The Puerto Rico Science Technology and Research Trust is a private non-profit organization created in 2004 to encourage and promote innovation, transfer and commercialization of technology and creation of jobs in the technology sector.

Responsible for Puerto Rico’s public policy for science, technology, research and development, the Trust’s mission is to invest, facilitate and build capacity to continually advance Puerto Rico’s economy and its citizens’ well-being through innovation-driven enterprises, science and technology and its industrial base.

The Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust (PRSTRT) announced the establishment of the Puerto Rico Vector Control Unit  (PRVCU) after receiving official announcement of the Center for Diseases Control & Prevention (CDC) for a collaborative agreement for this purpose. This collaborative agreement will give the Trust a grant to create, manage and operate this unit.

The Puerto Rico Vector Control Unit’s (PRVCU) main responsibilities are to develop, lead, and deploy an effective integrated vector management (IVM) strategy to reduce the Aedes aegypti population and the burden of Zika, chikungunya, and dengue. PRVCU will carry out vector surveillance, community engagement and IVM for effective mosquito control.

PRVCU is recruiting and is already receiving resumes for evaluation. Some of the first positions to be recruited will be Community Mobilization Specialist, Laboratory Technician, Deputy Director, Communications & Advocacy.

Send resume at:info@prvectorcontrol.org

Positions Available:

Community Mobilization Specialist

Location: San Juan, Puerto Rico

Job Type: Full time

Position Overview:
The Community Mobilization Specialist is an exciting new position designed to serve as a driving force in designing, operationalizing and managing the VCU’s new community engagement, mobilization, education, and behavior change programs for inspiring and empowering the Puerto Rican public to play a direct and meaningful role in combating the mosquito that spreads Zika, dengue, and other diseases. This position reports to the Deputy Director of Community Mobilization (CM) and is responsible for implementing a range of community mobilization and engagement operations, requiring the ability to develop strong relationships with communities and community leaders across the island.

This community-facing position is intended to help the VCU implement a new innovative community mobilization initiative in Puerto Rico, the first of its kind in the world.  The position will be responsible for the development of programs, structures, and campaign initiatives to help impact vector-specific attitudes and behavioral change goals relating to vector control. This position will also be responsible for translating the VCU’s strategic goals into well-managed, engaging and sustainable programs. To do so, this position will need to be able to build strong relationships, engage directly with a range of stakeholders, including community leaders, local governments, influencers, civil society leaders, businesses, educational institutions, creative leaders at barrio- and municipal-level.

This position will support the efforts of the Deputy Director of Community Mobilization and will require the coordination of efforts between this division and others, including the VCU’s Communications division. This position will, at times, serve as the key point of contact for communities, key stakeholders, local governments, businesses and civil society organizations, and other pertinent stakeholders. This position also, when needed, serves as a liaison between communities and formal vector control operations.

Reports To: Deputy Director, Community Mobilization Division

 

Key Responsibilities and Duties:

  • Develop, manage, coordinate, monitor, and report on the VCU’s community mobilization and community engagement programs, ranging from small community mobilization pilot programs to large-scale community engagement initiatives island-wide with multiple municipalities and stakeholders;
  • Serve as the primary liaison to a range of community-based organizations, local businesses, faith-based organizations, schools, and appropriate government agencies;
  • Identify, recruit, and maintain relationships with key stakeholders for purposes of expanding the VCU’s community mobilization efforts and behavior change programs;
  • Develop unique, multi-platform content relating to community-based vector control behaviors and events for the VCU’s digital properties;
  • Serve as focal-point for local schools and school districts for purposes of designing and distributing vector control-related behavior change programming and curriculum;
  • Coordinate, design, and implement community mobilization-related events, including workshops, town hall meetings, special events, social and cultural events, etc.;
  • Report on the implementation and status of community engagement programs; provide guidance and oversight of community-driven vector-control programs and ensure the even distribution of programs in priority municipalities or communities;
  • Develop a strong, detailed understanding of the social and cultural dynamics island-wide, and incorporate that knowledge into the VCU’s programs and tactics for engaging communities and citizens genuinely;
  • Develop, manage, monitor and evaluate protocols and tools for measuring community engagement programs; develop and maintain online tools (with the help of a tech team) to help manage VCU and other community mobilization and behavior change efforts island-wide;
  • Assist in development and organization of communication materials including print material and blog posts, and the distribution of materials for public information, community mobilization, press relations, publicity, and advocacy efforts;
  • Provide trainings to community leaders (“Train the Trainers” and other formats);
  • Engage the Puerto Rico’s business community in proactive partnerships – employee training and education programs; information sharing; program sponsorships; and combined community mobilization programs;
  • Provide support to the VCU in general, and the CM division specifically, as needed;

