Intersection Research Mapping Advisor

  • International Office

Intersection Research Mapping Advisor

Job description

Location: Any MSF office*

Contract: 80% Fixed-term employee contract or consultancy

Duration: 3 months (with the possibility for extension)

Starting date: October/ November 2022

Deadline to apply: 9 October 2022

*By default, the successful candidate will be offered a contract in the MSF office of their country of residence at the time of application.


Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international, independent, medical humanitarian organisation that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, healthcare exclusion and natural disasters. MSF offers assistance to people based only on need and irrespective of race, religion, gender or political affiliation.

MSF International is the legal entity that binds MSF’s 23 sections, 25 associations and other offices together. Registered in Switzerland, MSF International provides coordination, information and support to the MSF Movement, as well as implements international projects and initiatives as requested.


Serving the MSF ambition of promoting data-informed decision making and evidence-supported advocacy for practice and policy change, research, and particularly implementation, Operational and Clinical Research (OR) helps MSF take an in-depth look at its programmes and operations. It assists in evaluating what is working well, and highlights what needs to be improved.

Today most if not all MSF sections, undertake research projects supporting humanitarian action all over the world. Research findings and lessons learned are shared with the international MSF-movement and partner organizations, local and international stakeholders (and they should be shared with the study participants and communities). Studies are shared at regional and international scientific conferences, internal and external, are published in peer-reviewed scientific journals, and are openly available to researchers and the global humanitarian community.

Despite several achievements and ‘success stories and a sense of a distinct role that MSF research plays in complementing the global research landscape in humanitarian settings serving neglected populations, it remains challenging to map and describe comprehensively and in sufficient detail our research activities and evaluate its overall “impact”.

Through a detailed research mapping and a limited but specific set of indicators, we would aim to help identify gaps and areas for improvement across the research process including the impact of its findings. These indicators if found to be relevant and practical might be used for the continuous monitoring of research and may provide oversights for deeper analyses.


The consultant is part of the Intersection Operational Research group of MSF International. He/she reports to the International Medical Coordinator and works closely with key staff in all Operational Centres and with relevant parties of MSF involved in Operational Research.


  • Map & describe the distribution of ongoing research projects approved by ERB and research projects completed over the last 3 years at different levels including:

- Project/country/region & implementing MSF section(s)

- Topic/thematic

- Knowledge gap the study wants to fill in for the target population

- Context, setting and study population

- A detailed list of methodologies/study designs covered by MSF research.

- Language of the protocol

- Research partnership, co-production, capacity building

- Community engagement

- Impact (expected or observed/measured)

- E.g. Budget/cost

  • Identify “research hotspots” and “research deserts” and explore potential enablers and barriers in these “outlier” settings
  • Identify “over-researched” and “under-researched” topics and themes using operational and technical tools that define population needs and operational priorities
  • Describe the research support structure & frameworks across MSF sections
  • Place the existing MSF-supported research agendas and portfolios in the global research landscape, in selected themes and topics, focusing on humanitarian settings.
  • Describe the landscape of local MSF research partners across the countries and regions of interventions, including “hotspots” and “deserts”
  • Others e.g. open question on significant problems encountered (methodological, contextual, ethical…).
  • Define a set of “key performance” indicators including (but not limited to)

- Research projects/studies

- Approved and initiated

- Approved but not initiated

- Completed

- Discontinued / withdrawn

- Ethics breaches

- Duplication

- Published open access/ published not-open access /not published (among completed)

  • Inclusion of other indicators of impact, e.g.

- With significant local collaborative partnership

- With significant community engagement

- Timelines:

  1. From concept note to protocol writing
  2. Submission to MSF ERB (and similar body depending on OC) & eventually to local ERBs, for approval
  3. From approval to study commencement/ implementation
  4. Duration of implementation
  5. Time to completion and reported delays (+/- reasons)
  6. From completion to reporting
  7. From reporting to publishing
  • Advise on how to best interpret these indicators and how to effectively communicate and visualize them.
  • Advise on whether and how these indicators could be captured and used regularly to monitor performance and impact.


  • Background paper/technical brief on the MSF research landscape
  • A proposed set of expanded and a minimum set of core indicators
  • Recommendations on monitoring and evaluating research activities including partnerships and communities

Job requirements

  • Medical/Paramedical or Epidemiology/Public Health degree.
  • Formal training/ documented experience in health research is mandatory.
  • Good experience in data analysis.
  • Fluent in English and French, another language such Spanish or Arabic would be an asset.
  • Good understanding of health research and operational research in humanitarian settings.
  • Understanding of the technical and political dimensions of the medical humanitarian work.
  • Field experience with MSF or another humanitarian organisation is an asset.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills – that are demonstrable.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

At MSF, we are committed to an inclusive culture that encourages and supports the diverse voices of our employees. We welcome applications from individuals of all genders, ages, sexual orientations, nationalities, races, religions, beliefs, ability status, and all other diversity characteristics.