GARDP – Head, Scientific Affairs

Geneva, Switzerland
[Closing date: October 30, 2017]


The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) is a collaborative, patients’ needs-driven, non-profit drug research and development (R&D) organization that is developing new treatments for neglected diseases (

The Global Antibiotic Research & Development Partnership (GARDP) is a not-for-profit research and development organization that addresses global public health needs by developing and delivering new or improved antibiotic treatments, while endeavoring to ensure sustainable access. Initiated and incubated through close collaboration between WHO and Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), GARDP is part of the implementation of the Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance that calls for new public-private partnerships for encouraging research and development (R&D) of new antimicrobial agents and diagnostics.

GARDP’s mission is to work in partnership with the public and private sectors, to develop and deliver new treatments for bacterial infections where drug resistance is present or emerging, or for which inadequate treatment exists.

GARDP is currently hosted and facilitated by DNDi, which provides the scientific environment, necessary personnel, and infrastructure to ensure an effective start-up phase.


Purpose of the position

The GARDP Head, Scientific Affairs, in close collaboration with the other GARDP Directors, and under the supervision of the GARDP R&D Director, supports the development of the overall R&D strategy with clear authority over the candidates scientifically-based selection across the GARDP portfolio of projects. S/he will focus on especially all discovery and exploratory projects undertaken by GARDP. An additional critical component will be to provide scientific support, especially on the microbiological and drug resistant related aspects that will be an important part of the development of new anti-bacterial treatments. S/he therefore provides important strategic and scientific input for the implementation of the action plan, not only during the GARDP incubation period, but also beyond in order to ensure a solid R&D strategy and pipeline. S/he can represent GARDP especially at the highest scientific level.


Specific job responsibilities

Identify and evaluate GARDP early R&D projects

  • Through his/her insight into the state-of-the-art of drug discovery, contributes to selecting and establishing the exploratory programmes and innovations in the field of antibiotic treatments.
  • Lead the development of the early stage portfolio for priority gram-negative infections and help define strategies in this area.
  • Support the R&D and Business Development teams in assessment of potential drug candidates entering assessment by GARDP.

Develop relationships with potential partners

  • Act as a senior scientific contact for GARDP.
  • Provide feedback to GARDP on the scientific capabilities and resources of potential partners.
  • Support the Programmes and GARDP Business Director and Corporate Strategy Director in identifying, evaluating, and establishing new relationships with potential partners in the academic, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries (search and evaluation process).

Provide expert in house scientific advice to the GARDP team

  • The Head, Scientific Affairs will be an in house scientific expert that will provide expert advice including on microbiology, drug resistance mechanisms, preclinical studies required for the development of drug candidates and ensuring clinical studies include the necessary components required to assess efficacy against relevant drug resistant pathogens.
  • Significantly contribute, including via preparation to the scientific advisory committee, to the scientific review and decision making of GARDP R&D projects including on termination or continued support.

Senior contribution to R&D planning and portfolio management

  • Guide Project Teams in building R&D plans and project schedules; including providing scientific leadership to the exploratory and memory recovery programmes.
  • Significantly contribute to the evaluation of progress of each project to ensure that GARDP resources are being put to best use and that the project will meet all critical success factors.
  • Support the GARDP R&D Director, the GARDP Business Director and Corporate Strategy Director and GARDP R&D team in developing the GARDP portfolio, and play a critical role in developing the portfolio in the early R&D stage.

Reporting line

  • S/he reports to the R&D Director, once in place.


Job requirements

Skills and attributes

Needs excellent abilities in:

  • Using initiative, prioritize, multi-task, and work well under pressure to meet deadlines.
  • Very clear and systematic thinking that demonstrates strong judgment and problem solving competencies.
  • Communication skills within multicultural, multi-lingual environments.
  • Working effectively as part of a multicultural team.
  • Being Highly organized and structured.
  • Analytical skills.
  • Leading large strategic programmes.
  • Managing organization wide programmes with budget management.
  • Strategic thinking and leadership abilities as defined in the Leadership competency model.
  • Management, negotiation, and advocacy skills.
  • Exercising high degree of independence to ensure programme delivery and explore new areas of activities.
  • Interacting with internal and external stakeholders.
  • Leading and motivate a team for optimum performance.

Scientific technical skills

  • Established scientific experience and reputation, with a track record in leadership.
  • Relevant experience in development of antibiotics especially in discovery and early drug development.
  • Possess solid research networks.


  • Minimum 15 years’ relevant experience.
  • Proven ability to work effectively in a team environment and matrix structure is critical.
  • Experience building and leading teams.
  • Proven track record in resource mobilization / business development.
  • Experience of working in antibiotic research in critical.


  • Master degree or PhD in Life Science & Postdoctoral Training.

Other requirements

  • Passion for GARDP’s mission (intellectual curiosity and willingness to learn about scientifically complex concepts, understanding of R&D and drug development, diseases, medical field & global health, product development partnership model as well as for the philanthropic & not-for profit sector).
  • Fluency in English with very good oral, writing and editing skills.
  • Proficiency in other languages a plus.
  • Very good knowledge of Microsoft Suite.
  • Based in Geneva, extensive travel.


Other information

  • Status: (Full time – Fixed term – 12 months).  


To apply

  • Deadline for application: Accepting applications until October 30th 2017.
  • Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.