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Scientist (SRHR Policy)


  • Organization: WHO - World Health Organization
  • Location: Geneva
  • Grade: Senior level - P-5, International Professional - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Political Affairs
    • Legal - Broad
    • Sexual and reproductive health
    • Scientist and Researcher
  • Closing Date: 2024-01-15


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 was established by the World Health Assembly in 1988 under WHA Resolution 41.9, and is co-sponsored by UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, WHO and the World Bank. HRP is executed by WHO, from within the Department of Departments of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Research (SRH). The Department draws on HRP research and global expertise to generate evidence, strengthen health systems, and impact through work to set norms and standards and develop global guidelines, and to support programme development in sexual and reproductive health and rights. More information about SRH and HRP can be found at


Building on WHO's leadership in comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights the incumbent will:

(1) Serve as a senior technical and scientific reference in political and policy analysis in sexual and reproductive health and rights among the peer community, Member States, cosponsors and other UN Agencies, and other stakeholders, in close collaboration with WHO Regional and Country Offices.

(2) Oversee and develop research priorities, drawing on the scientific expertise and 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 ensure the development and establishment of short-term operational plans and longer-term strategic plans for research and development in this area.

(3) Lead and oversee policy 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) coordinate the facilitation of training workshops, (vi) conducting research site monitoring visits, (vii)collaborations with data management companies or organizations, (viii)oversight of the network of institutions and UN cosponsoring agencies participating in the research, (ix) analysis, write-up and publication of results, (x) evaluation of processes and results in preparation for subsequent research projects.

(4) Synthesize evidence on sexual and reproductive health policy, carry out and commission systematic reviews of the literature in the field, input to evidence-based clinical and managerial guidelines.

(5) Ensure the writing and preparation of technical progress reports to governing and advisory bodies, WHO reporting requirements, and donors.

(6) Ensure adequate publication, conceptualize and draft manuscripts in the scientific literature of 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.

(7) Build and maintain strong partnerships with governments, NGOs, private sector, and other stakeholders to generate and use evidence for increased access to sexual and reproductive health and rights.

(8) Lead fundraising activities for increased financial support this programme of work.

(9) Carry out other tasks, as required by the Director.



: Advanced level university degree in public health, public policy, international relations, or another field related to policy analysis.



  • At least 10 years of experience in policy analysis and strategic advice relating to sexual and reproductive health, including experience at the international level.
  • Direct experience in coordinating or leading projects.
  • Working experience in a UN agency or with national governments, or international nongovernmental organizations related to work in low- and middle-income countries.


  • Expert knowledge of sexual and reproductive health and rights policy within the context of global health.
  • Strong policy analytical and scientific writing skills, as evidenced by an extensive track record of publication in the area of sexual and reproductive health and rights.
  • Evidence of strong management and coordination skills with national and international bodies.
  • Fundraising knowledge and skills, as evidenced by previous success in mobilizing resources.
  • Strong communication and diplomatic skills.

WHO Competencies

  • Teamwork
  • Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences
  • Communication
  • Driving the Organization's Position in Health Leadership
  • Building and promoting partnerships across the organization and beyond

Use of Language Skills

: Expert knowledge of English.

: 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 92,731 (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 6769 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 and/or an asynchronous video assessment may be used as a form of screening.

    • In the event 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.

    • According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible.

    • Any appointment/extension of appointment is subject to WHO Staff Regulations, Staff Rules and E-Manual.

    • The WHO is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment of mutual respect. The WHO recruits and employs staff regardless of disability status, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, language, race, marital status, religious, cultural, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds, or any other personal characteristics.

      The WHO is committed to achieving gender parity and geographical diversity in its workforce. Women, persons with disabilities, and nationals of unrepresented and underrepresented Member States ( are strongly encouraged to apply.

      Persons with disabilities can request reasonable accommodations to enable participation in the recruitment process. Requests for reasonable accommodation should be sent through an email to

    • An impeccable record for integrity and professional ethical standards is essential. WHO prides itself on a workforce that adheres to the highest ethical and professional standards and that is committed to put the WHO Values Charter ( into practice.

    • WHO has zero tolerance towards sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA), sexual harassment and other types of abusive conduct (i.e., discrimination, abuse of authority and harassment). All members of the WHO workforce have a role to play in promoting a safe and respectful workplace and should report to WHO any actual or suspected cases of SEA, sexual harassment and other types of abusive conduct. To ensure that individuals with a substantiated history of SEA, sexual harassment or other types of abusive conduct are not hired by the Organization, WHO will conduct a background verification of short-listed candidates.

    • WHO has a smoke-free environment and does not recruit smokers or users of any form of tobacco.

    • WHO also offers wide range of benefits to staff, including parental leave and attractive flexible work arrangements to help promote a healthy work-life balance and to allow all staff members to express and develop their talents fully.

    • The statutory retirement age for staff appointments is 65. For external applicants, only those who are expected to complete the term of appointment will normally be considered.

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    • Staff members in other duty stations are encouraged to apply.

    • Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with WHO and an underlying premise of the international civil service.

      Candidates appointed to a fixed-term position in the Professional category with WHO are subject to mobility and may be assigned to any activity or duty station of the Organization throughout the world.
    • Please note that WHO’s contracts are conditional on members of the workforce confirming that they are vaccinated as required by WHO before undertaking a WHO assignment, except where a medical condition does not allow such vaccination, as certified by the WHO Staff Health and Wellbeing Services (SHW). The successful candidate will be asked to provide relevant evidence related to this condition. A copy of the updated vaccination card must be shared with WHO medical service in the medical clearance process. Please note that certain countries require proof of specific vaccinations for entry or exit. For example, official proof /certification of yellow fever vaccination is required to enter many countries. Country-specific vaccine recommendations can be found on the WHO international travel and Staff Health and Wellbeing website. For vaccination-related queries please directly contact SHW directly at

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