Programme Manager (2 years)

Geneva, Switzerland
[Closing date: 19 August 2018]   


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. (

DNDi has a large portfolio of R&D activities covering 7 disease areas: human African trypanosomiasis, leishmaniasis, Chagas disease, filarial diseases, mycetoma, paediatric HIV, and hepatitis C. R&D projects are driven by patients’ medical needs for each disease area that in turn set strategy and scientific approaches.

DNDi does not have any research facilities and does not directly conduct research to develop its treatments. DNDi follows a virtual research model, whereby most research is outsourced with the R&D projects actively managed by DNDi personnel who are experienced in different aspects of pharmaceutical development.

DNDi proactively identifies research opportunities that have the highest potential to be translated into improved treatment options, then sources the research project into its portfolio, builds the full development plan, identifies and contracts the appropriate partners for each step in the development process, and manages the efficient advancement of the project throughout the pipeline.

Over half of the R&D staff are located in Geneva working in close collaboration with disease-specific R&D teams operating in regional offices located in Africa, Asia, and South America.


Purpose of the position

This role provides a unique opportunity as a focal point for the development of DNDi’s leishmaniasis NCE portfolio liaising globally with DNDi staff in Geneva and regional offices, industrial/academic partners, donors, and other parties as relevant. Our goal is to develop a combination of two NCEs selected from a strong portfolio of drug candidates working with numerous partners. The Manager of this Leishmaniasis Drug Combination Development Platform will ensure excellent coordination and communication with internal and external stakeholders and provide organizational support. The manager is responsible for providing planning, project management, and logistical assistance to the overall Programme and specific Project Teams through data generation, timeline management, tracking milestone dates, reporting results, and assisting with workflows.


Specific job responsibilities

  • Coordinate and ensure alignment of DNDi’s contributors to the leishmaniasis NCE portfolio programme (with the Discovery, Preclinical, Translational, Clinical, Business Development, Pharmaceutical Development, Finance, and Fundraising teams)
  • Facilitate the implementation of complex and ad hoc preclinical studies and combination/DDI studies (e.g. coordinate safety and efficacy studies of drug combinations with internal colleagues and industrial/academic partners, procurement/contract management, etc.)
  • Organise and follow-up meetings with industrial/academic partners; Contribute actively to the relationship, building trust
  • Organise/draft the programme documentation (MTA, agendas, minutes, etc.)
  • Contribute to reporting to donors and meetings (Wellcome, GHIT Fund, etc.)
  • Liaise internally with R&D, Business Development, Finance, Fundraising departments and regional offices; externally with industrial partners


Job requirements

Skills and attributes

  • Strong ability to use initiative, prioritize, multi-task, and work well under pressure to meet deadlines
  • Clear and systematic thinking that demonstrates good judgment and problem-solving competencies
  • Strong communication skills in multicultural, multi-lingual environments
  • Strong ability to work effectively as part of a multicultural team
  • Well organized and structured
  • Strong analytical skills
  • Strong ability to provide high level support in project/programme delivery
  • Strong ability to manage medium/large projects with budget management
  • Strategic thinking and leadership abilities
  • Strong management, negotiation, and advocacy skills
  • Has autonomy for taking actions and decisions
  • Strong ability to interact with external stakeholders
  • Very strong knowledge of Drug Discovery/Development
  • Knowledge of Clinical Research/Development
  • Familiar with Regulatory processes (GCP, GLP, and GMP)
  • Strong scientific background; able to grasp quickly new concepts and fields
  • Very strong Technical writing skills (procedures, protocols, and reports)


  • Minimum 6 years’ relevant experience
  • Experience in Project Management/Coordination and Organisational skills
  • Experience of working in multiparty collaborations; ideally across time zones and cultures
  • Proven ability to work effectively in a team environment and matrix structure
  • Experience of working in public and private sector is highly desirable


  • Bachelor or Master’s degree (chemistry/biology or equivalent)

Other requirements

  • Fluency in English, proficiency in local languages desirable
  • Very good knowledge of Microsoft Suite


Reporting line

  • S/he works in a matrix environment reporting to the DNDi’s Discovery Director; dotted lines to Business Development (reporting line could evolve as the portfolio progresses along the R&D process)



  • Work with the Discovery, Preclinical, Translational, and Pharmaceutical Development teams within the R&D Department, and with the Leishmaniasis Clinical Team, as appropriate for the stage of the individual projects and the overall portfolio
  • Liaise closely with the Finance and Fundraising Teams to help manage budgets, timelines, and donor reports
  • Work closely with the Business Development, Legal and Procurement Teams to arrange appropriate contracts and agreements with partners
  • Support the Programme on a global basis including working with DNDi’s regional offices and local partners
  • S/he has a representational role through the promotion of projects and the overall programme contributing to the reputation of DNDi and maintaining productive relationships with external partners


To apply

  • Deadline for application: Accepting applications until 19 August 2018
  • Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.