Unit Head, Geneva, Switzerland

Organization: World Health Organization (WHO)

Country: Switzerland

City: Geneva, Switzerland

Office: WHO Geneva, Switzerland

Grade: P-5

Closing date: Wednesday, 19 May 2021

Unit Head

( 2101869 )

Grade : P5

Contractual Arrangement : Fixed-term appointment

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

Job Posting: Apr 28, 2021, 9:44:36 AM

The objectives of the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) are to foster an effective global research effort on infectious diseases of poverty in which disease endemic countries play a pivotal role. The objective of the Programme Innovation and Management Unit is to manage and coordinate TDR’s budget, finances, results monitoring and evaluation, human resources and administration matters and ensure continuous performance improvement and innovation across the Programme.


Provides leadership, coordination and managerial support within the Programme, in the Unit of Programme Innovation and Management ensuring that activities in this area are carried out efficiently and effectively.

Provides vision, develops, leads, and implement activities in support of TDR.

Oversees a unit of staff specialized in various domains within their area of expertise, and facilitates the efficient flow of team synergies.

Manages the programme area in delivering its objectives through efficient managing a team of specialized staff, financial resources and effective work planning to optimize the programme’s deliverables in line with the mandate of the Organization.

Manages and coordinate the monitoring and evaluation and reporting of the TDR Programme and of key performance indicators and reporting requirements and mechanisms to optimize performance of Programme deliverables.

Serves as the reference among the peer community, UN Agencies and other stakeholders in the respective area of expertise.

Liaises with and utilizes partnerships in other UN Agencies, Donors, or research institutions in the Programme Innovation and Management to position the technical area of work and implementation into Global and/or National policies.Represent the programme area of work at various meetings to advocate for Programme Innovation and Management.

Performs all other related duties as assigned.

Specific duties: Coordinates and responsible of all aspects of administrative, human resource, budgetary, and financial management for TDR.

Represents TDR Management at governing bodies and external meetings, discusses and reports strategic and operational management issues.

Enhances the reputation of TDR as a fit-for-purpose programme that provides added value and is supported by sound management and administration.

Establishes, leads and secures funding for innovative initiatives and partnerships with TDR stakeholders.

Creates and tests new business models to enhance TDR’s efficiency.

Represents TDR and WHO in international public health meetings and in meetings with donors and partners.



Essential: An advanced level university degree in international public health, health research or a field related to the functions of the position.

Desirable: A PhD in one of the above-mentioned fields.


Essential: A minimum of 10 years of professional experience in the management of research Programme, including experience in the area of health policies and strategies. Demonstrated experience managing at the international level in general administration, project portfolio management, programme budget and financial management and managing human resources.

Desirable: Experience introducing innovation in research programmes. Experience in working with senior officials of UN organizations or other public/non-public global players. Experience in health research at national and international level with a focus on diseases of poverty. Experience in working in low- and middle-income countries.


Concrete skills in the planning and coordination of multidisciplinary public health programmes, which may include the implementation of a public health/disease control programmes.

Strong skills in the area of developing and establishing polices and strategies.

Excellent skills and ability in managing diverse teams and financial resources.

Good skills in mobilizing resources.

Ability to engage and communicate effectively and diplomatically with external partners including Ministries of Health, Donor institutions, Civil Society, and other stakeholders.

Commitment to collaborate effectively with other key partners in the Health Subject area.

Strong track record in management of research programme in low and middle-income countries, good communication skills and ability to effectively negotiate interactions with internal and external partners including funders, and the ability to promote TDR’s catalytic role in research.

Ability to develop innovative concepts in a clear and concise manner.Ability to contribute to TDR’s strategic goals in a senior management group role.

WHO Competencies


Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences


Promoting innovation and organizational learning

Producing results

Creating an empowering and motivating environment

Use of Language Skills

Essential: Expert knowledge of English.

Desirable: Intermediate knowledge of a WHO official 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 5937 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 in different locations and for different contract types.

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: 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.

Link to the organization’s job offer: https://unjobs.org/vacancies/1619633558122