Consultant on Air Pollution and Cancer

UICC Staff members exchange smiles as they watch the virtual World Cancer Leaders' Summit 2021

Job vacancy

Job title: Consultant on Air Pollution and Cancer
Type of contract: Consultancy Mandate
Location: All countries
Start Date: early June 2024 or to be agreed

About UICC  

The Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) is the largest global membership organisation dedicated to taking action against cancer. Founded in 1933 and based in Geneva, UICC has over 1,100 member organisations in 172 countries and territories. UICC’s mission is to both unite and support the cancer community in its efforts to reduce the global cancer burden, promote greater equity and ensure that cancer control remains a priority on the global health and development agenda.                                                           

UICC has consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and has official relations with the World Health Organization (WHO) and partnerships with the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). UICC is committed to working in partnership, and engages over 58 partners, including associations, companies and foundations, to amplify and extend its collective impact.          

UICC is a founding member of the NCD Alliance, the McCabe Centre for Law & Cancer, the International Cancer Control Partnership (ICCP) and established the City Cancer Challenge Foundation in January 2019 and the Access to Oncology Medicines (ATOM) Coalition in May 2022.


In recent decades, the international community has recognised the burden of diseases attributable to air pollution as being on par with unhealthy diets and tobacco use and that the magnitude of this risk is growing, with current WHO estimates suggesting that 99% of the global population live in areas that exceed WHO air quality guidelines, putting them at increased risk of ill health and premature death.

Within the cancer community, there are growing calls for regulatory and community action in the milestone documents like the 2020 WHO Global Report on Cancer, 2020 World Cancer Report, and the EU Beating Cancer Plan. However, there remains a clear space for the cancer community to better understand the risk that air pollution poses to both populations and cancer patients; to advocate for evidence-based measures to curtail these risks; and to more widely communicate about the role of air pollution as a risk factor for cancer across the wider health and development community.

The high prevalence of air pollution exposure over a lifetime is likely to result in higher population attributable risks and is therefore a compelling case for decisive action on curbing air pollution as a key step to preventing NCDs, including cancer. In response, the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) has launched a project on air pollution and cancer to improve the awareness and understanding of UICC members regarding the links between air pollution and cancer, with a view to working with a motivated network of advocates to scale-up policy activities. This work is being funded by the Clean Air Fund.

As part of this project, UICC is seeking a qualified consultant with expertise in environmental health to lead in the development of the following deliverables:

  1. A landscape report looking at the links between air pollution and cancer
  2. A report on advocacy and policy activities across the cancer community
  3. A short report of current research and data gaps, including opportunities/how to better quantify health outcomes


1. Develop a 10-12 page landscape report:

  • Gather relevant information to develop a summary of the existing body of evidence on the links between air pollution and cancer e.g.
    • the current estimates of the burden of air pollution-related cancers, key cancer sites, and impact on cancer survival
    • the key high-risk groups (e.g. children, lower socio-economic groups)

    • the economic and social impacts of air-pollution, including for relevant cancers.
  • Draft a written report and integrate feedback received from the UICC team and expert taskforce.
  • The audience for this report will be cancer advocates and members of the UICC community. Its goal is to provide an evidence-based introduction to air pollution and cancer (burden, trends, key populations etc.) to build awareness and understanding.
  • Anticipated 110 hours work.

2. Develop a 8-10 page policy and advocacy report (including case studies):

  • Conduct background research on different policy options that cities, regions and countries are pursuing to improve air quality.
  • Conduct background research on air quality research, advocacy and/or communications campaigns being undertaken by cancer organisations, drawing on data from UICC membership survey.
  • Develop a series of 3-4 case studies on clean air activities being undertaken by cancer organisations (data available from UICC membership survey) to document successful projects and ongoing activities.
  • Identify common themes/approaches which have made these projects successful and develop a short series of recommendations for entry points for cancer advocates looking to start work on clean air.
  • Draft the report and integrate feedback from the UICC team and expert taskforce.
  • The audience for this report will be cancer advocates and members of the UICC community. Its goal is to provide a short summary of clean air advocacy activities in order to build awareness and identify opportunity for cancer organisations to start integrating clean air messaging or activities into their own portfolios.
  • Anticipated 90 hours work

3. Develop a data gaps report

  • Summarise current research and data gaps, drawing on research done for the landscape and policy reports to identify opportunities to better quantify health outcomes.
  • Draft a short report of 4-5 pages identifying key trends and disparities among different populations in data collection and research focus.
  • The audience for this report will be the Clean Air Fund in order to help support their understanding of the current availability of data (and gaps) to feed into their health portfolio activity planning.  
  • Anticipated 40 hours work


The consultant would ideally start in early June 2024, but this could be flexible for the right candidate. Based on that the desired timeline is as followed:

  1. Landscape report – Clean air day (7 September 2024)
  2. Policy and advocacy report - World Cancer Congress (17-19 September 2024)
  3. Data gaps report - March 2025.

Desired qualifications 

  • Advanced degree in public health, environmental science, epidemiology, or a related field.
  • Expertise in air pollution and its health impacts, ideally in relation to cancer.
  • Experience in drafting reports and policy analyses.
  • Fluency in English (written and oral)
  • Strong analytical skills
  • Ability to review peer-reviewed studies and papers
  • Ability to search multiple databases, perform desk research and develop reports or briefs on data gathered
  • Excellent coordination and interpersonal skills
  • Registered as independent by the Swiss Compensation Office, or any similar national entity if based in a country outside Switzerland


Interested consultants should submit their CV, a cover letter, and a writing sample to Rosie Tasker ( by 10 May 2024.


Last update

Thursday 25 April 2024

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