Scientist (Multisectoral Action in Food Systems), Geneva, Switzerland

Organization: World Health Organization (WHO)

Country: Switzerland

City: Geneva, Switzerland

Office: WHO Geneva, Switzerland

Grade: P-5

Closing date: Tuesday, 27 October 2020

Scientist (Multisectoral Action in Food Systems)

( 2003704 )

Grade : P5

Contractual Arrangement : Fixed-term appointment

Contract Duration (Years, Months, Days) : 2 years

Job Posting: Oct 6, 2020, 4:27:22 PM

The Nutrition and Food Safety (NFS) Department is addressing the burden of disease from physical, chemical and microbial hazards in food and unhealthy diets, maternal and child malnutrition, overweight and obesity. The Department aims to ensure universal access to safe, sufficient nutritious food and effective nutrition actions, through setting science-based international food standards, promoting nutrition action in health systems, fostering sustainable food production and consumption, improving food environments and empowering consumers in all situations, monitoring nutrition status, and managing food safety events at the international level, closely working with Member States, UN partner agencies and non-State actors.

The multisectoral Actions in Food Systems (AFS) Unit defines implementation tools to strengthen food systems; support multisectoral policies to improve safety, quality and sustainability of food; engages with stakeholders in the food chain; and monitors policy implementation. The Unit provides support to WHO’s Member States in reducing the burden of diseases caused by unsafe food, unhealthy diets, and malnutrition in close collaboration with UN partner agencies, and other international organizations and stakeholders.


Provide technical and managerial leadership for the development and implementation of a Global Food Safety Strategy;
Provide oversight for the development of National Food Control Systems with a whole food chain approach, including the development of food laws and regulations, the setup of infrastructures and the development of qualified personnel;
Manage a Scientific and Technical Advisory Group on food safety4) Develop new innovative public health strategies on food control systems. Lead, coordinate, and conduct research on food control systems;
Manage WHO strategic and technical activities to improve risk assessment and management of food related zoonotic diseases as well as the food safety aspects of antimicrobial resistance and support the implementation of the Tripartite agreement, in coordination with the AMR division;
Develop, coordinate and monitor national work plans on food control system activities and conduct periodic reporting and performance benchmarking of implemented programme activities;
Provide authoritative advice on food chain and food control systems and respond to inquiries and provide detailed and technical information concerning food control related activities and strategies;
Manage and coordinate the development of a strategic plan to strengthen the capacity building of health professionals on food safety;
Perform all other related duties as required.



Essential: An advanced level university degree in food science, nutrition, veterinary public health or other related field.


Post-graduate qualifications in infectious disease or public health.

Demonstrated knowledge of food regulatory affairs.


Essential: At least 10 years‘ experience working in food controls and regulations at the national and international level


Experience in surveillance and risk assessment of infectious diseases.

Demonstrated experience in the area of policy development related to food control.

Experience of working with WHO at the country and regional level on capacity building activities.


Extensive knowledge and skills in international food safety issues, public health and the prevention and control of communicable diseases.

Demonstrated ability to deliver projects involving multiple partners, conduct operational activities, analyse, and interact in complex technical, political and cross-cultural situations.

Field investigation skills.

Tags antimicrobial resistance communicable diseases food production food safety food standards health systems infectious diseases laws and regulations operational activities risk assessment zoonotic diseases

Proven ability to manage projects with multiple partners.

Ability to function effectively in a team setting in a cross-cultural environment.

Good knowledge of the operations of WHO and understanding of the principal stakeholders as well as an understanding of the UN system.

Excellent organizational and analytical and writing skills complemented by good interpersonal and presentation skills.

WHO Competencies


Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences


Building and promoting partnerships across the organization and beyond

Knowing and managing yourself

Use of Language Skills

Essential: Expert knowledge of English.

Desirable: Intermediate knowledge of French.


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 88,162 (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 6575 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.

For information on WHO’s operations please visit:

WHO is committed to workforce diversity.

WHO’s workforce adheres to the WHO Values Charter and is committed to put the WHO Values into practice.

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.