Since our organization is going to change to meet the needs of public health, environmental conservation and the PRVCU, you can expect, anticipate and assume that your job description will change to meet these challenges.

Education, Training and Experiences:

  • 2-4+ years of hands-on managing, coordinating and/or leading public health-related community mobilization, engagement, or activation programs;                                                                      
  • Advanced degree, MA, MS, PhD, JD or MBA preferred, and Bachelor’s Degree is acceptable, in public relations, sociology, community engagement, political science, journalism, or related field;
  • Direct experience designing, developing and implementing community-based programs in public health-related initiatives;
  • Strong track record of contributing to public health-related campaigns and initiatives;
  • Proven ability to successfully engage with a wide range of stakeholders;
  • Strong interpersonal skills; ability to work effectively as part of a team in an unstructured environment; comfortable and effective in influencing at all organizational levels; ability to tactfully give/receive constructive feedback;
  • Impeccable oral and written communications skills in English and Spanish including excellent writing, proofreading and editing abilities and command of grammar/punctuation, style and format; ability to communicate, translate, simplify and articulate complex ideas into easily understood and relatable concepts;
  • Proficient in the use of Excel, Word and PowerPoint, web content management systems, social media management tools, etc.;
  • A self-starter with the ability to work in a fast-paced environment and unstructured environment, managing multiple simultaneous projects under strict timelines and within confidential circumstances;
  • A strong work ethic, ability to maintain and model high personal, ethical and professional standards, as well as an outgoing and positive personality.
  • Must be able to work outside normal business hours; must be able to travel regularly throughout the island, as needed;

Please send CV and cover letter to info@prvectorcontrol.org. Please include contact information, indicate whether or not you speak Spanish and English fluently, and are available to start within two to four weeks of being notified.

Deputy Director, Communications & Advocacy

Location: San Juan, Puerto Rico

Job Type: Full time

Position Overview:
This new position will play an integral role in the standing up of the new Vector Control Unit and its public-facing communications, public relations, marketing, and risk communications programs. This is a hybrid position that blends the management of an effective communications and advocacy platform and initiatives designed to create a genuine dialogue with all Puerto Ricans with the management of a new collaboration platform online to support, coordinate, and strengthen the VCU’s community mobilization programs island-wide. This unique position will be responsible for developing a trusted relationship between the VCU and the Puerto Rican public and a genuine partnership with a growing network of stakeholders critical to the success of all VCU efforts.

This is not a standard communications director position. This role goes far beyond simply developing strategies for communicating the VCU’s priorities and news to the public. This position is responsible for building a new communications and public engagement platform designed to inspire and empower the Puerto Rican public to play a direct, meaningful role in efforts to reduce the threat of vector-borne diseases. This role will be responsible for setting and maintaining positive relations with the Puerto Rican public, and to establishing and maintaining public access to an open, transparent VCU.

The VCU’s communications team and platform, led by this position, will ensure the timely and comprehensive distribution of news, information, alerts, educational material, polls and surveys, social media and all other pertinent information designed to inform the public. The team will also be responsible for maintaining instruments and channels for “listening” to the public in a full range of accessible formats.

