Epidemiologist, Geneva, Switzerland

Organization: World Health Organization (WHO)

Country: Switzerland

City: Geneva, Switzerland

Office: WHO Geneva, Switzerland

Grade: P-3

Closing date: Friday, 12 February 2021


( 2100222 )

Grade : P3

Contractual Arrangement : Temporary appointment under Staff Rule 420.4

Contract Duration (Years, Months, Days) : 8 months

Job Posting: Jan 22, 2021, 4:26:25 PM

The mission of WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme (The Programme) is to build the capacity of Member States to manage health emergency risks and, when national capacities are overwhelmed, to lead and coordinate the international health response to contain outbreaks and to provide effective relief and recovery to affected populations.The WHE Response division (WRE) is responsible for rapidly detecting and responding to health emergencies while leveraging relevant national and international partnerships, ensuring that emergency-affected populations in acute and protracted emergencies have access to essential health services and that systems are maintained and strengthened in fragile, conflict and vulnerable settings while implementing at scale, proven prevention strategies for priority pandemic/epidemic-prone diseases. The Health Emergency Information and Risk Assessment Department is responsible for identifying new public health events, assessing risks to public health, conducting epidemiological surveillance and field investigations, monitoring public health interventions, and communicating public health information to technical partners and stakeholders.


Within the framework of the delegated authority, the incumbent is assigned all or part of the following duties which are performed according to needs: 1- Carry out all aspects of early detection of acute public health events, including but not limited to event-based surveillance; verification and risk assessment; monitoring; and information-sharing on events that may constitute a public health emergency of international concern; the analysis linked to the formulation of briefing documents and materials; situation analyses; and convening multi-disciplinary risk assessment, as appropriate.

2- Contribute with all staff in the PHI Team and the HIM Department to the elaboration and implementation of WHO-wide Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and tools for detecting, verifying, assessing and monitoring events that may constitute a public health emergency of international concern in line with the operational requirements of IHR.

3- As delegated, participate in activities such as, but not limited to: [a] Developing and updating SOPs and strategic policies for event-based surveillance and risk assessment of public health threats.

[b] Providing technical guidance to further the development of WHO Event Management system (EMS) and Event Information Site (EIS) and other event-based surveillance systems.

[c] Encouraging or promoting the implementation of new approaches and innovative methods to systematically detect and assess events of potential significance to international public health, with emphasis on building partnerships networks.

[d] Elaborating state-of-the-art processes to critically monitor and evaluate performance and results of epidemic intelligence activities.

[e] Enhancing and encouraging world-wide information sharing as a key component of promoting and nurturing a culture of multi-disciplinary and cross-cutting approaches within WHO and with ley partners.

4- Conduct emergency epidemiological field risk-assessment missions as required.

5- Capacity Building and Training: identify key knowledge, experience and skills to enhance the continuous adapt strategies, policies and implement best practices.

9- Capacity Building: Provide capacity building and training to colleagues within WHO and partners, including Ministries of Health, with focus on enhancing epidemiology, Public Health Intelligence, event-based surveillance and risk assessment core competencies.

7- Perform other related responsibilities as assigned, including replacing and backstopping for others as required.



Essential: A first University degree in epidemiology, public health, international health, complemented by degree or diploma in medicine, pharmacy, veterinary science, midwifery, nursing, medical biology or a related discipline

Desirable: In-service training in field epidemiology such as Field Epidemiology (and Laboratory) Training Programmes (FELTP), the European Program for Intervention Epidemiology Training (EPIET), the CDC Epidemic Intelligence Service programme, or equivalent experience.


Essential: At least five years‘ experience with successful track record in epidemiology, surveillance and/or control of acute public health events, and/or epidemic/Public Health Intelligence at the national / international levels plus demonstrated exposure in the context of large epidemics or public health crisis at the national and international levels.

Desirable: Field experience in epidemiology, surveillance and/or control of acute public health events. Experience in resource limited countries. Experience of working with event-based surveillance and risk assessment. Good understanding in inter-agency collaboration or in WHO, UN, UN Agencies or other international organisations. Understanding of WHO processes of verification, alert and response operations.


Demonstrated expertise in surveillance, field epidemiology and emerging diseases in international context.

Proven ability to interact multi-disciplinarily and cross-cutting environment in involving technical, cultural and political elements.

Sound analytical and organizational skills.

Willingness to deploy at short notice in support of international emergency health interventions.

Excellent presentation and communication skills, with emphasis on writing skills.

Proven ability to work in team and produce results under pressure in critical situations.

Tact, diplomacy and courtesy.

WHO Competencies

1- Fostering intefgration and Teamwork

2- Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences

3- Communicating in a credible and effective way

4- Producing results

5- Knowing and managing yourself

Use of Language Skills

Essential: Expert knowledge of English.

Desirable: Intermediate knowledge of French. Intermediate knowledge of other WHO Languages.


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 60,962 (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 4725 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.

Tags health emergencies health information health services midwife midwifery nursing pharmacy risk assessment training programmes

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: http://www.whed.net/. 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: http://www.who.int.

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: http://www.who.int/employment/en/. 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.

*For WHO General Service staff who do not meet the minimum educational qualifications, please see e-Manual III.4.1, para 220.