Social Solutions

  • Senior Reproductive Science Specialist

    Job Locations US-VA-Crystal City
    Posted Date 1 month ago(7/6/2018 12:17 PM)
    # of Openings
  • Overview

    Social Solutions International, Inc. is a woman and minority-owned company. Social Solutions emphasizes quality research and evaluation, training and technical assistance, and institutional support services. We are a mission-driven organization that believes that superior science can improve the world. Social Solutions is dedicated to the creation of social and health solutions to improve the welfare of underserved populations worldwide. 


    The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has contracted through Social Solutions International to recruit and hire qualified individuals for the following position:


    Title: Senior Reproductive Science Specialist

    United States Agency for International Development/Bureau for Global Health/Office of Population and ReproductiveHealth/Research, Technology, and Utilization Division (USAID/GH/PRH/RTU)


    Application Deadline:   Open Until Filled



    The Bureau for Global Health (GH) serves as USAID’s primary source of technical expertise, leadership, and donor coordination for the health sector, including HIV and AIDS, infectious diseases, child and maternal health and nutrition, family planning and reproductive health, and health systems strengthening and reform.  GH is responsible for advancing field-relevant, state-of-the-art research and the transfer of new technologies and approaches to field programs.  Through its staff, programs and country teams, GH provides critical support to USAID missions and field programs in more than 70 countries.  The Office of Population and Reproductive Health (PRH) advances and supports voluntary family planning and reproductive health (FP/RH) programs worldwide to reduce unintended pregnancy and foster improved reproductive health behaviors.  PRH provides strategic direction, global technical leadership and support to field programs; ensures responsiveness to Congressional and Administration priorities, directives and restrictions; and, provides information on USAID’s FP/RH programs to a range of stakeholders.  PRH provides critical support to the achievement of the goals of GH's signature initiatives, including FP2020, AIDS Free Generation (AFG) and Ending Preventable Child and Maternal Deaths (EPCMD).



    The objectives of USAID’s research program in FP/RH are to provide new and/or improved contraceptive and multipurpose prevention technologies (MPTs); improve the quality, accessibility and cost-effectiveness of FP/RH products and 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.


    The Senior Health Science Specialist and Reproductive Health Advisor (Senior Advisor) will be an integral part of the team that works toward meeting and exceeding the goals of FP2020, AFG and EPCMD.  The Senior Advisor will work under the technical and administrative direction of the Chief of the Research, Technology, and Utilization (RTU) Division, and coordinate activities with other Divisions in PRH, other technical Offices within GH, other parts of the Agency, and with other donors, cooperating agencies, and developing country organizations.  Drawing on the latest biomedical and program research, the Senior Advisor will provide technical guidance to PRH, the Bureau for Global Health and to the Agency as a whole on issues related to the research and development (R&D) and introduction of contraceptives and MPTs, based on a comprehensive knowledge and thorough understanding of mechanisms of action, clinical provision and use, safety and efficacy issues, relevant regulatory approval processes, and interpretation of evidence from clinical, epidemiological and programmatic studies.  The Senior Advisor will demonstrate a deep understanding of how these technologies fit into developing country programs.

    The Senior Advisor will serve as one of the Agency's main technical experts for USAID-assisted FP/RH research and program efforts.  By improving our understanding of existing contraceptives and MPTs, developing new technologies, and providing these technologies through health systems in developing countries, the Senior Advisor will assist PRH in improving the quality of life throughout the developing world by enabling couples to have access to appropriate FP/RH methods when they so desire.  The Senior Advisor will work closely with the RTU Team and receive day-to-day guidance from the RTU Division Chief.


    The Senior Health Science Specialist and Reproductive Health Advisor will be responsible for:


    Serving as one of the Agency's primary resources 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 FP/RH methods, and of MPTs for prevention of unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV.  Specific duties include:

    • Providing key assistance to the design and implementation of biomedical research programs supported by USAID in the U.S. and overseas.
    • Authoritatively evaluating and interpreting study findings from research projects, including basic and applied research on the regulation of reproductive function and STI acquisition, and the development of new FP/RH methods, including MPTs.
    • Providing expert technical guidance to USAID regarding scientific and regulatory issues pertaining to the R&D, introduction, provision and use of FP/RH methods and MPTs, including drug formulation and delivery, stringent regulatory authority approval processes, medical eligibility and service provision, and safety considerations.
    • Providing expert advice to all levels of USAID on the application of research findings to ensure that findings and informed judgments serve as the basis for establishing policy guidelines and improving program performance.
    • Serving as a resource and liaison with experts in other international and national institutions concerned with related research as well as with researchers in the academic community, and draws upon these experts for program review, field consultations and evaluations.
    • Interpreting and helping to implement regulations/policies with regard to appropriateness and feasibility of endeavors for the USAID FP/RH and MPT biomedical R&D program.
    • Exploring and evaluating intellectual, academic, and commercial resources which are relevant to policies and programs of USAID, with a view to bringing useful information to the attention of the Bureau for Global Health, Regional Bureaus, and Missions.


