WHO - World Health Organization

Roster of Consultants – Epidemiologist (SCI/QNS), Geneva, Switzerland

Job Overview

Roster of Consultants – Epidemiologist (SCI/QNS)

( 2104019 )

Contractual Arrangement : External consultant

Contract Duration (Years, Months, Days) : 4 months

Job Posting: Aug 27, 2021, 9:19:39 AM

To provide scientific and technical guidance to the evidence review team in the Science Division, Quality Assurance of Norms and Standards Department (HQ/SCI/QNS to perform a variety of complex technical tasks as called upon by Technical Unit staff to ensure that WHO’s normative guidance and publications related are based on the best available evidence, of the highest quality, and are produced with optimal efficiency to meet the needs of Member States


The QNS Department sits within the Science Division. The overall mission of the Science Division is to harness the power of science and innovation in a systematic way, by ensuring the excellence, relevance and efficiency of WHO’s core technical functions, including norms and standards (N&S) and research.

Within this Division, the specific purpose of QNS is to provide support to the Technical Departments in close consultation with Regional Offices, by ensuring norms and standards are produced to a consistently high standard, in a timely way, driven by what Member States need, and designed and delivered to have a real impact on the health of people. Its mandate is structured around three key roles:

  • Ensure that all N&S products meet WHO highest quality standards by providing tailored, state of the art methodological support and guidance.
  • Support project teams developing N&S products by ensuring the utmost efficiency of the N&S process.
  • Secure maximum country impact by helping to develop fit for purpose N&S products.
  • Advance and ensure timely, peer-reviewed, and accessible scientific evidence and information, through the WHO Library and Digital Information Outreach, and the WHO Press.

The QNS Department is made up of six teams: Methods and Standards, Process Efficiency, Product Impact, Library and Digital Information, the Office of the Publisher, and Governance and Review Services.

Within the QNS Department, the Methods and Standards Team is more specifically dedicated to:

  • Producing and continuously updating robust quality-assured methodologies, building upon best practices as well as internal and external expertise.
  • Providing tailored methodological support and guidance to Technical Unit project teams, and consultation with regions.
  • Ensuring the highest-quality services from technically skilled subject matter experts in a diverse array of standard-setting methods, including but not limited to public engagement, clinical and social epidemiology, modelling, and implementation studies.


Output 1: Support the Responsible Technical Officer (RTO) to undertake Rapid Reviews of scientific evidence on COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2. This will involve some or all of the following activities for each Rapid Review:

  • Collaborate with WHO Technical Units to draft key questions for rapid reviews in a PICO format.
  • Liaise with the WHO Library team to formulate and modify as needed the search strategies relating to the Rapid Review PICO question(s).
  • Undertake screening of the scientific literature identified by database searches to establish the eligibility of the identified studies for inclusion in the Rapid Review.
  • Critically appraise the quality of the identified studies using assessments for Risk of Bias and other validated tools appropriate to the study design(s).
  • Extract relevant data from the identified studies, using appropriate software (e.g. Covidence, Rayyan).
  • Perform synthesis of the available data either quantitatively (using methods such as meta-analysis), qualitatively or in a narrative format, using appropriate software (e.g. RevMan).
  • Undertake certainty of evidence assessments of the included evidence using the GRADE framework.
  • Construct Summary of Findings (SoF) tables.
  • Prepare a report for submission to the Technical Unit which documents all the relevant activities described above, the Rapid Review findings and the associated meta-data.

Output 2: Provide advice and methodological guidance to Technical Units undertaking their own Rapid Reviews and/or who commission external experts to undertake such reviews relating to COVID-19 research questions.

This will involve some or all of the following activities:

  • Contribute to draft key questions for rapid reviews in a PICO format.
  • Assess, critically appraise and provide feedback on Rapid Review protocols as well as final reports of Rapid reviews developed by Technical Units or by external evidence review experts they have commissioned.

Output 3: Review and provide inputs to the development of processes, procedures and methods to efficiently produce scoping and rapid reviews of the scientific evidence to support the development of normative guidance related to COVID-19 by WHO to support the RTO.

