Founded in 1891, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) is one of the world's oldest biomedical research institutions. Today, the RKI is Germany's national public health institute. It employs more than 1,150 people, provides excellent research infrastructure and pursues a modern approach to its scientific work.

The RKI is located in Berlin – Germany's vibrant, multicultural capital in the heart of Europe. The Institute's facilities are set in the environment of a clean, green city that is home to first class art, historical and science museums and well-known theatres. Public transit links to other districts and the surrounding countryside are excellent.

The RKI offers flexible work hours and terms of employment that promote in as far as possible employee life-work balance. Education and training are also provided based on employee needs. The RKI also has a comprehensive health maintenance program and assists incoming staff members and their families in settling in their new location.

The RKI is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer.

Submit your application via the public service job portal Interamt at by 11th of July 2019.

Please note the position identification number: 514183 / Kz. 69/19

If you have questions about the application procedure, please contact:
Doreen Hampson
Tel.: +49 30 18754 - 3732

To learn more about the RKI please visit the institute’s website at:

For the Centre of International Health Protection (ZIG) we are looking for a

Head of Department (m/f/d)

(salary dependent on qualifications and experience in accordance with public officials wage scale up to grade B2 BBesO)

The position is to be filled by the next possible date. The contract is unlimited.

The newly established Centre for International Health Protection (ZIG) consolidates the international work of the RKI. It contains four units (Public Health Intelligence, Evidence Based Public Health, Preparedness and Operations Support; Public Health Laboratory Support) and a Programme Office hosting specific projects.

The jobholder will report directly to the President of the institute and will collaborate closely with the other units at RKI and further national and international partners.

Tasks and responsibilities:

The jobholder will be responsible in particular for the following areas of work:

  • Line manage Heads of Units and staff allocated at the Programme Office within ZIG
  • Overview and manage ZIG's work plan and budget
  • Initiate and coordinate projects in the area of international health protection in close cooperation with the respective disease specialists within the RKI’s departments applying a “matrix approach”
  • Initiate and coordinate the acquisition of external funding
  • Enable, initiate and oversee scientific research and publication in international health protection
  • Leading on the strategic development of ZIG's activities in international health protection considering needs and requirements at national level and in particular in partner countries
  • Contribute substantially to the development of RKI’s international strategy at large
  • Represent and promote ZIG at the interface with stakeholders from the Federal Ministry of Health and further national governmental institutions as well as in international committees, networks, meetings, conferences and the public

Requirements and qualifications:

  • A graduate university degree (professional degree or master's degree), preferably in medicine or related sciences is required, a PhD title is advantageous
  • Long-standing professional experience relevant for the position are required, e. g.
    • several years experience in leadership and management in a large organisation in an international context
    • several years experience in managing health related research projects in Official Development Assistance (ODA) recipient countries
  • A profound knowledge in the protection of populations from infectious diseases is required
  • Excellent judgement skills; ability coordinate multilevel projects are required
  • Willingness and physical fitness for international travels and missions are required
  • Several years experience in leading a larger scientific research group in the area of international or global health is desirable
  • A track record of international scientific publications in international or global health and experience in the successful acquisition of external funding are desirable
  • A track record in administrating high volume budgets in compliance with budgetary codes and regulations is desirable
  • Professional experience in advising governmental institutions or international organizations is desirable
  • Proven legacy of active contribution - respectively lead - in high level committees related to international health is desirable
  • Language skills (CEFR level): German, at least B2 (upper intermediate), and English, at least C1 (advanced), are required; additional French language skills are an advantage
  • Willingness to complete a Security Clearance Check according to the Security Clearance Check Act (SÜG)

You are aware of specific interests and sensitivities at the interface of different sectors and players in the field of international health. You clearly identify strategic issues, opportunities and risks in context of RKI's internationalisation process. You are used in delegating responsibility, clarifying expectations, and giving staff autonomy in important areas of their work. Your communications skills allow transmitting even complex facts in a clear and concise way to different kinds of audience.

For more information, please contact:

Prof. Dr. Lothar Wieler
Tel.: +49 30 18754 - 2000

Please note that in single cases the Federal Ministry of Health may access your application documents to ensure appropriate personnel selection within its scope as supervisory authority. Your data will be deleted immediately after the completion of the application process.