World Health Organization (WHO)

WHO ROE Copenhagen

Data Scientist, Influenza and High Threat Pathogens

( 2210390 )

Grade : P3

Contractual Arrangement : Fixed-term appointment

Contract Duration (Years, Months, Days) : 1 year with possibility of extension

Job Posting: Nov 9, 2022, 11:56:53 AM

The mission of the Division of Health Emergencies (WHE) is to build the capacity of Member States to assess, prevent and manage health emergency risks, and lead and coordinate the international health response to contain outbreaks and to provide effective relief and recovery to affected populations. The WHE Division brings together and enhances WHO’s operational, technical and normative capacities in outbreaks, emergencies and risk analysis to address all health hazards across the risk management cycle in a predictable, capable, dependable, adaptable and accountable manner. The Programme is designed to operate within the broader humanitarian and emergency management architecture in support of people at risk of, or affected by, outbreaks and emergencies, consistent with ways that strengthen local and national capabilities.

The Infectious Hazard Management Programme Area is responsible for establishing risk mitigation strategies and capacities for priority high-threat infectious hazards. This includes developing and supporting prevention and control strategies, tools and capacities for high-threat infectious hazards, establishing and maintaining expert networks to detect, understand and manage new or emerging high threat infectious hazards as well as providing support for the implementation of the Pandemic Influenza Preparedness (PIP) Framework.

The High Threat Pathogens (PAT) team develops strategies, guidance, global mechanisms and interventions to address influenza and other high threat pathogens responsible for epidemics or pandemics thereby reducing their impact on affected populations and limiting their international spread. This team deals with known high threat pathogens including influenza, SARS-CoV2, Monkeypox and acute respiratory infections as well as the implementation of the Pandemic Influenza Preparedness (PIP) Framework.


Under the guidance of the PAT Technical officers (surveillance and vaccination) and Team Leader (PAT), the incumbent will be responsible for data science support for the High Threat Pathogen Team. This role will cover support for both routine and ad-hoc data collection, data management, analysis, modelling and reporting for influenza and a range of other High Threat Pathogens. As a team member with expertise in the field of data science including data analytics, the incumbent will be well versed in a range of software, in particular in R. The incumbent will have oversight of the required technical inputs from the team as well as external experts (including ECDC and Member states) and monitor the implementation according to agreed work plans. The incumbent exercises judgment and flexibility in the application of a selection of administrative and technical courses of action. For activities not covered by established guidelines and for ad hoc unforeseen situations the incumbent uses initiative and common sense drawn from experience. The incumbent may seek guidance for solutions to complicated programme matters from relevant staff. The incumbent will advocate (when possible) for the incorporation of a human rights and gender equality perspective in policies, workshops, activities (as appropriate) by the actors normally involved in policy-making. The work is guided by World Health Assembly and Regional Committee resolutions, European Programme of Work (EPW), GPW 13, SDGs.

The purpose of the post is to provide data science support covering data collection, management and analysis activities needed for the development and production of key regional surveillance outputs for influenza and other High Threat Pathogens for the WHO European region.

Under the guidance and supervision of the High Threat Pathogen Team lead and Technical officers, the i ncumbent will assist the Regional Office and Member states in the area of surveillance for influenza and other High Threat Pathogens.

Key duties:

  • Produce high quality surveillance bulletins, reports and epidemiological analyses for influenza and other High Threat Pathogens. This will require skills in data management, descriptive and advanced analysis of epidemiological data, automation of analyses, appropriate visualizations of key epidemiological outputs and production of surveillance reports. The candidate will have working knowledge of R, R Shiny and Tableau.
  • Validate, process, and analyse routine data on Regional seasonal influenza vaccine policies and coverage.
  • Establish electronic data collection and visualization platform including a database for annual surveillance data on high threat pathogens.
  • Conduct checks and provide regular feedback to Member States on quality, timeliness and completeness of data submitted to Regional surveillance platforms.
  • Conduct real-time analysis of epidemic trends and epidemic forecast;
  • Contribute to activities around data management, analysis and modelling with other Divisions as well as externally.
  • Undertake retrospective data analysis to support guidance development and policy.
  • Contribute to training and capacity building activities, as appropriate;
  • Establish, document, maintain and up-date databases pertaining to different areas of work;
  • Contribute to publishing scientific papers;
  • Perform all other related duties as assigned.



Essential: A first level university degree in epidemiology, mathematics, statistics, data science or related discipline.

Desirable: Advance degree (Master’s) in one of the above-mentioned areas


Essential: At least 5 years of experience working in epidemiology and/or data science of which/including at least two years’ experience in data management, including proficiency in R Shiny.

Desirable: Relevant international experience. Experience in the field of communicable diseases surveillance and public health. Knowledge of mathematical modelling of infectious diseases. Relevant experience within WHO, the United Nations or other international organizations.


  • Proficiency in R and other relevant software for data management, visualization and automated web-based report production
  • Demonstrated expertise in epidemiology
  • Demonstrated expertise in quantitative methods, statistical analysis and modelling
  • Demonstrated knowledge of communicable diseases

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Being proactive, flexible, resourceful and able to work independently with limited supervision
  • Emotional intelligence; Ability to identify and manage one’s own emotions, as well as helping others to do the same.

WHO Competencies


Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences


Producing results

Moving forward in a changing environment

Use of Language Skills

Essential: Expert knowledge of English.

Desirable: Intermediate knowledge of WHO 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 62,692 (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 2278 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: (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: (link)
  • WHO is committed to workforce diversity.
  • 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 final candidates.
  • 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: (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.
  • *For WHO General Service staff who do not meet the minimum educational qualifications, please see e-Manual III.4.1, para 220.
Tags: architect, communicable diseases, data analysis, data analytics, data collection, data management, data science, emergency management, global mechanism, health emergencies, health hazards, human rights, infectious diseases, risk analysis, risk management, sdgs, tableau