Non-Communicable Disease Epidemiologist

Suva | Suva

The Pacific Community works with its 22 Pacific Island member countries and territories, providing technical and scientific assistance across a wide range of sectors to enhance economic, environmental, social and human development in this region.

The Public Health Division (PHD) has staff based in Noumea (New Caledonia), Suva (Fiji), Honiara (Solomon Islands) and Pohnpei (Federated States of Micronesia). It supports members in improving the health of Pacific Island people and communities by providing assistance in public health surveillance and prevention of communicable and non-communicable diseases. Under PHD’s strategic plan 2013–2022, the division is organised into two programmes: (i) the Research, Evidence and Information (REI) Programme; and (ii) the Policy, Planning and Regulation (PPR) Programme. REI focuses on developing the evidence base and information for policy and actions directed at strengthening core public health functions in SPC member countries and territories. The aim of this is to enable and support members to respond effectively to all public health threats rather than single disease or risk factors. PPR focuses on supporting the development of appropriate policy options in members in order to improve the health of Pacific people and contribute to national development plans. PHD’s overall goals are: (i) to improve population health and well-being, and prevent disease and injury; (ii) to reduce gender disparities in health; and (iii) to reduce the incidence of prevalent/priority diseases. Priority areas are: (i) non-communicable disease (NCD) prevention and control, including addressing the major risk factors; (ii) communicable disease (CD) surveillance and response; and (iii) Sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevention and control, including HIV/AIDS.

Role – The Non-Communicable Disease Epidemiologist will be responsible for leading disease surveillance and response, with a particular focus on NCDs in Pacific Island countries and territories (PICTs), through: 1) national and regional capacity-building initiatives; 2) the Pacific Monitoring Alliance for NCD Action (MANA); 3) the Pacific Public Health Surveillance Network (PPHSN) functions; 4) the PHD operational research initiatives; and 5) supporting the PHD Strategic Plan (2013–2022). The position encompasses the following major functions:

  1. Lead national and regional NCD surveillance to support NCD policy enforcement and implementation in PICTs.
  2. Build national and regional capacity in field epidemiology to support core public health functions, with a special focus on NCDs.
  3. Act as the responsible contact person from SPC to the Pacific MANA and PPHSN services, to provide support to strengthen research, as well as monitoring and evaluation frameworks for NCD plans to evaluate programme impacts.
  4. Develop recommended evidence-based intervention in response to epidemiologic findings, and contribute to operational research.
  5. Contribute to team management, administration and communication activities.

The profile – SPC seeks an experienced professional with a strong track record in public health surveillance and emergencies, and response to outbreaks, preferably in a developing country setting. The Non-Communicable Disease Epidemiologist will have strong experience in capacity building and training in field epidemiology, and will demonstrate a high level of cultural sensitivity. The selected candidate will have excellent interpersonal and communication skills and the ability to engage with multiple stakeholders. The ideal candidate will also be willing to travel frequently in the Pacific region and internationally (up to 30% of the time).

Key selection criteria

1. Qualifications

Master’s-level qualification in epidemiology, public health or a related discipline.

2. Technical expertise

A minimum of five years’ experience in public health surveillance, including in NCDs. Experience in operational research and the writing of scientific reports and papers. Experience in the provision of capacity building or on-the-job training in field epidemiology. Experience in developing, maintaining and evaluating surveillance systems.

3. Language skills

Proficiency in English is required, with a working knowledge of French being an advantage.

4. Interpersonal skills and cultural awareness

  • Good interpersonal skills; a team player with the ability to network and work effectively in a multicultural setting.
  • Cultural sensitivity, and a demonstrated understanding of developing country environments.
  • Knowledge of Pacific Island countries and territories is an advantage.

Salary, terms and conditions

Remuneration – The Non-Communicable Disease Epidemiologist is a Band 11 position within SPC’s 2015 salary scale, with a starting salary range of 2,773–3,467 SDR (special drawing rights) per month, which currently converts to approximately FJD 7,894–9,868 (USD 4,214–5,268; EUR 3,201–4,001). [Please check published daily market rates for approximate current currency conversions.] An offer of appointment for an initial contract will normally be made in the lower half of this range, with due consideration being given to experience and qualifications. Progression within the salary scale will be based on annual performance reviews. Remuneration of expatriate SPC staff members is not subject to income tax in Fiji; Fiji nationals employed by SPC in Fiji will, however, be subject to income tax.

Benefits – SPC provides a housing allowance of FJD 1,170–2,625 per month. Establishment and relocation grant, removal expenses, airfares, home leave, medical insurance and education allowances are available for eligible employees and their recognised dependents. Employees are entitled to 25 days’ annual leave and 30 days’ sick leave per annum, life insurance, and access to SPC’s Provident Fund (contributing 8% of salary, to which SPC adds a matching contribution).

Languages – SPC’s working languages are English and French.

As an equal-opportunity employer, SPC recruits on merit, but if two interviewed candidates are ranked equally by the selection committee, preference will be given to nationals of Pacific Island countries and territories.

Please use SPC’s online recruitment system to lodge your application:

Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.
  • Organization: SPC - Pacific Community
  • Location: Suva | Suva
  • Grade: Mid/Senior
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Health service
    • Health service
    • Health service
    • Health service
    • Health service
    • Health service
    • Health service
    • Health service
    • Health service
    • Health service
    • Health service
    • Health service
    • Health service
    • Health service
    • Monitoring and Evaluation
  • Closing Date: 2016-01-11

Similar Jobs

Senior Health Crisis Response Advisor

URC - University Research Company

External Contractor for LAMIKA Program Final Evaluation

Red Cross - American

Associate Consultant for Mid Term Review of GRO Project


Kenya Operations Associate/Manager

OAF - One Acre Fund

Humanitarian context analyst expert M/F

Secours Islamique

Lead Evaluation Officer

IFAD - The International Fund for Agricultural Development

Postdoctoral Economist (Impact Assessment and M&E)

CIAT - International Center for Tropical Agriculture