Qualifications, experience, skills and languages

Educational qualfications:

Essential: Advanced degree in public health, epidemiology, or biostatistics.

Desirable: A degree in Medicine or Allied Health.

Experience required:

Essential: At least seven years of relevant experience performing systematic evidence reviews, which includes demonstrated technical experience in the development of complex research questions, critically appraising a wide range of epidemiologic and clinical studies (e.g. Risk of Bias assessment, GRADEing ), conducting quantitative (e.g. meta-analysis) and qualitative evidence synthesis, and developing evidence review briefing reports to senior leadership.


  • Experience working with the WHO Quality Norms and Standards Department
  • Experience in conducing network-meta-analysis, diagnostic test accuracy reviews, individual participant data reviews, or reviews of complex interventions

Skills and knowledge:


  • Demonstrated advanced skills in producing systematic evidence reviews in clinical and/or public health topics in clinical, public health or policy-making settings
  • Demonstrated skills in working with research teams across a wide range of content topics.
  • Demonstrated skills in rapid evidence review methods adaptation.
  • Demonstrated skills managing data and databases, such as for publications and citations.
  • Demonstrated skills in effective communication, both orally and in writing, to present data and information on complex health topics in English, with ability to tailor the presentation to specific audiences.
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced, demanding and continuously changing work environment across multiple projects with multiple requirements.
  • Ability to work independently with minimal supervision once the task is assigned, seeking guidance as appropriate to the task and uncertainties that arise.

Desirable: Working knowledge of WHO technical units and processes established to effectively support research teams.

Language requirements:

Essential: Expert knowledge of English

Desirable: Intermediate knowledge of another UN Language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, or Spanish)


Off site: Work can be performed via teleworking from any location.

Travel (If travel is involved, a medical certificate of fitness for work will be required.)

This consultancy does not require travel.

Remuneration and budget (travel costs excluded)

Remuneration: Payband level B (USD 7000 – 9,980 per month)

Living expenses (A living expense is payable to on-site consultants who are internationally recruited):

Not applicable

Work schedule (if applicable) / Duration of contract:

Start date: as soon as possible End Date: 31 December 2021

Additional Information section:

  • This vacancy notice may be used to identify candidates for other similar consultancies at the same level.
  • Only candidates under serious consideration will be contacted.
  • A written test may be used as a form of screening.
  • If your candidature is retained for 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.
  • For information on WHO’s operations please visit: (link)
  • WHO is committed to workforce diversity.
  • WHO has a smoke-free environment and does not recruit smokers or users of any form of tobacco.
  • Applications from women and from nationals of non and underrepresented Member States are particularly encouraged.
  • WHO’s workforce adheres to the WHO Values Charter and is committed to put the WHO Values into practice.
  • Consultants shall perform the work as independent contractors in a personal capacity, and not as a representative of any entity or authority. The execution of the work under a consultant contract does not create an employer/employee relationship between WHO and the Consultant.
  • WHO shall have no responsibility whatsoever for any taxes, duties, social security contributions or other contributions payable by the Consultant. The Consultant shall be solely responsible for withholding and paying any taxes, duties, social security contributions and any other contributions which are applicable to the Consultant in in each location/jurisdiction in which the work hereunder is performed, and the Consultant shall not be entitled to any reimbursement thereof by WHO.
  • Consultants working in Switzerland must register with the applicable Swiss cantonal tax authorities and social security authorities, within the prescribed timeframes (Guidelines issued by the Swiss Mission are available at: (link)-onu-geneve/en/home/manual-regime-privileges-and-immunities/introduction/Manuel-personnes-sans-privileges-et-immunites-carte-H/Non fonctionnaires et stagiaires.html

For roster VNs:

The purpose of this vacancy is to develop a list of qualified candidates for inclusion in this advertised roster. All applicants will be notified in writing of the outcome of their application (whether successful or unsuccessful) upon conclusion of the selection process. Successful candidates will be placed on the roster and subsequently may be selected for consultancy assignments falling in this area of work or for similar requirements/tasks/deliverables. Inclusion in the Roster does not guarantee selection to a consultant contract. There is no commitment on either side.

More Information

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