Technical Officer

WHO - World Health Organization

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Application deadline in 15 days: Wednesday 17 Mar 2021


This is a P-4 contract. This kind of contract is known as Professional and Director staff. It is normally internationally recruited only. It's a staff contract. It usually requires 7 years of experience, depending on education. More about P-4 contracts and their salaries.


WHO has a constitutional mandate to develop, establish and promote international standards with respect to biological, pharmaceutical and similar products. The selection and publication of INN falls under the responsibility of the Health Products Policy and Standards (HPS) Department. WHO collaborates closely with INN experts and national nomenclature committees to select a single name of worldwide acceptability for each active substance that is to be marketed as a pharmaceutical substance. Programme objective: To optimize WHO technical advice and political support to Member States by developing and promoting norms, standards and guidelines for quality, safety, rational use and efficacy of medicines. Activity objectives: To ensure WHOs constitutional responsibilities in the field of medicines nomenclature by the development of nomenclature policy guidelines and schemes; by providing one single name (INN) for active pharmaceutical substances; by giving advice to Member States in the Pharmaceutical nomenclature.


To collaborate with the INN Unit and support the INN Unit Head on projects established as public health priorities in the field of nomenclature for medicinal substances (e.g. biological qualifier, School of INN, global guidance nomenclature policy on biological medicinal substances, nomencalature policy for small pharmaceutical molecules etc.). To elaborate technical background documents for INN Consultations under the supervision of the INN Unit Head. To provide guidance in the process of selection of INNs, including for biologicals. To support the INN Unit Head in its leading role of pharmaceutical nomenclature. To give advice to the INN Unit Head and the INN ad-hoc Working Group in providing technical guidance to the WHO Collaborating Centres, relevant national/regional regulatory authorities, international institutions and pharmaceutical industries, in particular in the area of the INN nomenclature of biologicals. To write technical letters and policieswhen requested by the supervisor.Perform all other related duties as assigned.



Essential: Advanced level university degree in biochemistry, pharmacology or biology. Desirable: A PhD in biochemistry or pharmacology would be an asset.


Essential: A minimum of 7 years of work experience in advanced therapies, pharmaceuticals and related research, nomenclature or regulatory environment and preferably in a multicultural environment. Demonstrated exposure at the international level. Desirable: Previous working experience in research in biology, biochemistry, and/or pharmacology would be an asset.


A sound general knowledge of biology, pharmacy and biotechnology with in-depth knowledge either of biochemistry or pharmacology. Ability to work in a team and to establish cross cluster collaboration in the relevant biological fields. Ability to collaborate with external medicines nomenclature experts, biotechnology specialists and national INN experts. Knowledge of Excel, Word, PowerPoint. Ability to quickly to learn INN IT tools. Ability to work with the highest degree of accuracy. Knowledge of bioinformatics and of the INN system and nomenclature rules would be an asset. Knowledge of bioinformatics and ability to use complex database to check and validate INN information would be an asset. Good cross cultural skills and good interpersonal skills. Knowledge of biotherapies and advanced therapies.

WHO Competencies

Teamwork Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences Communication Setting an example Knowing and managing yourself

Use of Language Skills

Essential: Expert knowledge of English. Desirable: Intermediate knowledge of French.


WHO salaries for staff in the Professional category are calculated in US dollars. The remuneration for the above position comprises an annual base salary starting at USD 73,516 (subject to mandatory deductions for pension contributions and health insurance, as applicable), a variable post adjustment, which reflects the cost of living in a particular duty station, and currently amounts to USD 5697 per month for the duty station indicated above. Other benefits include 30 days of annual leave, allowances for dependent family members, home leave, and an education grant for dependent children.


  • This vacancy notice may be used to fill other similar positions at the same grade level

  • Only candidates under serious consideration will be contacted.

  • A written test may be used as a form of screening.

  • In the event that your candidature is retained for an 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: Some professional certificates may not appear in the WHED and will require individual review.

  • Any appointment/extension of appointment is subject to WHO Staff Regulations, Staff Rules and Manual.

  • Staff members in other duty stations are encouraged to apply.

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