Scientist (Food Systems), Geneva, Switzerland

Organization: World Health Organization (WHO)

Country: Switzerland

City: Geneva

Office: WHO Geneva, Switzerland

Grade: P-4

Closing date: Tuesday, 31 January 2023

Scientist (Food Systems)

( 2211644 )

Grade : P4

Contractual Arrangement : Fixed-term appointment

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

Job Posting: Jan 10, 2023, 2:58:27 PM

The Nutrition and Food Safety (NFS) Department is addressing the burden of disease from physical, chemical and microbial hazards in food, 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 develops implementation tools to strengthen food systems; support multisectoral policies to improve the safety, nutritional quality and sustainability of food; engages with stakeholders in the food chain; and monitors policy implementation. AFS provides support to WHO’s Member States to reduce 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.


Develop guidance and global implementation tools to promote, adopt, adapt, implement and monitor national intersectoral policies, plans and programs for healthier and sustainable food environments across sectors and in different settings (e.g. schools, sports, workplace, urban planning), as part of a comprehensive food systems` approach.

In collaboration with the relevant regional advisors, provide technical support to Member States for the scoping, deliberation and inclusion of food systems policies in national policies and plans.

Working with the relevant regional advisors, support countries in their efforts to build their capacities to enact, implement, monitor and enforce policies to increase fruits and vegetables consumption, eliminate industrially produced trans fatty acids, reduce the intake of salt/sodium, sugar and unhealthy fats.

Support, in collaboration with relevant NFS units, the development of thematic global reports on progress towards the achievement of diet-related NCD targets.

Coordinate, in collaboration with other NFS units, the development of global road maps and investment cases to accelerate the global, regional and national level implementation of policies and actions for healthier food environments so as to achieve diet-related global targets, particularly: a 30% relative reduction in mean population intake of salt/sodium, halting the rise in diabetes and obesity.

Build alliances and networks and strengthen coordination mechanisms among technical entities, United Nations agencies, NGOs and other internal/external partners in support of this area of work.

Support the mobilization of financial resources to improve food environments at the different levels of the organization.

Perform other related duties, as assigned by the supervisor.



Essential : Advanced level university degree in Public Health, Nutrition or Food Sciences.


Additional degree/training in behavior change or health economics or obesity management in public health.

Relevant PhD degree is desirable.


Essential :

At least 7 years of experience in providing public health technical advice on interventions to make food environments healthier, covering the entire programmatic cycle.

Documented experience in coordinating the development of advocacy and implementation tools/strategies for multisectoral programmes aimed at preventing obesity and diet-related NCD at the national or subnational levels.

2 years of working experience at international level.


Expert knowledge of public health nutrition, particularly on the use of food-based and regulatory approaches to prevent the double burden of malnutrition in populations.

Demonstrated ability to deliver projects involving multiple partners, provide technical advice to countries.

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.

Excellent work ethics

WHO Competencies


Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences


Producing results

Building and promoting partnerships across the organization and beyond

Use of Language Skills

Essential : Expert knowledge of English.


Intermediate knowledge of French.

Intermediate knowledge of other UN 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 75,602 (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 4952 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.

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