Chief Science Officer at the African Union (AU)

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The African Union (AU) is a continental body consisting of the 55 member states that make up the countries of the African Continent. It was officially launched in 2002 as a successor to the Organization of African Unity (OAU, 1963-1999). We are an Integrated, Prosperous and Peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Chief Science Officer
Requisition ID: 1401
Location: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Reports to: Director 
Directorate/Department : Africa CDC
Division: Office of the Director 
Job Grade: P5
Contract  Type: Regular 

Purpose of Job

  • The Chief Science Officer serves as the principal scientific advisor to the Director on policies, activities and operations in the technical management of agency activities and programs.
  • The Chief Science Officer participates with the Director and fully shares the responsibility of planning, monitoring and evaluating agency scientific activities. 
  • The Chief Science Officer is responsible for establishing the ethical and technical frameworks and procedures under-pinning the scientific activities of the agency, advising other agency leaders on integrating these frameworks and processes into activities and programmes, and facilitating related staff training and compliance to established scientific protocols.

Main Functions

  • Provide technical and intellectual support in the management of various elements related to the area of expertise
  • Identify best practices and monitor effectiveness of the division/directorate’s support to AU.
  • Contribute to the development of the strategies and business continuity plan and participate in/ensure their implementation
  • Foster and ensure implementation of initiatives related to area of specialization;
  • Support the organization of thematic networks, consultations and meetings on development cooperation and international relations.
  • Develop materials and provide necessary training and support to Organization Units as required.
  • Provide technical guidance on matters relating to system review and implementation project in area of specialization, as required. 

Specific Responsibilities
The Chief Science Officer shall:

  • Draw on personal knowledge and expertise in the technical management of public health medical/scientific programs to establish overall guidelines and policies and to develop basic recommendations for research studies and analyses. Consult on, monitor, and measure the outcome of these programs through studies which evaluate the effectiveness of project activities in meeting the needs of Africa CDC;
  • Provide the Director and Deputy Director with recommendations to improve and/or overcome shortfalls and deficiencies, and formulate alternative courses of action for the solution of complex cross-cutting scientific and technical issues;
  • Provide medical/scientific advice on critical problems in public health issues, especially those affecting African populations;
  • Serve as a leading authority and integrate knowledge and experience of public health medical/scientific programs and policies to provide guidance on cross-cutting procedural and multi-layered and multi-faceted policy issues. Resolve problems, modify procedures, develop and interpret complex policies to meet new and novel conditions and defend public health policies before representatives of other public health partners, including governmental and non-governmental agencies, private industry, academia and the scientific community;
  • Provide medical/scientific advice and assistance in the development and implementation of procedures, methods and strategies for partnering with other nations and global institutions to create health systems that gather information and provide rapid response to infectious and non-infectious health threats;
  • Oversee the implementation of, and provides guidance for, cross-cutting operational, translational, and capacity-development research that is linked to outcomes and outputs. Facilitate examples, methods, training, advice, guidance as well as scientific and editorial support for such research;
  • Provide expert medical, technical, and scientific advice to the professional and technical staff of the agency in the planning, conduct, implementation, analysis, and publication of applied scientific projects, including those measuring population impact, improving population impact, best practices, and program evaluation of public health programs; 
  • Establish the Africa CDC Institutional Review Board (IRB) and facilitate staff training and related compliance to international IRB standards. Facilitate linkages to other IRB’s for mentorship and information-seeking purposes. Provide advice on human subject protection and links to the agency institutional review board as well as other appropriate institutional review boards; 
  • Identify and respond to ethical issues in both the scientific and programmatic aspects of the agency and to understand ethical challenges and to provide frameworks and tools for resolving them;
  • Develop, coordinate and collaborate on the development and implementation of remote-learning and sharing of health-related educational or informational materials to promote scientific research and sharing of medical/scientific advice and assistance across Africa CDC public health networks;
  • Serve on review committees, study groups, public health task groups, or comparable groups and develop public health medical/scientific policies, procedures and guidelines as they relate to programs;
  • Participate in project and program evaluations and assuring that periodic agency reviews are accurate. Develop, recommend and/or approve modifications to project activities. Work closely with Secretariat leadership, Division and RCCs to redirect the program when adjustments or definition of agency goals change; 
  • Independently review reports, scientific papers, memoranda, and other similar materials for the purposes of providing written recommendations concerning these scientific issues. Provide the Office of the Director with replies to inquiries received for information on specific issues and programs of the agency.
  • Perform other duties as assigned by the Director.

