencies required for the assignment:

  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences

Core competencies

  • Innovation - Ability to make new and useful ideas work
  • Leadership - Ability to persuade others to follow
  • People Management - Ability to improve performance and satisfaction
  • Communication - Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform
  • Delivery - Ability to get things done while exercising good judgement

Required Skills and Experience

Education requirements:

  • An advanced university degree (Masters Degree) in Health Economics and/or Public Health or other related area (+ minimum 2 years of relevant and paid work experience) 
  • A first level university degree with a relevant combination of academic qualifications and minimum of 4 years of experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree
  • Degree and/or training in disease epidemiology is an asset

Wortking experience:

  • The work experience required in addition to the above education requirements has to be paid working experience and should be in a relevant fieldin the area of health economic and/or epidemiological research related to vaccines and immunization programs or other related area
  • Ability to interpret and communicate finding
  • Work experience/work exposure to research in a developing country or in an international organization
  • excellent computer skills and strong analytical and and research skills.

Language requirements:

  • Fluency in written and spoken English and Korean s required (please see further details below)
  • Working knowledge of French is desired but not a requirement

Nationality of the candidate:

This post is opened in the context of the Junior Professional Officer (JPO) scheme sponsored by the Government of the Republic of Korea and is addressed exclusively to nationals of the Republic of Korea

Special requirements for the nationals of the Republic of Korea:

  • The canididate should not be older than 32 years of age as of 31st December of 2019 (The maximum age limit for those who served in the military will be extended accordingly)
  • Male applicants should complete the Korean military service or be exempted from it.
  • Applicants should submit the following documents. All documents should be prepared in English. In addition, applicants who state their low-income status in the application should submit a certificate of National Basic Livelihood Security Recipients issued in Korean and its unofficial English translation. 
  • A scanned copy of applicant’s Resident Register should be attached to the application
  • A copy of the university degree should be attached to the application
  • A certificate of English language proficiency. Applicants should submit a minimum of iBT TOEFL score of 107 (PBT TOEFL equivalent is also acceptable) or TEPS score of 800 or New TEPS score of 452.
  • Only for male applicants: A certificate of Korean Military Service. The maximum age limit for those who served in the military will be extended* in accordance with the Support for Discharged Soldiers Act and the military service law.
    • Age limit for male candidates who have completed the service:
      • Less than one year will be extended for one year;
      • one year above and two years under will be extended for two years;
      • two years or more will be extended for three years.
  • Only for low-income applicants: A scanned copy of applicant’s certificate of National Basic Livelihood Security Recipients issued in Korean and its unofficial English translation

All applicants can apply for a maximum of two JPO positions sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea during the year of application. 

For more details about the JPO Programme, please visit:


Important information for US Permanent Residents ('Green Card' holders)

Under US immigration law, acceptance of a staff position with UNDP, an international organization, may have significant implications for US Permanent Residents. UNDP advises applicants for all professional level posts that they must relinquish their US Permanent Resident status and accept a G-4 visa, or have submitted a valid application for US citizenship prior to commencement of employment. 

UNDP is not in a position to provide advice or assistance on applying for US citizenship and therefore applicants are advised to seek the advice of competent immigration lawyers regarding any applications.

Applicant information about UNDP rosters

Note: UNDP reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement.  We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNDP at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.

Workforce diversity

UNDP is committed to achieving diversity within its workforce, and encourages all qualified applicants, irrespective of gender, nationality, disabilities, sexual orientation, culture, religious and ethnic backgrounds to apply. All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence.

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Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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