CEPI opens search for experts to join its Scientific Advisory Committee

25 Jan 2021

By CEPI


The deadline for experts to apply to join our Scientific Advisory Committee has now closed.

CEPI’s call for individuals to join its Scientific Advisory Committee, or SAC—an expert group providing broad guidance and recommendations to CEPI on R&D programmes and broader outbreak response efforts—is now open through 12 February 2021.

CEPI seeks to engage senior experts and global health professionals who have extensive experience across relevant scientific disciplines to join the SAC for a three-year period starting April 2021. Successful applicants’ scientific input, guidance and challenge will be critical in the implementation of CEPI’s new strategy from 2022, designed to accelerate vaccine technologies to tackle current emerging infectious diseases, including COVID-19, and enhance global preparedness for future threats.

Interested individuals can apply using our online form linked here.

The CEPI Scientific Advisory Committee is a pivotal group providing the coalition with key experiences, knowledge and understanding to help guide decisions relating to our work. It has so far played an integral part in getting our coalition started, and in our work responding to recent events including Ebola and COVID-19.

We are now on the lookout for innovative individuals and ideas to continue CEPI’s ground-breaking efforts, both in CEPI’s near-term response to the pandemic and as the organisation implements its new strategy to accelerate the speed at which we can respond to future infectious disease threats. We look forward to hearing from those interested in being part of our collaborative, life-saving mission.

Dr. Richard Hatchett

Chief Executive Officer, CEPI

Advancing vaccines to stop the next outbreak

Set up in response to the West African Ebola epidemic, CEPI launched in 2017 as a public-private partnership with the mission to stimulate and accelerate the development of vaccines against emerging infectious diseases and enable access to these vaccines for people during outbreaks.

Operating as both a funder and facilitator within the vaccine R&D ecosystem, CEPI’s initial focus (2017-2021), set up prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, was to advance vaccine R&D programmes against its priority diseases: Lassa fever, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), Nipah, Ebola, Rift Valley Fever and Chikungunya. CEPI also invested in platform technologies that can be used for rapid vaccine development against unknown pathogens (Disease X) and has supported enabling sciences activities, including within epidemiology and biological standardisation efforts, to guide and ultimately accelerate our vaccine R&D efforts.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, CEPI moved quickly and in collaboration with its partners building the largest COVID-19 vaccine portfolio to date. The goal is to support development of three safe and effective vaccines which can be made available to countries participating in COVAX, the global collaboration between CEPI, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and the World Health Organization (WHO) to develop, manufacture and enable equitable access to 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccine by the end of 2021 to end the acute phase of the pandemic. As part of this work, CEPI has also made strategic investments in vaccine manufacturing, established a centralised labs network to harmonise collection of data on COVID-19 vaccines in clinical trials, and is also investing in the ‘next generation’ of vaccine candidates, which will give the world additional options to control COVID-19 in the future.

Given CEPI’s evolving role in responding to COVID-19, and pivotal gaps in the current global outbreak response highlighted by the pandemic, CEPI seeks to use its new strategy to capitalise on scientific advances and political will and further the organisation’s unique position within the post-pandemic global architecture.

The new strategy (running from 2022-2026) will continue to advance CEPI’s existing vaccine programmes and enabling science activities, including the pivotal work to end the acute phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. The coalition also aims to enhance its leading role in global health preparedness, through using innovative vaccine platforms and manufacturing approaches to transform the response to the next novel threat. There will also be an important drive to increase vaccine R&D and partnerships in, and expand equitable access for, low-income and middle-income countries.

Experts to advise and guide the coalition

Working in a personal capacity, members of the SAC will meet quarterly to provide world-class scientific input and recommendations to CEPI staff and the Board as the coalition moves its new strategy forward, ready for and following implementation in 2022. This will include advising on the scope of CEPI’s global outbreak preparedness objectives and sharing advice on the latest research and innovation in vaccine technology to support such planning.

In addition, the SAC will play a core role in advising on CEPI’s current portfolio of vaccine candidates and supporting programmes as well as the creation of additional Calls for Proposals to further CEPI’s objectives. Members may also be asked to serve on subcommittees, champion CEPI’s mission among scientific peers and in the public sphere, and as with the COVID-19 pandemic, take part in bespoke meetings to share knowledge and provide guidance in response to current outbreaks.

Up to twenty-five positions on the CEPI SAC are available– including the role of Chair and Vice-Chair. Existing members, who have served on the committee since its launch in 2018, are also invited to re-apply to serve an additional 2-year period.

To create a broadened pool of knowledge on the SAC, CEPI specifically wishes to engage professionals with knowledge and experience in the following areas:

Our target diseases, other zoonotic diseases, and animal vaccine programmes

Immunology

Structural Biology

Modelling

Public Health

Pandemic preparedness and response

Monoclonal antibody development and production

Diagnostics

Preclinical, clinical, and late-stage development

Regulatory

Vaccine life cycle management

It is also critical that we have a globally representative make-up around the table to capture the diversity of ideas and experience from across the world. This includes seeking members from low-income and middle-income countries and diversity in gender – aiming towards equal male and female representation.

Apply Today

If you would like to apply, please complete our application form linked here. All applicants are required to upload an accompanying CV and cover letter to the application form.

The review process will begin immediately after closure of the application window on the new extended deadline of Friday 12 February at 23:59 GMT. An Evaluation Committee including CEPI Secretariat and Board representation will oversee the review and selection process throughout February.

Applications will be reviewed in four stages: initial screening, scoring, final selection, and Board approval. Applications will be qualitatively and quantitatively scored on the basis of relevant expertise, professional achievement, and contribution to a diverse and globally representative body.

Following selection, CEPI will submit a shortlist of finalists to the CEPI Board for approval at its meeting on 15-17 March. Candidates will be notified of their application’s outcome immediately following Board approval.

If you have any questions, please contact [email protected].

 


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