This position will develop and manage a “risk communications” program comprised of specific information campaigns to inform the public about specific vector-related threats to their health, and the types of actions they can take to mitigate these threats. In addition, this role will be responsible for maintaining creative and engaging social media campaigns. This position will also provide direct support to the VCU’s community mobilization programs, and will be responsible for the VCU’s advocacy and outreach efforts.

This position will also serve, in conjunction with the Deputy Director for Community Mobilization, as the co-manager of the VCU’s island-wide community mobilization “campaign”, bringing to it a focus on developing community mobilization programs, events, and systems at the community level.

The successful candidate will be an expert-level public health communications and/or campaigns. This expert will know how to build strategic communications and campaigns from scratch and serve as a trusted team member among the VCU’s early leadership team. The successful candidate will need to accel in unstructured environments, work well in concert with other teams within the VCU, form strong relationships with a wide-ranging coalition of key stakeholder groups, and in general help provide the VCU’s positive, healthy, and meaningful partnerships with the Puerto Rican people.

Reports To: Director, Vector Control Unit’s Community Mobilization Division

 

Key Responsibilities and Duties:

  • Develop an innovative, proactive communications and public relations strategy, programs and a platform capable of building a genuine, trusted relationship between the VCU and the Puerto Rican public;
  • Co-lead large-scale vector-focused community mobilization campaigns, using all appropriate means to inspire and empower the Puerto Rican public to play a meaningful and impactful role in the suppression of vector threats;
  • Design and build a comprehensive risk communications strategy and programs that provides clear, constant and creative messaging to the public;
  • Develop an online community mobilization collaboration platform designed to coordinate, strengthen, and map all community mobilization programs and activities;
  • Build capacity to generate high-quality, creative messaging and marketing products in support of the VCU’s community mobilization, education and advocacy goals;
  • Develop a vibrant, accessible website and social media properties;
  • Develop the VCU’s brand and all educational and marketing materials;
  • Develop a trusted network of partners, influencers and key stakeholders capable of amplifying the VCU’s risk communications and engagement efforts;
  • Build strong relationships with local, national and international media;
  • Develop a range of “listening” and feedback channels to enable the public to provide meaningful feedback, questions, concerns, service requests, etc. at anytime and in any format;
  • Develop systems for measuring the impact of digital community mobilization efforts;
  • Develops strong partnerships with local and national press, and maintains an open, productive relationship with journalists to ensure that the VCU’s operations remain consistently transparent for the public at all times;
  • Manage robust digital/social campaigning in support of the VCU’s operations, including an active social media engagement program, a routinely-updated and engaging website, email campaigns, etc.;
  • Develop and manage public opinion surveys, polls and other tools to routinely take the pulse of the Puerto Rican public and to integrate their findings into continual improvement and refinement of risk communications and educational materials.

 

Since our organization is going to change to meet the needs of public health, environmental conservation and the PRVCU, you can expect, anticipate and assume that your job description will change to meet these challenges.

 

Education, Training and Experiences:

  • 5-8+ years as a senior leader and/or campaign manager responsible for designing, developing and implementing risk communications, public relations initiatives, public health-related campaigns, behavior change initiatives, and/or marketing in public health or similar fields;
  • 5+ years as a senior leader in risk communications or public health-related marketing (although candidates from other fields are encouraged to apply);
  • Advanced degree (MA, MS, MPH, MBA, etc.) relating to behavioral sciences, community engagement, risk communications, political science, sociology, economics, or other related fields preferred, although not required;
  • Significant experience developing public-facing brands, brand platforms, and/or demonstrating success in past campaigns or public-facing initiatives;
  • Demonstrated success in building and designing creative campaigns that incorporate PR, marketing, communications, social engagement and other efforts to successfully inspire significant behavior change;
  • Ability to work in an unstructured environment and be responsible for designing and developing strategy, programs, and communications from scratch;
  • Ability to sustain relationships at all levels of the organization and with organizations, community leaders, municipalities, and advisory bodies within the community;
  • Experience working closely with the media;
  • Experience implementing PR, marketing, or campaign communication programs in support of ground-level operations or actions a plus;
  • Ability to draft communications at a variety of levels and for a range of audiences (executive; internal teams; public communities & networks; government organizations, etc.);Impeccable oral and written communications skills in English and Spanish including excellent writing, proofreading and editing abilities and command of grammar/punctuation, style and format;
  • Strong attention to detail and accuracy. Ability to translate and articulate broad or complex topics into easily understood concepts and actionable plans and operations.
  • Must be able to work outside normal business hours. Must be able to travel regularly throughout the island, as needed.

