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Medical Officer

Geneva (Switzerland)

  • Organization: WHO - World Health Organization
  • Location: Geneva (Switzerland)
  • Grade: P-5, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Senior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Medical Practitioners
    • Public Health and Health Service
  • Closing Date: 2021-09-23

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The UNDP-UNFPA-UNICEF-WHO-World Bank Special Programme of Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction (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 build national capacity to conduct research; and for promoting the use of research results in policy making and sexual and reproductive health programmes. HRP is operated from within the World Health Organization's Department of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Research (SRH).The Department draws on HRP research and global expertise to set norms and standards and develop global guidelines, and to support programme development in sexual and reproductive health and rights. The Maternal and Perinatal Health Unit (MPH) is responsible for research and development, innovation, evidence synthesis, development of guidance and implementation tools, provision of specialized technical support, and dissemination of information on evidence-based practices in maternal and perinatal health, including antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal care.


Focusing on intrapartum (labour and childbirth) care and related areas of work, the incumbent will:(1) Serve as technical and scientific reference in maternal and perinatal health amongst peers, Member States, cosponsors and other UN Agencies, non-state actors, and other stakeholders.(2) Develop research priorities, drawing on the scientific literature, recommendations of HRP advisory bodies, input from Member States and cosponsoring agencies, colleagues, managers and other stakeholders. Based on research priorities developed, the incumbent will develop short-term operational plans and longer-term strategic plans for research and development in this area.(3) Lead and oversee research activities, including: (i) the conceptualization and development of research protocols, (ii) identification and recruitment of national partner research institutions, (iii) conceptualization and production of research agreements, (iv) organization of scientific meetings, (v)organization and facilitation of training workshops, (vi) conducting research site monitoring visits, (vii) collaborations with data management companies or organizations, (viii) management of the network of institutions participating in the research projects, (ix) analysis, write-up and publication of results,(x) evaluation of processes and results in preparation for subsequent research projects.(4) Strengthen the capacity of research centres to carry out high quality research that is compliant with generally accepted scientific and ethical standards.(5) Synthesize research evidence, carry out and commission systematic reviews of the literature in the field, provide input to evidence-based clinical and managerial guidelines.(6) Advise Member States, HRP cosponsors and other UN Agencies, non-state actors, and other stakeholders on scientific and technical matters, working in close collaboration with WHO Regional and Country Offices.(7) Prepare and clear technical progress reports for governing and advisory bodies, WHO reporting requirements, and donors.(8) Ensure adequate publication, conceptualize and draft manuscripts in the scientific literature of research outputs, and lead related communications activities to strengthen the dissemination, adaptation and use of WHO and HRP outputs by WHO Member States, working in close collaboration with the HRP communications team and the WHO Department of Communications.(9) Collaborate with governments, parliaments, NGOs, private sector and other senior-level stakeholders to generate and use evidence for increased access to sexual and reproductive health and rights;(10) Lead fundraising activities for increased financial support this programme of work.(11) Carry out other tasks, as required by the Unit Head and Director.



Essential: Advanced university degree in medicine, with specialization in obstetrics and gynaecology.
Desirable: Ph.D. in public health, epidemiology, or another field related to maternal and perinatal health.


Essential: At least 10 years of experience in research and research management relating to maternal and perinatal health, including experience at the international level. At least 5 years of direct experience of coordinating or leading research projects, including in low- and middle-income countries
Desirable: Working experience in a UN agency or an international nongovernmental organization in low- and middle-income countries.


Expert knowledge of maternal and perinatal health research designs especially clinical and implementation research and its public health aspects. Strong research, analytical and scientific writing skills, as evidenced by an extensive track record of peer-review scientific publication in the area of intrapartum (labour and childbirth) care.Fundraising knowledge and skills, as evidenced by previous success in mobilizing resources.Strong communication and diplomatic skills.

WHO Competencies

Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences
Producing results
Building and promoting partnerships across the organization and beyond
Creating an empowering and motivating environment

Use of Language Skills

Essential: Expert knowledge of English.
Desirable: Intermediate knowledge of Other UN language.


WHO salaries for staff in the Professional category are calculated in US dollars. The remuneration for the above position comprises an annual base salary starting at USD 89,837 (subject to mandatory deductions for pension contributions and health insurance, as applicable), a variable post adjustment, which reflects the cost of living in a particular duty station, and currently amounts to USD 6536 per month for the duty station indicated above. Other benefits include 30 days of annual leave, allowances for dependent family members, home leave, and an education grant for dependent children.


  • This vacancy notice may be used to fill other similar positions at the same grade level
  • Only candidates under serious consideration will be contacted.
  • A written test may be used as a form of screening.
  • 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: Some professional certificates may not appear in the WHED and will require individual review.
  • Any appointment/extension of appointment is subject to WHO Staff Regulations, Staff Rules and Manual.
  • Staff members in other duty stations are encouraged to apply.
  • WHO is committed to workforce diversity.
  • WHO has a smoke-free environment and does not recruit smokers or users of any form of tobacco.
  • WHO has a mobility policy which can be found at the following link: 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.
  • Applications from women and from nationals of non and underrepresented Member States are particularly encouraged.
We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
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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