Program Officer, Vaccinology, Discovery & Translational Sciences
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
We are the largest nonprofit fighting poverty, disease, and inequity around the world. Founded on a simple premise: people everywhere, regardless of identity or circumstances, should have the chance to live healthy, productive lives. We believe our employees should reflect the rich diversity of the global populations we aim to serve. We provide an exceptional benefits package to employees and their families which include comprehensive medical, dental, and vision coverage with no premiums, generous paid time off, paid family leave, foundation-paid retirement contribution, regional holidays, and opportunities to engage in several employee communities. As a workplace, we’re committed to creating an environment for you to thrive both personally and professionally.
The TeamThe mission of Discovery & Translational Sciences (D&TS) is to catalyze innovation for the discovery and translation of transformative solutions to global health and development inequity. As such, the primary role of D&TS is to enable the foundation to achieve its ambitious global health equity goals as articulated by the disease-specific strategy teams (Program Strategy Teams; PSTs). For this, we exploit a unique advantage of the foundation in general and D&TS in particular: the ability to invest in high-risk and/or long-timeline initiatives with potential for truly disruptive change. We channel resources into building more practical (affordable, scalable, deliverable) versions of existing tools, develop transformative new tools where none exist, and speed the translation of scientific discovery into implementable solutions, seeking better ways to evaluate and refine potential interventions before they enter costly and time-consuming late-stage clinical trials. Key functions in support of this R&D mission include identifying and filling gaps in scientific knowledge, creating or implementing new technology platforms that can accelerate research in support of our goals, investing in potentially transformative ideas, continuous surveying of an ever-changing scientific and technological innovation space, and the fostering of an effective ecosystem of global health innovation, funding and partnership to advance the foundation’s mission. Our areas of focus include vaccines, biologics, drugs, microbiome interventions, and reproductive and sexual health.
We are seeking a Program Officer (PO) to join the Vaccines & Biologics (Vx&Bx) domain within Discovery and Translational Sciences (D&TS). The Vx&Bx domain has a large and growing portfolio of investments in innovative vaccine approaches and platforms aimed at the prevention (and treatment) of infectious diseases whose burdens are a major source and manifestation of inequity. You will work closely with the Senior Program Officers in the team and contribute to and execute on strategies for the discovery and development of vaccine technologies and vaccine candidates to meet critical global health needs. Your main responsibilities will be to:
What You’ll Do
- Manage a complex portfolio of investments focused on a diverse set of global health needs and a range of vaccine-based interventions against infectious diseases.
- Maintain an understanding of the vaccine and related cutting-edge immunology and technology fields, provide expertise, act as partner both internally and externally, and serve as timely sensors of novel opportunities for our strategic priorities through interactions with academic and non-academic partners.
- Relevant subject matter expertise and applying and evaluating milestone-based progress and go/no-go criteria with partners for effective performance.
- Consistently coordinate and facilitate collaboration with team members, foundation Programmatic Strategy Teams, other functional teams e.g., Vaccine Development, multiple external candidates, e.g., academic university, biotech, pharma, agencies, product development partners, other funders to increase likelihood of success.
- Adaptably manage internal processes and modify scope or direction or grants of partnership to increase the likelihood of success. Communicate advances and discoveries within the field, initiative, or specific investments to colleagues and leaders, along with ideas for progressing most efficiently and effectively forward considering the new information or changing landscape.
- Identify new needs, technologies, opportunities, and promising grantees/partners within a given focal area; plan and develop larger initiatives and sub-portfolios when advantageous or necessary; help in proposal development, including definitions of milestones and go/no go points; provide proposal reviews and decisions; and integrate new investments into your portfolio.
- Regularly share, with colleagues, progress made by grantees and partners, working together to identify and act on opportunities to accelerate and increase the chance of success in any one program or investment.
- Collaboration, flexibility, efficiency, and diplomacy both individually and as part of a highly dynamic and matrixed environment.
- Represent the foundation externally; attend informative and strategic meetings; organize and run convenings.
- Form and facilitate a variety of partnerships with organizations including PDPs, pharmaceuticals, biotechs, academic institutions, and other funding institutions.
- Scientists and/or physician scientists with an established track record of success in industry (biotechs or pharmaceuticals), academics, or the equivalent. Minimum 5+ years of experience and PhD or MD. Expertise in vaccinology and/or human immunology and late discovery and translation in first-in-human and/or experimental medicine studies.
- Significant technical depth and passion about vaccination, immunogen design and delivery platforms (e.g., nucleic acids), vaccine technology, adjuvants and formulations, pathogen immunobiology.
- Experience assessing novel technologies and matching them with biomedical or public health applications.
- Demonstrated ability to develop and manage complex programs with diverse partners.
- Demonstrated ability to rapidly acquire and utilize new skills and knowledge.
- Demonstrated negotiation skills, ability to execute complex negotiations and contracts.
- Experience continually prioritizing work within a dynamic and fast-paced work environment with multiple demands and deadlines.
- Ability and willingness to travel domestically and internationally to conferences and meetings with grantees.
- Excellent communication, analytical, and critical thinking skills.
- Demonstrated ability to collaborate with, convene, and coordinate diverse teams comprised of individuals coming from many different professional and cultural backgrounds.
The typical salary range for this role is $114,600 to $213,200 USD. The exact offer will be determined by a variety of factors such as the candidate’s individual skills, qualifications, and experience relative to the requirements of the role.
*Must be able to legally work in the country where this position is located without visa sponsorship.
As part of our standard hiring process for new employees, employment will be contingent upon successful completion of a background check.
If you require assistance due to a disability in the application or recruitment process, please submit a request here.
We are dedicated to the belief that all lives have equal value. We strive for a global and cultural workplace that supports ever greater diversity, equity, and inclusion — of voices, ideas, and approaches — and we support this diversity through all our employment practices.
All applicants and employees who are drawn to serve our mission will enjoy equality of opportunity and fair treatment without regard to race, color, age, religion, pregnancy, sex, sexual orientation, disability, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, and prior protected activity.