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Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH) is a collaborative research group at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)'s Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health. We seek a facilitator to help us plan for and to lead our all-employee retreat.

Our work on abortion, contraception, pregnancy, and gender cuts across a broad spectrum of disciplines including public health, epidemiology, demography, sociology, psychology, law, nursing, and medicine. ANSIRH researchers evaluate both the positive and negative repercussions of reproductive health policies, help ground conversations in science, and drive legal and legislative change at the local, state and national levels. Our work is informed by an understanding of the role that structural inequities play in shaping health.


ANSIRH has a solid reputation for producing impactful, rigorous research and for disseminating its findings effectively to fellow researchers, the media, policy makers, and within the reproductive health, rights, and justice field. Like many academic units, ANSIRH operates as a network of interrelated yet independent principal investigators supported by research and administrative staff; some investigators have large research teams, while others work alone. ANSIRH has grown in size over the last three years from 34 to 50 employees and has become more adept at raising and sustaining core support funds to support program-wide efforts as well as specific research projects.

Over the last two years, the program has embarked on deep internal work to support diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), with a strong emphasis on racial diversity [See our DEI statement]. We are committed to building an internal work culture that supports people of all backgrounds to thrive. ANSIRH has been successful in employing a more diverse workforce, particularly in staff roles, and has taken steps to identify ways to make ANSIRH a more inclusive work environment. ANSIRH has also seen a shift toward more engagement in DEI work at varying levels of commitment. Creating a culture of true inclusion and belonging for everyone at ANSIRH is one of our highest priorities. At the same time, the disruptions to our work, lives, political system, and social fabric over the past year and a half is more reason to reconnect with one another.

In this vein, we seek an experienced facilitator to assist our planning group in designing and leading an engaging, productive, and fun two-day, off-site retreat in Spring 2022 (no earlier than early-May 2022) for our 50 staff members.

Retreat Goals

The primary goals of the ANSIRH retreat are to build trust, community, energy, and commitment among all ANSIRH colleagues by:

  • Creating more connections and forging new connections between individuals,
  • Cultivating and strengthening cross-team relationships, and
  • Having fun together!

Important Context:

  • ANSIRH employees have been working remotely since March 2020. The retreat will be the first time we will be physically together as a large group since that time and, for some hired in the interim, this will be the first ever gathering with ANSIRH colleagues. This is why we are prioritizing connection.
  • At ANSIRH, we have a strong desire to break down barriers that exist due to the “siloed” nature of our work within the office and due to power differentials between investigators and staff.
  • In recent years, ANSIRH has been engaged in program-wide anti-racist efforts to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion and to enhance each individuals’ capacity, skills, and commitment to using anti-racist tools and practices, such as active listening, empathy, self-regulation, and allyship. As with all ANSIRH initiatives, we intend that the retreat will reinforce and support these efforts.

Scope of Work

We seek a consultant to:

1. Lead design of the retreat program in collaboration with a committee of ANSIRH staff and faculty. This includes helping us transform our broad goals into concrete outcomes.

  • Meet with retreat committee to learn about ANSIRH goals and vision for the retreat and solicit feedback during agenda development
  • Draft, refine, and finalize the retreat agenda
  • Ensure appropriate preparation for the retreat, including planning for possible hybrid in-person/online participation if some ANSIRH staff cannot attend in-person
  • Facilitate sessions throughout the retreat as determined by the retreat program

2. Produce a report within a month after the retreat with key lessons and issues emerging from the retreat and recommendations for next steps. Share all documentation and notes that resulted from the planning and execution of the meeting.

Criteria for selection

The planning group will consider the following experience and skills when selecting a facilitator(s) for this project:

  • Demonstrated excellence in providing planning and front-of-the-room facilitation for community-building meetings. Proven record in achieving stated goals and producing deliverables.
  • Strong equity lens, commitment to undoing systemic societal and workplace oppression, and skill navigating complex dynamics around identity.
  • Excellent communication skills and proven track record of building strong relationships between and within teams.
  • Experience facilitating hybrid online/in-person sessions (not necessary, but nice to have)
  • Demonstrated experience leading hard conversations in a way that recognizes power and minimizes harm.
  • Demonstrated experience working with a value-driven organization. Experience in working with academic institutions and/or coalitions is strongly preferred.
  • Ability to balance lightness and fun with challenging conversations.
  • Supportive of reproductive rights and comfort talking about abortion.

Project Timeline

Work will start approximately 3 months prior to the retreat and continue through one-month post-retreat. The retreat will take place near the San Francisco Bay Area over one full-day and one half-day. The possible dates for the retreat are May 4-5, 2022 and May 18-19, 2022.

Proposal Guidelines

Interested consultants should submit a proposal including the following materials by 8 AM Pacific Time, Monday, November 8th, 2021.

1. A short one-to-two-page proposal with responses to the following questions:

  • Why are you interested in this project?
  • What is your process of working with clients? How would you work with us to design, facilitate, and support our upcoming 2-day off-site retreat?
  • What experience do you have helping groups build trust and accountability and/or supporting groups to work more harmoniously and productively toward a common vision?
  • What is your availability for the two possible retreat dates (May 4-5, 2022 and May 18-19, 2022)?

2. Example of an agenda or report from a retreat you planned and facilitated. If possible, please include facilitators’ notes or agenda.

3. Three references from previous clients (names and contact information)

4. A quote for these services. ANSIRH has budgeted approximately $20,000-$25,000 for this facilitator position. Travel expenses will be reimbursed by ANSIRH.

We will work consider proposals and reach out to schedule an interview with top candidates.

Respond to this RFP

Proposals should be emailed to Claudia Zaugg at