 

Please send CV and cover letter to info@prvectorcontrol.org. Please include contact information, indicate whether or not you speak Spanish and English fluently, and are available to start within two to four weeks of being notified.

Laboratory Technician

Location: San Juan, Puerto Rico

Job type: Full-time

Position Overview:
The laboratory technician is responsible for mosquito identification to support vector surveillance activities and aid the Puerto Rico Vector Control Unit in its goal to control the mosquito Aedes aegypti. Work will be conducted primarily in a laboratory setting. The Lab Technician will be exposed to indoor conditions, noise, vibration, exposure to chemicals, fumes, and odors and may be required to wear a mask or other protective gear.  Such work shall be conducted in accordance with all applicable Federal, State and local laws, and in accordance with PRVCU’s policies and procedures established by PRVCU’s management.

Reports to: Laboratory Manager

 

Key Responsibilities and Duties:

  • Conduct adult mosquito and larvae identification
  • Follows procedures to handle samples and perform mosquito surveillance
  • Records data fully in a precise, organized and readable format
  • Meets schedule requirements as assigned by Lab Manager
  • Continuously interacts with Lab Manager to complete scheduled tasks and ensure project timelines are met
  • Perform minor equipment maintenance and keep a clean orderly work space.
  • Assist in the evaluation of products or techniques of potential value to the PRVCU control programs
  • Assist in education and outreach activities if necessary

Since our organization is going to change to meet the needs of public health, environmental conservation and the PRVCU, you can expect, anticipate and assume that your job description will change to meet these challenges.

 

Education, Training and Experiences:

  • Preferred Associate or Bachelor degree in Biology, Natural Sciences or related field
  • Preferred knowledge of general biology laboratory practices and techniques
  • Ability to work independently
  • Must be able to follow instructions exactly
  • Some analytical ability required in order to gather and interpret data in different situations
  • Experience with Microsoft Office
  • Ability to receive and act upon input from Lab Manager
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with other PRVCU employees
  • Ability to interact with general public and with personnel of Federal, State and local government agencies, and industry
  • Must hold valid Puerto Rico driver’s license

 

Please send CV and cover letter to info@prvectorcontrol.org. Please include contact information, indicate whether or not you speak Spanish and English fluently, and are available to start within two to four weeks of being notified.

Overview of the organization

The Puerto Rico Science Technology and Research Trust is a private non-profit organization created in 2004 to encourage and promote innovation, transfer and commercialization of technology and creation of jobs in the technology sector. We are responsible for Puerto Rico’s public policy for science, technology, research and development. The Trust’s mission is to invest, facilitate and build capacity to continually advance Puerto Rico’s economy and its citizens’ well-being through innovation-driven enterprises, science and technology and its industrial base. Our vision is that by 2022, Puerto Rico is a globally recognized innovation hub that develops, attracts, and retains scientists, technology entrepreneurs, and enterprises to unlock world class creativity and competitiveness

The Puerto Rico Vector Control Unit (PRVCU) main responsibilities is to develop, lead, and deploy an effective integrated vector management (IVM) strategy to reduce the Aedes aegypti population and the burden of Zika, chikungunya, and dengue. PRVCU will carry out vector surveillance, community engagement and IVM for effective mosquito control.