WHO consultancy on communicating global AMR governance (work from where you are!)

Dear All,

Quick note today as I am both exhausted and exhilarated by having listened to the all-day FDA Advisory committee on the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID vaccine: There is more to learn (the timelines are unlike anything you’ve ever seen before and include a Phase 1-2-3 trial design!!), but the efficacy is impressive and the risk/benefit profile looks very encouraging … hooray! For more, see this FDA webpage as well as Alan Carr’s post-meeting summary. Don’t miss:

  • The presentation by Dr. Steven Goodman from Stanford on “Considerations for placebo-controlled trial design if an unlicensed vaccine becomes available”, a tour de force discussion with many implications for the ethics of antimicrobial development,
  • A terrifying epidemiology update from CDC,
  • A very crisp summary of the rules of the road for the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) that will be the initial way the vaccine is released, and
  • The presentations by Pfizer and FDA on the trial data to date.

Returning to Planet AMR, WHO has an immediate need for a consultant to support development and implementation of communication strategy promoting the global AMR narrative and a shared vision among stakeholders. 

The work is done from wherever you are in the world and the contract is for 6 months of work. See below my signature for further details.

Interested candidates should send their CV and motivation letter to edmar@who.int no later than 23 December 2020. Get to it!

All best wishes, –jr

John H. Rex, MD | Chief Medical Officer, F2G Ltd. | Operating Partner, Advent Life Sciences. Follow me on Twitter: @JohnRex_NewAbx. See past newsletters and subscribe for the future: https://amr.solutions/blog/. All opinions are my own.

=== Details ===

 AMR/GCP/2020/9: Consultancy announcement for the Department of Global Coordination and Partnership (GCP) on Antimicrobial Resistance, WHO

Contract Type: Individual consultancy
Application deadline: 23 December 2020
Contact: Rosalie Edma
Email address: edmar@who.int
Consultancy reference: AMR/GCP/2020/9

  1. Purpose of the Consultancy

Provide strategic communications support in shaping global antimicrobial resistance narrative and shared vision through the global governance structures recommended by the United Nations Interagency Coordination Group on Antimicrobial Resistance. The assignment includes development of communication plans, advocacy materials, press releases, social media products, multimedia content, and website management. In addition, the consultant will provide a graphic designer role for the above mentioned products.                                                                                                         

  1. Background

The 2016 Political Declaration of the High-level Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on Antimicrobial Resistance represented a landmark in the world’s commitment to tackling antimicrobial resistance, calling for greater urgency and action in response to its many challenges. Members of the General Assembly requested the Secretary-General, in consultation with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to convene an ad hoc interagency coordination group (IACG), co-chaired by the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General and the Director-General of WHO, to provide practical guidance on the approach needed to ensure sustained and effective global action to address antimicrobial resistance. In April 2019, after global consultations, the IACG presented its report “No time to wait: securing the future from drug resistant infections” to the UN Secretary General.
One of the recommendations of the IACG was to strengthen accountability and global governance by establishing three inter-related structures:

  1. An Independent Panel on Evidence for Action against Antimicrobial Resistance in a One Health context;
  2. A One Health Global Leaders Group on Antimicrobial Resistance, supported by a Joint Secretariat managed by the Tripartite Organizations (FAO, OIE and WHO);
  3. A Multi Stakeholder Partnership Platform to facilitate multi stakeholder engagement on AMR, to include members of the Tripartite Organizations, UN agencies, interested governments, civil society, private sector and academia.

The Department of Global Coordination and Partnership (GCP) on Antimicrobial Resistance leads and coordinates the global One Health response to AMR in cooperation with FAO, OIE, the United Nations as well as other agencies, civil society, and the private sector, towards a world free from  the suffering of drug-resistant infections. The Department has the following functions in line with WHO’s General Programme of Work to protect antimicrobials important for human health and mitigate drug-resistant infections: Leads the global One Health multisectoral response to AMR across the human, animal, plant, food, feed and environment sectors, through multisectoral engagement and interventions, and strengthening advocacy and awareness; Facilitates global coordination and interagency engagement and partnership for creation and sustenance of shared global vision and goals; Shapes the research and development agenda through innovation, priority setting and supporting global initiatives that enable the generation, translation and dissemination of knowledge; Facilitates, nurtures and scales up evidence-based interventions to enhance stewardship, awareness, and understanding of antimicrobial resistance across the One Health spectrum.

  1. Planned timelines

The consultant is expected to start work as soon as possible.

  1. Work to be performed

Task. Support development and implementation of communication strategy for the global governance structures on AMR aimed to promote global AMR narrative and shared vision among stakeholders.

  • Activity 1.1. Develop communication strategy for the global governance structures on AMR to promote better visibility of antimicrobial resistance on the global health agenda and a shared vision among all stakeholders.
  • Activity 1.2. Integrate existing advocacy messages and develop new compelling advocacy materials (press releases, newsletters, factsheets, flyers,  etc. ) and messages for the global governance structures.
  • Activity 1.3. Strengthen visual identity of the global governance structures.
  • Activity 1.4. Raise profile of global governance structures on social media.
  • Activity 1.5. Support dissemination of periodic information on issues and developments in antimicrobial resistance coming from the governance structures to global stakeholders, such as civil society, private sector and governments through electronic media.
  • Activity 1.6. Create graphic content, as required.
  • Activity 1.7. Provide support in developing the content and design of the website dedicated to the global governance structures on AMR.
  1. Specific requirements

Essential: minimum first university degree in Public Health, Medicine and/or communications.
Desirable: additional qualification in visual arts, multimedia arts, design or related field.

