The Research, Technology, and Utilization Division (RTU) of the Office of Population and Reproductive Health (PRH) provides technical leadership in building scientific and empirical knowledge and ensures its use in the design and implementation of effective, efficient, high-quality family planning and reproductive health (FP/RH) programs. The objectives of RTU’s research program in Family Planning and Reproductive Health are to provide new and/or improved technologies; improve the quality, accessibility and cost-effectiveness of family planning and related reproductive health services; strengthen developing country institutional capabilities to use research to diagnose and solve service delivery problems; and enhance the dissemination and utilization of research results.
To achieve these broad objectives, the RTU Division is organized into two teams: Biomedical Research and Development and Implementation Science.
The Division’s Biomedical Research & Development Team manages a complex portfolio focused on three key areas:
- Refining existing contraceptive methods to make them more acceptable, affordable and accessible.
- Developing new contraceptive methods that fill gaps in the existing method mix.
- Developing new multipurpose prevention technologies (MPTs) that provide simultaneous protection from unintended pregnancy, HIV, and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and possibly provide other health benefits.
The Biomedical Research & Development portfolio includes applied research, pre-clinical studies, clinical trials, pre-introductory studies and post-marketing surveillance carried out by a range of Cooperating Agency partners.
The RTU Division maintains close working relationships with other United States Government Agencies involved in research & development (e.g., the Food and Drug Administration, the National Institutes of Health), United Nation Agencies (e.g., the World Health Organization) and private sector (e.g., the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and pharmaceutical industry partners).
The Biomedical Research Advisor serves as a USAID resource to provide technical leadership for up-to-date and authoritative information on reproductive biology and contraceptive technology as they relate to the R&D, introduction, provision and use of new and refined contraceptive technologies, of MPTs for prevention of unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV, and establishing goals and objectives for USAID- supported research in these areas. As a member of the RTU Division, the Advisor works collaboratively with colleagues in other technical offices in the GH bureau.
- Providing technical oversight to the Biomedical Research Team projects. This may include providing programmatic guidance in regular management meetings; reviewing subproject proposals; contributing to the design and methodology of proposed research; coordinating protocol reviews; monitoring and coordination of research activities and technical initiatives with other technical offices within GH, and with other agencies and organization such as NIH, WHO, and the Gates Foundation; field site visits for project development and assessments; undertaking evaluations and reviews; and representing the project management teams on technical advisory calls and at technical advisory group meetings for both USAID and partner-funded initiatives.
- Contributing to the strategic development of new and innovative research strategies and contraceptive or multipurpose prevention technologies. This may include planning and coordinating technical meetings focused on product development; participating in site visits to research facilities; disseminating information regarding progress in these areas; presenting this research at domestic and international scientific meetings; and working with international donors or other normative bodies to determine pathways for emerging USAID technologies to maximize impact at the country level.
- Helping to shape strategic planning that contributes broadly to the work of the RTU Division, PRH Office and the GH Bureau. Such activities may involve prioritizing potential new research topics and technical approaches; identifying implementation issues; identifying and exchanging best practices; disseminating lessons learned; discussing technical and strategic aspects of improving family planning/reproductive health (FP/RH) services and technologies; helping to craft new research strategies/frameworks; coordinating with PRH or GH Bureau front offices on emerging priority technical and strategic areas; providing technical guidance on implementing recommendations from portfolio or external reviews of agency programs; working to expand interagency collaboration; and other priority bureau-level initiatives.
- Participate in professional continuing education, skills training and professional meetings to enhance relevant technical skills and career development.
- Complete and execute and Individual Learning and Training Plan and Annual Work Plan.
- Master’s degree with 7 years’ of experience or bachelor’s degree with minimum of 9 years’ experience or higher in life sciences, biological sciences, biomedical engineering or a related discipline.
- Minimum of 5 years of relevant experience with two or more public health technical disciplines (such as family planning, reproductive health, etc.).
- Knowledge of product R&D processes, and clinical trial design and implementation.
- Knowledge of pharmaceutical sciences, manufacturing, drug / drug delivery system formulation, private-sector engagement, regulatory science, or other related discipline.
- Understanding of the work of major national and international organizations and foundations that support research in FP/RH (e.g. USAID, NIH, WHO, Gates Foundation, and their respective partners).
- Excellent research analytical skills.
- Strong interpersonal skills and excellent oral communication and writing skills.
- Strong teamwork and team-building skills.
- Demonstrated flexibility and openness in responding to changing work priorities and environment.
- US citizenship or US permanent residency with the ability to obtain and maintain facility access required.
- PhD preferred
- Knowledge of reproductive biology, contraceptive, MPT technology R&D and introduction, with knowledge of or experience in an international or resource-challenged setting.
- Knowledge of drug/device product R&D, with an emphasis on the R&D and introduction of low-cost or generic products.
- Knowledge of the approval processes of stringent regulatory authorities and international normative bodies such as the World Health Organization.
- Knowledge of the policies and programs of the major donor and international agencies acting in the contraceptive technology R&D field.