Coordinator: Outbreak Investigation Task Force

Institut Pasteur

Paris, France


Emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases pose a major threat to public health as has been exemplified recently by SARS, the H1N1pdm09 influenza, Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome, Ebola, Zika and Yellow Fever. Rapid urbanisation, increased mobility and global economic interdependence exacerbate this threat and add to the challenge of containment.

To control and minimise the impact of an infectious disease outbreak, any emerging or re-emerging threat needs to be quickly detected, monitored and characterised and the factors that affect the risk of infection need to be determined. This requires an integrated and comprehensive multidisciplinary response, which draws on expertise from a diverse range of fields, including human and veterinary epidemiology, clinical care, microbiology, entomology, anthropology, and mathematical modelling. These outbreak control measures require thorough preparedness, training, capacity building and laboratory strengthening in order to successfully control, monitor and manage infectious disease threats.Duties

The successful candidate will coordinate the Outbreak Investigation Task Force, overseen by the Director of the Center for Global Health, Professor Arnaud Fontanet.

The candidate’s responsibilities will include, but are not limited to:

  • Coordinating the activities of the Outbreak Investigation Task Force, including the international deployment of the Outbreak Investigation Task Force members to respond to outbreaks of infectious diseases;
  • Managing the staff of the Outbreak Investigation Task Force, including the short-term activities of epidemiology interns and public health residents;
  • Monitoring infectious disease surveillance trends and offering the support of the Outbreak Investigation Task Force to national governments, partner institutions and/or international organisations in the event of an outbreak of an infectious disease;
  • Strengthening the relationship between microbiology, virology and epidemiology teams involved in outbreak response at the Institut Pasteur Paris and across the 33 institutes of the Institut Pasteur International Network;
  • Enhancing the relationship between the Outbreak Investigation Task Force and national health authorities, with international organisations (including World Health Organization Health Emergencies Programme), and with partner Rapid Response institutions;
  • Conducting epidemiologic studies of infectious disease and analysing research data;
  • Preparing technical documents for government Ministries, public health professionals and the scientific community including reports, presentations and peer-reviewed publications;
  • Developing research protocols, protocol templates, questionnaires, and standard operating procedures for epidemiologic investigations and for outbreak investigations of emerging and re-emerging pathogens;
  • Assisting the development and delivery of advanced courses of field epidemiology and rapid response of infectious diseases, including the supervision of trainee field epidemiologists.

Required qualifications


  • PhD in infectious disease epidemiology and/or public health, or MPH if combined with an MD.


  • Substantial experience in field epidemiology, including leading outbreak investigations in resource-limited countries;
  • Substantial experience collaborating with national health authorities and/or international organisations including the World Health Organization.


  • Mid to advanced knowledge of biostatistics, databases and statistical analysis;
  • Ability to work to a high standard, often under pressure or in difficult places;
  • Ability to take initiative and to make decisions;
  • Capacity to think clearly and analytically and to explain complex and unfamiliar matters to others;
  • Ability to travel at short notice;
  • Strong interpersonal skills;
  • Ability to work in a team and in a multicultural environment;
  • Language: English, and good understanding of French;
  • Knowledge of other languages is an advantage.

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