Academic Requirements and Relevant Experience

  • Candidates must have at least a University / Master’s Degree in a relevant discipline such as, but not limited to Public Health, Epidemiology, Health Services Research, Health Outcomes Research,  Biostatistics, Environmental Science or Decision Sciences.
  • A Doctoral degree (e.g.  Ph.D., Sc.D. or D.PH.) is highly preferred. 
  • Candidates must have at least twelve (12) years of progressively responsible, relevant and practical experience in public health research and epidemiology, out of which seven (7) years must be at expert/specialist level with five (5) years supervisory exposure. 
  • Practical experience in performing public health, epidemiology, health sciences and outcomes research is required, with exposure to scientific administration and/or senior management of a national public health epidemiology or research programme in any setting, including a governmental agency, academic institution, research organization or a life-sciences company.

Further experience requirements are as follows: 

  • Strong scientific management and technical expertise related to all applicable functional areas;
  • Expert knowledge and relevant experience in management of epidemiology, health services or outcomes research within a government agency or academic institution or research organization within a public health context.  Applicable and relevant private-sector experience within a research organization or life-sciences company will also be considered; 
  • Demonstrated expertise in public health and/or clinical outcomes research (such as, but not limited to, retrospective or prospective case-control and cohort studies, observational studies, clinical-economic modeling and analysis, /meta-analysis), including interpreting statistical analysis and reporting of research outcomes is required;
  • Experience in leading public health, epidemiology and outcomes research in different geographic regions, particularly in Africa, is highly desirable;
  • Broad experience in collaborating with research and program partners and in managing multiple tasks and complex projects is expected;
  • Demonstrated experience and proven ability to effectively serve and represent organizational scientific interests as a member of a scientific review committee, study group, public health task group, or comparable groups delegated responsibility for reviewing and developing public health scientific policies, procedures and guidelines;
  • Familiarity and practical experience in implementing public health research and programs linked to One Health strategies.

Required Skills:
Functional Skills:

  • Mastery of the theories, concepts, principles, practices, methods and techniques of public health program administration and other aspects of the field of public health in order to resolve especially difficult and critical questions, problems and issues that may not be resolved by traditional methods;
  • Mastery of a wide range of qualitative and/or quantitative methods for the assessment and improvement of program effectiveness or the improvement of complex management processes and systems;
  • Expert knowledge of the principles, concepts, methods and techniques used in the field of international/national public health in order to analyze, evaluate and provide expert advice and consultation in planning, developing and enhancing scientific research and program delivery;
  • Record of high-quality, peer-reviewed epidemiology and/or outcomes research publications is required. Experience in training and mentoring staff in the peer-review publication process is highly desirable;
  • Ability to identify and quantify requirements to support public health initiatives;
  • Comprehensive knowledge of strategic planning and evaluation processes;
  • Proven ability to work collaboratively and lead effectively in a multicultural and cross -functional team environment;
  • Ability to communicate effectively both orally and by writing, program goals, and objectives, including scientific justification of research and programs and specific requirements;
  • Demonstrated ability with regard to computer skills, including office administration and statistical software applications and online digital information systems.
  • Proficiency in one of the African Union working languages (Arabic, English, French, Portuguese or Spanish) is required.
  • Knowledge of one or more of the other AU working languages would be an added advantage.

Leadership Competencies:

  • Building relationships
  • Foster Accountability Culture
  • Learning Orientation
  • Communicating with Influence

Core Competencies:

  • Building relationships
  • Foster Accountability Culture
  • Learning Orientation
  • Communicating with Influence

Functional Competencies:

  • Conceptual thinking
  • Job Knowledge and information sharing
  • Drive for result
  • Continuous Improvement Orientation

Tenure Of Appointment

  • The appointment will be made on a regular term contract for a period of three (3) years, of which the first twelve months shall be considered as a probationary period. Thereafter, the contract will be for a period of two years renewable, subject to satisfactory performance and deliverables.


  • Proficiency in one of the AU working languages (Arabic, English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish) and fluency in another AU language is an added advantage.

Indicative basic salary of US$ 50,746.00 (P5 Step1) per annum plus other related entitlements e.g. Post adjustment ( 46% of basic salary), Housing allowance US$  26,208.00  (per annum), and education allowance (100% of tuition and other education-related expenses for every eligible dependent up to a maximum of US$ 10,000.00 per child per annum), for internationally recruited staff and a maximum of $3,300 per child per annum for locally recruited staff.

Application Closing Date
26th September, 2022.

Method of Application
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply online

Gender Mainstreaming

  • The AU Commission is an equal opportunity employer and qualified women are strongly encouraged to apply.


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