Project Director

AMP is a nonprofit organization with headquarters in Paris and offices in Ferney-Voltaire, Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal and Vietnam. AMP’s mission is to promote preventive medicine and public health by developing expertise and applied research in vaccinology; offering training in epidemiology and health program management; organizing scientific and technical meetings; and disseminating information on vaccinology and other health-related fields.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

 Oral cholera vaccine (OCV) is now available for use by low-income countries through a vaccine stockpile managed by the World Health Organization. However, cholera affected countries have been slow to request vaccine in part because of limited data on the field impact of vaccine and questions remain regarding the efficiency of different OCV strategies.

AMP has received a three-year grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to fund the project titled « Targeted Cholera Vaccine Investments » (TCVI). The project’s goal is to develop an evidence base for cholera vaccine use as an additional measure integrated into other cholera prevention measures such as WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene). This will be accomplished by 1) working with national Ministries of Health to identify and act on opportunities to use cholera vaccine; 2) assisting Ministries of Health to write national cholera plans that include a component on cholera vaccine use; 3) estimating field vaccine impact in settings where vaccine is used; 4) improved mapping of cholera burden at a high level of resolution (e.g., village or neighborhood); 5) assessing the economic justification for cholera vaccine use in different settings and using different vaccine strategies through cost-effectiveness models; 6) assessing logistic/supply chain issues with cholera vaccine use; 7) conducting an anthropological assessment of cholera vaccine. The TCVI project will partner with Africhol (www.africhol.org), an existing BMGF-funded project at AMP designed to determine cholera burden in 11 countries of sub-Saharan Africa.

MAIN RESPONSIBILITIES

 The project director will be responsible for the day-to-day implementation and management of TCVI and oversee all project activities working with other members of the project team including the Project Operations Manager, African Field Coordinator, and Country Focal Points; AMP’s Director of Laboratory Activities and Health Economics and Medical Anthropology (HEMA) team; members of the current Africhol team; and external partners. He or she will report to the Primary Investigator and prepare reports for the funders and the scientific advisory board. Depending on the project component, and in collaboration with the project PI, the project director will lead, oversee, or contribute to the development of all major study documents and products including protocols, analytic plans, reports, manuscripts, and presentations for scientific and policy meetings. Similarly, depending on the project component, the incumbent will take the lead role in design and other elements of methodology, data analysis and interpreting and publishing results. He or she will meet intensively with laboratory, logistics, economic, and anthropologic staff to ensure good scientific implementation of all study aspects. He or she will participate in meetings with the funders and with external partners. He or she will work directly with the AMP communications team to develop all project communications material. In collaboration with the PI and the project team he or she will lead or contribute to the process of identifying candidate countries for the project and meeting with national staff to organize the design and implementation of project activities. He or she will take the lead role in organizing meetings with the External Advisory Board. The project director will regularly interact with the WHO-Global Task Force for Cholera Control and other global stakeholders in cholera prevention and control (WHO, industry) to integrate the project into the enteric disease research community.

This is a challenging and high-level project that requires expertise in epidemiology and vaccinology. While the AMP HEMA team will implement economic and anthropological components, the project director will be a part of this overall process so experience or training in health economics and anthropology will be useful. The incumbent should be a skilled organizer and diplomat.

Tasks in detail:

 1) Take responsibility for overall project coordination

 Supervise the work of the field coordinators in project countries, and interact with them on a regular basis to follow and understand project implementation in countries.

  • Coordinate with the AMP communications team to develop the project’s communications (e.g. website, Information material, press briefs, etc…)
  • Manage internal project communication with partners and national and international stakeholders (MOH, National Institutions, National Reference Laboratories, and others)
  • Coordinate the involvement of the External Advisory Board in the project

2) Develop, oversee, or contribute to the development of project documents as needed including

 Study protocol(s)

  • Field manuals
  • Training tools
  • Manuscripts
  • Presentations
  • Monthly reports to the funders
  • National cholera plans (we anticipate national MOH staff will lead development of these)

3) Travel to countries to oversee the local implementation of the project.

 Travel with field coordinators to meet with country partners

  • Visit as appropriate the implementing national institutions
  • Ad-hoc travel to countries if needed, particularly to address urgent issues such as monitoring and evaluation of vaccination campaigns.

