Scientific and Advocacy Director of the GloPID-R Secretariat

Start date

November 2020


Mérieux Foundation

Type of contract

26-month fixed term mission


Lyon (France)

Closing date

30 / 09 / 2020

Objective of the job

The Scientific and Advocacy Director of the GloPID-R Secretariat designs, develops and implements the strategies and action plans in these domains, in interaction with the GloPID-R stakeholders, in particular the Board of Chairs.

In this perspective, he / she coordinates and participates in the activities of the Secretariat.

Job description

Established in 1967, the Mérieux Foundation is an independent family foundation, chaired by Alain Mérieux, and has public interest status. Its mission is to strengthen local capacities to fight the infectious diseases that affect vulnerable populations in developing countries, particularly mothers and children.

Present in 20 countries in West Africa, in Latin America, in Asia and in the Middle East, the Mérieux Foundation focuses on 4 objectives:

  • Increasing vulnerable populations’ access to diagnostics by strengthening clinical laboratories in national healthcare systems
  • Enhancing local applied research capabilities by training researchers, developing collaborative programs and creating Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratories, transferred to local partners
  • Encouraging knowledge-sharing and public health initiatives leveraging Les Pensières Center for Global Health
  • Improving conditions for mothers and children taking a global health approach.

The Secretariat of the GloPID-R alliance (supported by the European Union as part of its Horizon 2020 program) has been set up in 2015. The Mérieux Foundation (for the Aviesan network) in partnership with University of Oxford (for the ISARIC network) are implementing the activities of the GloPID-R Secretariat.

The GloPID-R (Global Research Collaboration for Infectious Disease Preparedness) alliance aims at coordinating funding organizations investing in research related to new or re-emerging infectious diseases in order to increase preparedness and facilitate rapid research response to outbreaks with pandemic potential.

Today the network gathers 31 of the main funding and scientific institutions who share this common goal.

The activities of GloPID-R and its Secretariat are mainly organized around the following objectives:

  • To support the development of research preparedness activities in order to reinforce rapid response capacities
  • To facilitate rapid and aligned funding of research in an emergency
  • To reinforce GloPID-R visibility and capacity for influence

Main Responsibilities

In this mission the Scientific and Advocacy Director shall balance a proactive leadership and a serving approach for the alliance, its members and its objectives. In that approach, he/she works in close interaction:

  • within GloPID-R: with the Board of Chairs, the Scientific Advisor(s), the members and Observers (including WHO), the Scientific Advisor and the thematic Working groups.
  • within the Secretariat: with the University of Oxford team and the Mérieux Foundation Team (in particular the Head of Operations).
  • outside GloPID-R: with the major key players engaged in global preparedness and response to infectious disease threats.

The Scientific and Advocacy Director is responsible for:

Mission 1: Strategy

Designing and leading the implementation of the GloPID-R’s strategy and scientific vision (including its related organizational and collaborative rules) in close interaction with the Board of Chairs:

  • Task 1.1: Design and drive strategic axes, write global or specific strategic documents
  • Task 1.2: Develop and drive a specific strategy in response to COVID-19 and assessing lessons already learned for reinforcing pandemic preparedness
  • Task 1.3: Define and promote areas of collaboration and possible strategic or operational orientations with partners, external actors, and members of GloPID-R

Mission 2: Scientific operations

Monitoring science progress on preparedness and response, and providing scientific support to GloPID-R working groups, including for the planning, organization, overall coordination and monitoring of their activities:

  • Task 2.1: Drive scientific strategic topics (including on COVID-19 response) with the scientific advisor of GloPID-R and the Oxford University, and elaborate the working group methods and plans
  • Task 2.2: Prepare scientific meetings (agenda, supporting documents, participants), write their reports and disseminate their outputs, as well as supervise the decisions and actions implementation
  • Task 2.3: Monitor and animate the GloPID-R scientific working groups and conduct the Secretariat activities in support to these groups

Mission 3: Advocacy

Designing and implementing the GloPID-R advocacy strategy and action plan, and fostering GloPID-R visibility and influence to develop collaborations with other organizations and key stakeholders:

  • Task 3.1: Design, develop and drive specific advocacy strategies (on scientific priority topics, funding mobilization, preparedness…) in close interaction with the Board of Chairs
  • Task 3.2: Advocate for global coordination and research’ preparedness & response (starting with COVID-19) in international fora and events as the GloPID-R representative and spoke person by delegation of the Board of Chairs
  • Task 3.3: Be the scientific and advocacy focal point within GloPID-R and outside with partner organizations, and foster new collaborations in particular with major global initiatives on COVID-19

Mission 4: Communication

Advising and supervising the GloPID-R communication strategy and its associated action plan, and participating in the updates of communication supports:

  • Task 4.1: Develop GloPID-R internal and external communication to expand its visibility and reputation as the global alliance of funders investing in research preparedness and response
  • Task 4.2: Promote and disseminate GloPID-R actions, achievements and plan in response to COVID-19, as well on other preparedness topics

Mission 5: Secretariat Direction

Ensuring the quality of the Secretariat’s scientific and advocacy work and results, and their compliance towards the European Commission:

  • Task 5.1: Develop and validate the Secretariat annual work plan with the GloPID-R leadership and the European Commission
  • Task 5.2: Direct and supervise the Merieux Foundation team with the Operational Coordinator
  • Task 5.3: Supervise and coordinate on scientific and advocacy topics with the University of Oxford, starting with COVID-19 response

Mission 6: GloPID-R Development

Steering any additional budgets allocated by GloPID-R members, and providing the Board of Chairs with overall support related to these budgets:

  • Task 6.1: Prepare economic models and guide the reflection of the Board of Chairs to sustain GloPID-R after 2022
  • Task 6.2: Mobilise additional funding to develop GloPID-R activities in 2021-2022, in particular for expanding the response to COVID-19


  • Initial background: MD or PhD (or equivalent)
  • Specialization: Infectious diseases, Epidemiologist, Research scientist
  • Experience in the position – Scientist with confirmed experiences:
    • in field research (preferably in international epidemics, clinical studies)
    • with major international partnerships in global health
    • in communication, advocacy and international networks
  • Required job skills (RJS):
    • RJS1: Professional experience of at least 10 years, notably in the coordination of international networks and partnerships
    • RJS2: Excellent analytical, synthesis, writing and speaking skills
    • RJS3: Demonstrated relationship skills (teamwork both internally and externally, and relations with partners) and good ability to adapt to different audiences
    • RJS4: Experience piloting complex projects; strategic and operational management
    • RJS5: Good knowledge of funding for R & D or global health an asset
    • RJS6: Computer knowledge: Pack office, databases
  • Required compartmental skills (RCS):
    • RCS1: Rigor and sense of organization
    • RCS2: Leadership, dynamism and pro-activity
    • RCS3: Diplomacy, interpersonal skills and high degree of tact and discretion
    • RCS4: Ability to work in a multicultural network with a multiplicity of interlocutors
  • Languages: Excellent verbal and written communication skills in both French and English (including ability to write up technical documents)


  • Location: Lyon (Mérieux Foundation headquarters), or Geneva or Paris with regular travel between the two cities. Occasional trips in Europe and, less often, outside Europe.

  • Duration: 26-month fixed term mission contract (starting November 1, 2020 – ending December 2022), that could evolve into a contract of unlimited duration.