Essential: At least five (5) years of experience in communications in the area of public health, communicable diseases or AMR. Experience in writing communication strategies, press releases, web content. Experience working with design software, such as InDesign and/or Adobe Illustrator.

– Technical skills and knowledge:

  • Excellent writing and editing skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to build strong relationships with a variety of stakeholders across different sectors
  • Excellent analytical and presentation skills
  • Self-discipline with the ability to work with autonomy and as part of a team

WHO Competencies:

  • Communicating in a credible and effective way
  • Producing results
  • Knowing and managing yourself
  • Moving forward in a changing environment

– Language requirements:
Fluency in English (both oral and written).
An additional UN language would be an advantage.

  1. Place of assignment

Work will be done remotely at consultant’s home location.

  1. Travel

When the department or office concerned determines that travel is necessary in order for the consultant to perform the work, a travel request will be raised and per diem will be applied as per WHO payment regulations.

  1. Fee rate, contract duration, timing of payments and performance evaluation

The remuneration will be based on a monthly fee in the range US$7,000 – US$9,000, depending on the selected consultant’s degree of specialization, knowledge, qualifications, experience and skills. This is in accordance with the WHO remuneration scales for international consultants. The daily fee will be agreed between WHO and the selected consultant in advance. The contract will cover a 6-month period. Payments will be made following satisfactory completion of a set of deliverables. Other terms and conditions of employment will be in accordance with WHO policy on the employment of consultants (details available upon request).

  1. Application deadline

Interested candidates should send their CV and motivation letter to edmar@who.int no later than 23 December 2020.

Additional Information section:

  • This vacancy notice may be used to identify candidates for other similar consultancies.
  • Only candidates under serious consideration will be contacted.
  • A written test and interview 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: http://www.whed.net/. Some professional certificates may not appear in the WHED and will require individual review.
  • For information on WHO’s operations please visit: http://www.who.int.
  • 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.

Current funding opportunities (most current list is here):

  • The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Applicant Assistance Program (AAP) provides no cost support for companies planning to apply for a Phase II, Fast Track, or Direct-to-Phase II SBIR or STTR Award. Go here for details.
  • Novo REPAIR Impact Fund closed its most recent round on 31 Jul 2020. Go here for current details.
  • CARB-X recently announced that their existing resources will be reserved to fund their existing portfolio (75 total awards, and counting and they conclude contracting on prior rounds), including future options on those awards. New rounds from CARB-X will occur only after new funding is obtained in 2021.
  • The Global AMR R&D Hub’s dynamic dashboard (link) summarizes funders and projects by geography, stage, and more.
  • It’s not a funder, but AiCuris’ AiCubator offers incubator support to very early stage projects. Read more about it here.
  • Finally, you might also be interested in the most current lists of R&D incentives (link) and priority pathogens (link)

Upcoming meetings of interest to the AMR community (most current list is here):

  • 26-28 Jan 2021 (online, runs ~7.30a-5.00p Central each day): 4th Annual Texas Medical Center Antimicrobial Resistance and Stewardship Conference. Sponsored by McGovern Medical School, ARLG, and the Gulf Coast Consortia, the agenda includes both poster sessions and keynotes. The call for abstracts closes 18 Dec 2020. Go here for more details.
  • 10-12 Mar 2021 (Stellenbosch, South Africa): The University of Cape Town’s H3D Research Centre will celebrate its 10th anniversary with a symposium covering the Centre’s research on Malaria, TB, Neglected Tropical Diseases, and AMR. Go here to register; abstract deadline is 15 Nov 2020.
  • 9-12 Jul 2021 (Vienna): Annual ECCMID meeting (#31)
  • 18-21 May 2021 (Albuquerque, New Mexico): Biannual meeting of the MSGERC (Mycoses Study Group Education and Research Consortium). Save-the-date announcement is here, details to follow.
  • [NEW] 24-29 May 2021 (online and in Geneva): ESPID 2021, the 39th Annual Meeting of the European Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases. Save-the-date announcement is here, details to follow. 
  • 20-24 June 2021 (Toronto): International Symposium on Pneumococci and Pneumococcal Diseases (ISPPD-12). Go here for details.
  • 3-7 Jun 2021 (Anaheim), ASM Microbe 2021. Go here for details.
  • 27 Jun-2 Jul 2021 (Ventura, CA): Gordon Research Conference entitled “Antimicrobial Peptides”. Go here for details, go here for the linked 26-27 Jun Gordon Research Seminar that precedes it.
  • 5-21 Aug 2021 (Marine Biology Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA): Residential course entitled “Molecular Mycology: Current Approaches to Fungal Pathogenesis.” This 2-week intensive training program has run annually for many years and gets outstanding reviews. Go here for details.
  • 8-11 Oct 2021 (Aberdeen, Scotland): 10th Trends in Medical Mycology. Go here for details.
  • 16-24 Oct 2021 (Annecy, France): Interdisciplinary Course on Antibiotics and Resistance (ICARe). This is a soup-to-nuts residential course on antibiotics, antibiotic resistance, and antibiotic R&D. The course is very intense, very detailed, and gets rave reviews. Registration is here and is limited to 40 students. Bonus feature: For obvious reasons, the course didn’t happen in 2020! But as a celebration of the course’s 5th year, a webinar version was held on 29 Oct 2020: go here to stream it. 
  • 6-11 Mar 2022 (Il Ciocco, Tuscany): Gordon Research Conference entitled “New Antibacterial Discovery and Development”. Go here for details, go here for the linked 5-6 Mar Gordon Research Seminar that precedes it.


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