    Providing technical guidance for program development, and reviewing and coordinating biomedical and program research on contraceptives and MPTs conducted through USAID-supported grantees and contractors (cooperating agencies).  Specific duties include:

    • Reviewing research proposals submitted for USAID funding and making recommendations with respect to the qualifications of the investigators and the design, methodology, and budget of the proposals submitted.
    • Consulting with potential grantees/contractors regarding technical design and organization of proposed programs and activities, recommending alternatives as needed.
    • Monitoring ongoing grants and contracts to ensure that grantees and contractors are implementing programs and activities in accordance with scientific and ethical standards.
    • Advising on the compliance of complex agreements with technical and scientific standards, and USAID policy, priorities, and procedures.
    • Serving as a technical expert on committees to assess the scientific quality and validity of ongoing biomedical and program research, and to plan future approaches and priorities.


    Serving as an expert in technical and policy discussions with leading scientists and officials of scientific institutions in the public, private and commercial sectors in the US and abroad.  Specific duties include:

    • Participating at intergovernmental, professional and academic conferences focused on reproductive epidemiology, biology, research policy and ethics, contraceptive and MPT improvement and development, and the introduction and use of these technologies in programs.
    • Evaluating the significance of research results and initiating appropriate action to ensure that proper emphasis is given to critical and far-reaching research.
    • Briefing senior US and developing country policymakers and program managers on contraceptives and MPTs, R&D of improved and new methods, and programming issues related to these technologies.
    • Participating in RTU, PRH, and GH working groups, review committees, evaluation panels, task forces, and other interagency groups in related areas of expertise.
    • Preparing scientific papers concerning research in the Senior Advisor’s area of specialization for presentation at governmental and scientific meetings, and for publication in scientific, population and public health journals.


    Providing technical support within GH/PRH/RTU, including:

    • Participating in strategic initiatives at the Office or Bureau level.
    • Participating in the preparation of information materials and other activities.
    • Supporting efforts to develop capacity and provide technical oversight of research among PRH, mission, and regional bureau staff.


    International and domestic travel approximately 25%.




    • Keeping abreast of the latest developments in the fields of biomedical and program research with respect to contraceptive and MPT R&D, introduction, provision and use.
    • Deepening knowledge of research policy and ethics within GH and USAID, as well as relevant domestic and international FP/RH institutions.
    • Staying up to date on developments in regulatory affairs and bodies (e.g., USFDA, WHO) that affect contraceptive and MPT product approval, country registration, labeling, and provision.
    • Participating in related interagency and intra-agency working groups as needed.


    • Do you have a master’s degree or higher in reproductive biological sciences or a related field?
    • Minimum ten (10) years’ relevant experience in the areas of reproductive biology, contraceptive and MPT R&D and introduction, with knowledge of or experience in an international or resource-challenged setting.
    • Specific knowledge of reproductive biology related to contraceptives and MPTs.
    • Comprehensive understanding of the biological, clinical and programmatic aspects of contraceptives and MPTs.
    • 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 USAID’s FP/RH program and knowledge of the work of other international donors and programs in this field.
    • Either experience with or a thorough understanding of working with government agencies and international bodies at a high level on issues related to biomedical research design, policy and implementation.
    • Excellent presentation, oral and written communication skills, and proficiency with computer software such as Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and others relevant to presentations.
    • Ability to work under pressure, individually and as part of a team, in a complex and fast-paced environment.
    • Ability to travel internationally.
    • US citizenship or US permanent residency required.
    • Ability to obtain and maintain, at a minimum, a facilities access clearance is required.




    The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.

    Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


    While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to sit, stand and walk. Overseas travel in developing countries is also required at least three times a year. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 20 pounds.

    Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, color vision, and ability to adjust focus.


    Social Solutions International offer competitive salaries and comprehensive benefits. Please submit your resume online at


    Social Solutions is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employers. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, protected veteran status, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity or any other characteristic protected by law.


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