4) Act as the primary study epidemiologist

 Coordinate the collection of data from sites with the project field coordinators

  • With the input of the study PI, AMP’s Scientific Director, Laboratory Expert and AMP’s HEMA team, address methodological issues on an ongoing basis and propose adjustments to study implementation as needed
  • Conduct, oversee, or contribute to analytic plans and data analysis in collaboration with AMP’S Senior Data Analyst
  • Become a recognized international expert on the epidemiology of cholera and on the use of oral cholera vaccine

 5) Oversee the implementation of vaccination campaigns and the monitoring and evaluation of interventions

  • Work with Africhol staff to identify opportunities for use of OCV
  • Work with Africhol staff, national MOHs, and WHO to assist in the implementation of vaccine
  • Where supported by national MOHs, design and implement OCV impact assessments using methods such as case-control and time-series analyses
  • Oversee or contribute to study implementation and adapt methods as needed.
  • Communicate with the project field coordinator on a regular basis to follow vaccination campaigns, and monitoring and evaluation activities

6) Oversee or contribute to non-epidemiological study components

  • Assist with the design and implementation of the economic analysis, with a primary role being to provide effectiveness data to economic models
  • Assist with the design and implementation of anthropological analysis
  • Work with AMP’s vaccine logistics team to design and implement assessments of OCV logistic/supply chain issues
  • Review and contribute to all study documents (protocols, manuscripts, etc.)

7) Participate in project management

  • Work with the project team – including the project manager, AMP Secretary General, AMP field coordinators – to propose, design, and implement systems for optimal management.
  • Work with the AMP field coordinators to suggest and assist with the implementation of mechanisms to improve country-level field implementation

QUALIFICATIONS

 The incumbent ideally will be a medical epidemiologist with experience in vaccinology work.

  • One of the following:
    • A medical or veterinary degree, or an advanced degree in Health Economics, with a master’s degree in public health, epidemiology, or statistics. If the masters is in public health, the candidate should have demonstrable skill in analyzing data and publishing results. Field training may substitute for the master’s degree including EPIVAC, EPIET, FELTP, and EIS.
    • A doctorate in public health, epidemiology, or statistics. If the doctorate is in public health, the candidate should have demonstrable skill in analyzing data and publishing results. Field training may substitute for the master’s degree including EPIVAC, EPIET, FELTP, and EIS.
    • A master’s degree in epidemiology or public health with an emphasis on epidemiology, at least 2 years of relevant training in vaccinology/epidemiology (such as the EPIVAC course, EPIET, EIS or FELTP) and at least two years of experience in field epidemiology, preferably in Africa.
    • Applicants with working experience in the public-field in developing countries will be preferred
  • Good interpersonal and diplomatic skills, lots of energy, and ability to work as part of an interdisciplinary and multi-cultural and multi-lingual team
  • Fluent English writing skills, ideally proven by leading peer-reviewed publications
  • Strong computer skills including Microsoft Office® and at high level of proficiency in at least one type of analysis software (STATA, SPSS, SAS, etc.)
  • Enthusiasm for travel within Africa and world-wide
  • Previous experience working with the epidemiology of vaccines is preferred by not required.
  • Previous experience with cholera is preferred but not necessary. High level of motivation, energy, and epidemiological skills are much more important than prior expert knowledge of cholera.

LANGUAGE SKILLS

It is critical that the Project Coordinator is fluent in English and French (writing, reading, speaking); Portuguese is also an advantage but not required. Many of our partners are fluent in only either French or English, and thus conversations, written communications and technical documents must be created in both languages. Additionally, most international partners and scientific journals require documents in fluent English. Please do not apply to this position unless you are fluent in both English and French.

  TRAVEL

This position is intensive for travel. We estimate the work, especially the first ~6 months, will involve nearly 50% travel throughout Africa and world-wide. In peak times this may increase, while during other periods it will decrease. Over the entire duration of the project 35-45% of time can be expected for travel. Please do not apply to this position unless you are enthusiastic about and able to travel to this degree. Travel will include mainly to Africa but also within Europe (primarily AMP offices in Paris), and to other sites as needed to meet with international partners.

DUTY STATION

Ferney-Voltaire (Geneva), France

CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT

Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience and training.

HOW TO APPLY

 Interested candidates should send a letter of interest and curriculum vitae to Mrs. Hélène Dibango at recrutement@aamp.org before June 5, 2015.