Fondation Merieux

A family foundation dedicated to fighting infectious diseases

Research Director

Published: 24/06/2016
Society: Fondation Mérieux
Contract type: CDI
Location: Lyon (France)

Main objectives of the position

This position offers a unique opportunity to be actively involved in translational and applied research and training activities of the research laboratory unit (Emerging Pathogens Laboratory – LPE) of the Scientific Department of Fondation Mérieux. The Research Director will lead and drive a research group based in Lyon and will be responsible for implementing a research program in line with the mission of Fondation Mérieux and in collaboration with the research platforms in developing countries. He/she will also lead the research group and represent Fondation Mérieux in the INSERM research unit U1111 of the International Research Center in Infectious Diseases (CIRI). He/she will participate in the definition of the scientific strategy of Fondation Mérieux and its implementation. Together with the Scientific Director, he/she will be responsible for building partnerships both within and outside Fondation Mérieux international network, GABRIEL, with an increased focus on applied and operational research.

Glossary of terms

  • LPE: Emerging Pathogens Laboratory

  • CIRI: Centre International de Recherche en Infectiologie

  • GABRIEL: Global Approach to Biological Research, Infectious diseases and Epidemics in Low-income countries

Context of the position

Established in 1967 by Doctor Charles Mérieux, Fondation Mérieux is an independent family foundation and is a recognized state-approved charity. It fights against the infectious diseases that affect developing countries and is currently present in about fifteen countries (mainly in West Africa and South-East Asia, China, Bangladesh, Lebanon, Haiti, Brazil). It offers a specific model based on a long history of expertise in clinical biology and a comprehensive approach to public health issues.

The mission of Fondation Mérieux is to contribute to global health by strengthening the local capacities of developing countries to reduce the impact of infectious diseases on vulnerable populations. Its action is based on four main priorities: clinical biology laboratories, collaborative research programs, training and exchange of knowledge, support to international solidarity projects specifically concerning Mothers & Children.

Since it was created, Fondation Mérieux has given priority to opening and partnering, initiating and leading a major international scientific network. It acts as a catalyst in both local and international initiatives with the same objective of improving public health including infection prevention and quality of care.

The Scientific Department initiates and coordinates international scientific projects to help fight infectious diseases in developing countries and in vulnerable populations. It participates in the development and implementation of scientific projects.

The Emerging Pathogens Laboratory (LPE), the research laboratory unit of the Scientific Department of Fondation Mérieux, is part of CIRI (International Center for Infectiology Research and is located in Lyon (Gerland), close to the P4 Jean Mérieux Laboratory and Lyon Biopôle. The LPE is mainly dedicated to applied and operational research in the field of infectious diseases in developing countries and in developed countries for some topics. Current major focus is on respiratory diseases, including tuberculosis and enteric diseases including Typhoid Fever. The laboratory has access to P2, P3 and P4 facilities. Other major activities: setting up tools for epidemiological monitoring in developing countries; local human capacity building and training and technology transfer to developing countries within our GABRIEL research network (Global Approach to Biological Research, Infectious diseases and Epidemics in Low-income countries). The LPE supports and coordinates the network and serves as the core reference laboratory driving applied and operational research in the various countries. The laboratory has a strong collaboration with the Infection Control and Epidemiology Unit, Hospices Civils de Lyon and Claude Bernard University Lyon 1. This collaboration facilitates methodological support for projects in developing countries but will also be helpful for the implementation of international programs concerning hospital infection control and quality of care.

The LPE is also part of the INSERM research unit of the International Research Center in Infectious Diseases (CIRI; INSERM U1111). As part of the CIRI and the SFR BioSciences, LPE scientists have access to a large spectrum of facilities, cutting-edge technology and expertise.

Main responsibilities

The Research Director will report to the Scientific Department Director. He/She will work closely with the GABRIEL network coordinator, Fondation Mérieux fundraisers, project and financial managers, the diagnostic development laboratory unit of the Scientific Department, the Medical Director and International Development Director of Fondation Mérieux.

The main role of the Research Director will be to:

  • Lead and manage a research team, the research projects and activities of Fondation Mérieux with the objective of improving public health in developing countries

  • Represent the research team within the CIRI and implement a scientific program in line with the orientations of the CIRI

  • Together with the GABRIEL coordinator, drive and implement applied and operational research in the LRMs (Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratories) and other Gabriel network members by developing multidisciplinary and international collaborations, implement innovative clinical research projects, targeting infectious diseases affecting vulnerable populations in developing countries

  • Participate in the definition of the scientific strategy of Fondation Mérieux and its implementation

  • Guide, support and coordinate fundraising activities and networking, by identifying potential sources of funding, identifying key partners and consortia, designing new project proposals

  • Participate in the development and implementation of new training modules and career development programs for capacity-building among the LRMs

  • Coordinate and supervise the training of PhD students and post-doctoral fellows

  • Manage the allocated annual LPE budget and the external funds

  • Coordinate and promote the dissemination of research and other scientific communication of the research

  • Represent Fondation Mérieux in meetings, conferences, congresses… in France and on the international stage.

Qualifications and professional experience required


  • Post Graduate Degree (PhD) in a field related biological sciences

  • Authority to supervise doctoral thesis (Habilitation à Diriger des Recherches – HDR) or equivalent qualification or expertise

  • Medical (MD) or Public Health (MPH) degree will be a plus.

Skills and experience

  • Minimum 10 years in research and/or academic coordination in an international context

  • Experience in research on infectious diseases, virology and/or (myco)bacteriology

  • Proven experience and skills in molecular biology and molecular epidemiology

  • Affinity and proven experience in the current challenges in global public health

  • Demonstrated work experience and success in:

    • Developing and implementing research programs and partnerships

    • Leading and managing a team and an academic research group

    • Multicultural work environments especially in resource-limited countries

  • Knowledge of:

    • Institutional and private donors’ requirements

    • Existing international research and academic networks related to global health and infectious diseases

  • Strong written and oral communication including English and French

  • Diplomacy and excellent social skills

The candidates will provide 5 referees who might be contacted for additional information by the Scientific Director of Fondation Mérieux..

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