TheCOVID-19 Clinical Research Coalition (covid19crc.org) was launched by 77 signatories to a Comment in The Lancet in early April 2020. The coalition was formed to support collaboration and solutions to accelerate COVID-19 research in low-resource contexts where the virus could wreak havoc on already-fragile health systems and cause the greatest health impact on vulnerable populations. The coalition brings together individuals and institutions working to fast-track research that will provide evidence on COVID-19 prevention, diagnosis, and case management in resource-limited settings. Since its launch, membership has increased to more than 800 members from 89 countries and 230 institutions.
The coalition’s secretariat puts in place the structures and oversight to ensure the deliverables of the project while providing support to the coalition’s Steering Committee and other stakeholders, as well as topic-specific working groups, consisting of experts that are working together to support coalition members and others conducting clinical research on COVID-19.
The coalition secretariat is hosted by the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), a not-for-profit research and development (R&D) organization that develops new, improved, and affordable medicines for deadly neglected diseases that afflict millions of the world’s poorest people (dndi.org).
The COVID-19 Clinical Research Coalition seeks a coordinator to oversee, coordinate, and facilitate the work of the coalition, including its secretariat, expert working groups, Steering Committee, and executive sub-committee of the Steering Committee, and to contribute to the strategic vision of the coalition to maximize its effectiveness and to plan the future sustainability of the networks and initiatives created.
Specific job responsibilities
- Serves as primary focal point for the coalition’s Steering Committee and its executive sub-committee, determining agendas, ensuring follow-up and execution of agreed actions, providing progress updates, and managing communication with committee members
- Proactively orchestrates the positioning of the coalition in the pandemic preparedness and response ecosystem and supports the Steering Committee and its executive sub-committee to anticipate the future of the coalition after 2022
- Manages the coalition’s secretariat (project manager, project associate, and a scientific coordinator, and additional consultants as needed), and ensures ongoing efforts to enhance the coalition’s outputs, member engagement, and communication
- Provides oversight of and participates in the coalition’s main areas of work, including its expert working groups, advocacy efforts, and execution of strategic priorities, and assesses resource needs and capacity for execution of ad hoc initiatives
- Leads planning and strategy for member engagement, including the annual (virtual) members assembly, and works closely with DNDi’s Communications team, which executes the coalition’s external communications
- Liaises with DNDi’s Policy Advocacy team on the planning and execution of the coalition’s advocacy efforts, including in the development of an advocacy strategy
- Participates in a representational capacity in meetings with members and stakeholders to present/represent the coalition
- Provides updates on coalition progress and activities to the leadership and regional offices of DNDi as the secretariat’s host, and to donors and other key stakeholders
- Manages the coalition’s budget and liaises with DNDi’s Fundraising team to plan and contribute to fundraising efforts for the coalition
The above list of responsibilities is not comprehensive. As the pandemic continues to evolve, the research-related priorities and needs of COVID-19 Clinical Research Coalition members will shift and change, requiring flexibility and responsiveness.
- This role reports to DNDi’s Director for COVID-19
- This role interacts closely and often with the coalition’s secretariat (project manager, project associate, and scientific coordinator) and with DNDi’s coalition communications focal point, to exchange information, plan, prioritize, and problem-solve.
- The role also interacts with DNDi’s Policy Advocacy team on the advocacy strategy and to leverage existing initiatives that support the coalition’s vision, and with the Fundraising team.
- The role interacts regularly with the members of the coalition’s governance bodies and the co-chairs and coordinators of the coalition’s working groups, as well as working group members. In addition, s/he exchanges information with coalition members and external stakeholders.
Skills and attributes
- Capacity to lead without formal authority
- Outstanding project management skills, with the ability to work collaboratively while at a distance (i.e., virtually)
- Problem solver with demonstrated results orientation
- Good writing skills in English – articulate and quick, in both verbal and written communication
- Excellent communication skills in multicultural, multi-lingual environments
- Collaborative and flexible, with a good sense of humour
- Good familiarity with clinical research processes and related areas, such as the role of regulatory authorities and ethical review
- Strong links to research networks in low-resource settings, preferably across multiple regions
- Strong commitment to the principles of equitable access by the most vulnerable to high-quality disease prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and care
- Comfortable with uncertainty and ability to stay calm and clear-headed under pressure
Education and experience
- Minimum 10 years’ relevant experience
- Public health or medical/scientific background and education
- Prior experience with leading or coordinating clinical trials in low-resource settings and experience in epidemic contexts would be an asset
- Previous experience with overseeing project completion or transition would be an asset.
- Fluency in English required
- Proficiency in other languages desirable, particularly French, Spanish, or Portuguese
- Proficiency in Microsoft Office suite of software (Word, Excel, PowerPoint); comfortable with teleconference and other platforms for collaborative work and communication
- Consultant – 12 months, potentially renewable
- Candidates from Africa, Asia, or Latin America preferred
- Please submit your application using the online form
- Deadline for application: Accepting applications until 4 February 2022
- Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted
- Application submission for this position may close early if we have enough suitable applicants