Consultant – Microbiology Laboratory, Anywhere

  • Contractor
  • Anywhere

World Health Organization (WHO)


Microbiology Laboratory

( 2300593 )

Contractual Arrangement : External consultant

Contract Duration (Years, Months, Days) : 11 months

Job Posting: Jan 22, 2023, 7:44:51 PM

Purpose of consultancy

To develop a high quality, proficient global laboratory network for microbiology Vaccine Preventable Disease (VPD) surveillance.


In the context of building laboratory capacity for the diagnosis of vaccine preventable diseases (VPDs), the Consultant will facilitate the development and maintenance of a high quality, proficient global laboratory network for VPD surveillance through strong collaboration with key technical partners and ensuring resources are available to support implementation of activities, develop global guidelines and set priorities to enhance laboratory capacities to provide high quality laboratory surveillance data to support public health surveillance.


  • 1.1: Work with the WHO headquarters’ Global Laboratory Coordinator for VPD networks and with WHO regional office focal points to implement the global external quality assessment (EQA) programmes for VPD laboratory networks and verify that all network laboratories participate in the yearly proficiency testing panels surveys.
  • 1.2: Provide technical assistance to the VPD sentinel, national and regional network laboratories to achieve and maintain prescribed proficiency standards as applicable through accreditation and external quality assurance programmes through regular and ad hoc meetings and online discussions as well as on site visits to assess the performance of these laboratories.

Expected by late 2023.

  • 2.1: Develop and prepare laboratory manuals for Typhoid fever, Japanese Encephalitis, Invasive Bacterial Diseases for use by the VPD sentinel, national, and regional laboratories.
  • 2.2: Provide essential diagnostics to network laboratories.
  • 3.1: Develop and provide technical guidelines and standard operational procedures to strengthen the laboratories of the Global Pediatric Diarrhea Surveillance (GPDS) programme and Global Rotavirus Surveillance Network (GRSN) programme, as well as periodic remote and onsite meetings with the laboratories of the GPDS and GRSN.
  • 3.2: Work with regional offices and country focal points in the timely implementation of activities to enable other VPD laboratory networks in reaching the VPD surveillance programmes objectives.

Qualifications, experience, skills and languages.

Educational Qualifications:


  • Advanced university degree in clinical microbiology, virology or public health laboratory science or a related field.
  • Training in epidemiology and data analysis.
  • Training in managing data and producing graphics.


  • PhD/Doctorate degree in bacteriology, virology or microbiology laboratory sciences.



  • At least seven years of relevant experience working in laboratory-based surveillance or laboratory networks coordination and data analysis in the public health sector.
  • Demonstrated experience with implementation of quality assurance and laboratory accreditation.
  • Experience in molecular data analysis including DNA sequence alignment and phylogeny.
  • Demonstrated experience in developing and/or coordinating development of manuals for laboratory procedures including but not limited to standard operating procedures (SOP) for laboratories.
  • Extensive experience in coordinating and managing laboratory scientific projects and a strong understanding of VPD laboratory and surveillance networks.


  • Relevant experience working with countries and laboratories in low resource settings.
  • Demonstrated experience in health sector programme coordination and implementation.
  • Experience working in the UN system or other significant partner organization in the field of laboratory practices.


  • Demonstrated knowledge of laboratory diagnosis of VPDs pathogens, quality assurance systems and laboratory management.
  • Demonstrated ability to coordinate a global VPDs laboratory networks.

  • Demonstrated understanding of, and formulating effective responses to, the unique challenges of public health surveillance in the developing world and capacity to interact successfully with members of partner organizations.
  • Strong analytical and writing skills to identify critical technical issues and prepare a variety of documents, able to present and explain complex ideas and information in a succinct, logical way that is easy to understand.
  • Excellent communication skills and demonstrated ability to clearly communicate information orally and in writing, to a diverse professional staff, regarding public health surveillance operations, laboratory procedures, requirements, standards, or special project activities and progress.
  • Strong interpersonal and diplomatic skills, with ability to facilitate and strengthen the involvement and collaboration of a broad range of partners.
  • Ability to work as a member of a team in a multi-cultural environment and a partnership to achieve common goals, and to work and manage the networks independently
  • Demonstrated ability to work towards deadlines and within budget constraints, in collaboration with a diverse range of stakeholders
  • Familiarity with the UN system, including knowledge of WHO country, regional and global functions.

Languages required:


  • Expert knowledge of English.


  • Intermediate knowledge of French.


Off-site: Home based.


The consultant is expected to travel.

Remuneration and budget (travel costs are excluded):


Band level B-USD USD 7,000

9,980 per month.

Living expenses (A living expense is payable to on-site consultants who are internationally recruited):


Expected duration of contract:

11 months.

Additional Information

  • This vacancy notice may be used to identify candidates for other similar consultancies at the same level.
  • Only candidates under serious consideration will be contacted.
  • A written test may be used as a form of screening.
  • If your candidature is retained for interview, you will be required to provide, in advance, a scanned copy of the degree(s)/diploma(s)/certificate(s) required for this position. WHO only considers higher educational qualifications obtained from an institution accredited/recognized in the World Higher Education Database (WHED), a list updated by the International Association of Universities (IAU)/United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The list can be accessed through the link: (link) Some professional certificates may not appear in the WHED and will require individual review.
  • For information on WHO’s operations please visit: (link)
  • WHO is committed to workforce diversity.
  • WHO has a smoke-free environment and does not recruit smokers or users of any form of tobacco.
  • Applications from women and from nationals of non and underrepresented Member States are particularly encouraged.
  • WHO prides itself on a workforce that adheres to the highest ethical and professional standards and that is committed to put the WHO Values Charter into practice.
  • WHO has zero tolerance towards sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA), sexual harassment and other types of abusive conduct (i.e., discrimination, abuse of authority and harassment). All members of the WHO workforce have a role to play in promoting a safe and respectful workplace and should report to WHO any actual or suspected cases of SEA, sexual harassment and other types of abusive conduct. To ensure that individuals with a substantiated history of SEA, sexual harassment or other types of abusive conduct are not hired by the Organization, WHO will conduct a background verification of final candidates.
  • Consultants shall perform the work as independent contractors in a personal capacity, and not as a representative of any entity or authority. The execution of the work under a consultant contract does not create an employer/employee relationship between WHO and the Consultant.
  • WHO shall have no responsibility whatsoever for any taxes, duties, social security contributions or other contributions payable by the Consultant. The Consultant shall be solely responsible for withholding and paying any taxes, duties, social security contributions and any other contributions which are applicable to the Consultant in each location/jurisdiction in which the work hereunder is performed, and the Consultant shall not be entitled to any reimbursement thereof by WHO.
  • Consultants working in Switzerland must register with the applicable Swiss cantonal tax authorities and social security authorities, within the prescribed timeframes (Guidelines issued by the Swiss Mission are available at: (link)-onu-geneve/en/home/manual-regime-privileges-and-immunities/introduction/Manuel-personnes-sans-privileges-et-immunites-carte-H/Non fonctionnaires et stagiaires.html
Tags: bacterial diseases, data analysis, health surveillance, home based, social security contributions, vaccine preventable diseases