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Executive Director, CHILD and Professor / Associate Professor

Job Description and Requirements


Executive Director, CHILD and Professor/Associate Professor

Reporting to

Dean, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine

Direct Reportees

Executive staff and research staff

Job Purpose

The Centre for Holistic Initiative for Learning and Development (CHILD) brings together experts in the field of translational research, child health and development, and implementation science to accelerate the use of evidence in policy and practice and give every child the best start in life.

This senior leadership role at CHILD, reports to the Dean of Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, who is also Chair of the Board for the Centre, and is tasked with the development and delivery of the vision and objectives of the Centre. The Director is accountable for the leadership, management and delivery of the wider mission of the Centre, which is to give all children in Singapore the best possible start in life. This role will have a primary affiliation with a Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine Deparatment, in addition to the CHILD Executive Director’s appointment.

Funded through a very generous gift by the Lien Foundation, the Centre is hosted within the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine within NUS and is a partnership between NUS, The Singapore Institute of Clinical Sciences (, the Centre for Evidence and Implementation ( and the National University Hospital Pte Ltd. The Centre aims to deliver innovative and policy relevant research and translation activities that place good evidence at the core of decision making to improve outcomes for children in Singapore, from pre-conception to the age when they enter primary school. Across its partners, the Centre integrates expertise in child health and development, developmental neuroscience, service experience and evaluation, behavioural and implementation science and teaching.

The current strategy of the Centre focuses on the following five interrelated domains of activity: 

Horizon scanning of the early childhood landscape in partnerships with Ministries and policy makers in Singapore, and further afield, to identify major areas requiring policy, educational, health or other interventions.

Synthesising evidence on childhood developmental challenges and effective interventions in children, from pre-conception to the age of primary school attendance and translating knowledge for policy makers and practitioners.

Capacity strengthening through education, co-delivery of programs or services to early childhood professionals, families and the community which supports the holistic care of children.

Design, implementation and evaluation of innovations in the educational, social and health services for children, supported through the use of evidence and data-driven design and processes, which are contextualised and relevant to partners and the local landscape.

Scaling and broadening access of evidence-based innovations through the use of behavioural and implementation sciences and leading  purposeful stakeholder engagement.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Accountable to the Board for the implementation of the Centre’s strategic plan, yearly work plan
  • Manage the day-to-day performance of the Centre, leading on the delivery of the strategic priorities of the Centre
  • Ensure the design and delivery of Centre products and activities are high quality and meet with ethical and research standards
  • Ensure the integration and progress of the 5 key domains of work and activity of the Centre (horizon scanning, evidence synthesis, capacity strengthening, knowledge brokering, and delivering and evaluating evidence-based interventions)
  • Produce regularly a range of tailored reports on the activities and impacts of the Centre for the Board, internal teams, advisory groups and external stakeholders
  • Liaise proactively with the Singaporean policy and service provider communities and other key stakeholders, ensuring the work of the Centre is relevant, meaningful and useful for policy makers and service providers in Singapore
  • Build long-term mutually beneficial strategic partnerships with national and international collaborators and partners
  • Raise additional funding from stakeholders in the Singapore ecosystem
  • Develop compelling, timely and engaging thought leadership, based on work of the Centre and partners
  • Develop training programmes for health professionals working with families and children and assist the development of programmes for medical and nursing students
  • Provide academic leadership to develop and translate research across the Centre’s domains of focus
  • Develop a pipeline of academic talent in the field of child development, implementation science, and public health


(Please state Qualification, Years of Experience, Knowledge & Skills required.)

  • MD/PhD, MD or, PhD qualified
  • Research experience in psychology, public health, mental health, early childhood development, paediatrics, social science or related discipline
  • Significant expertise and national/international credibility in at least 2 of the following content areas:
    • Child and social sciences
    • Public Health
    • Education
    • Health
    • Early Years
    • Parenting and Families
    • Life course sciences
  • Significant experience and national/international credibility in at least two of the following areas:
    • Research synthesis methods and products
    • Evidence-policy-practice translation
    • Research and practice in the area of implementation science
    • Evidence informed practice in the health, education and/or human services area
  • Successful track record of leading the management of high-performance research and capacity building organisation that focuses on the translation and implementation of evidence into policy and practice
  • Strong experience in writing a variety of high-quality publications e.g., peer-reviewed research publications, policy and practice briefs
  • Demonstrated ability to build and lead high functioning teams
  • Experience of operating within complex, multi-disciplinary systems and fast-paced environments  

Key Attributes:

  • Ability to strike a balance between running a centre strong as an academic institution but also as a translational centre
  • High levels of emotional intelligence, including a collaborative and engaging style with proven ability to balance different priorities and to broker effective decision making
  • A strong results orientation and excellent strategic management skills. Proven experience in high level planning and organisational skills, and a willingness to take initiative.
  • Exceptional stakeholder engagement and management skills, including the ability to work collaboratively with diverse groups of stakeholders (i.e. policy makers, organisational leaders, service providers, service users, and researchers) to build networks, motivating them to engage with the Institute and achieve results
  • Strong sense of professional ethics and commitment to evidence informed practice and policy making Advanced oral and written communication skills to include active listening, persuasiveness, and ability to work with diverse groups and individuals to achieve positive results.  

Desirable Attribute:

  • Knowledge of the Singaporean educational, healthcare or human services systems

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