Senior Analytical Chemist (P-4) (Synthetic), The Hague

Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)

OPCW The Hague

About Us

The OPCW’s Verification Division works towards achieving chemical disarmament and preventing the re-emergence of chemical weapons through participation in the planning and oversight of inspections at both military and chemical industry facilities. The division also manages declarations while maintaining and strengthening the scientific capabilities of the Organisation, especially its laboratory component. The division also conducts Technical Assistance Visits at the request of States Parties.

The Division is responsible for the day-to-day operation of OPCW’s verification regime. It is a key element of the Secretariat, using trustworthy and science-based information to implement all aspects of the Convention including decisions from the Policy Making Organs.

Contract Type

Fixed-term Professional



Total Estimated monthly remuneration depending on post adjustment and family status: USD

9 530

Closing Date



Job Summary

This position is part of the OPCW Laboratory which is responsible for providing efficient and effective support, and technical as well as scientific advice, to the Organisation on verification-related activities. The OPCW Laboratory offers training and certifications on equipment and procedures, handles authentic samples taken during inspections, performs research, develops and implements methods for analysis and testing programs; and maintains the OPCW Central Analytical Database (OCAD).

The primary responsibilities of the Senior Analytical Chemist are to support the implementation of a credible verification regime by ensuring that the OPCW Laboratory continues to develop its capabilities for analysis of chemicals relevant to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) while operating in an efficient manner in accordance with quality assurance standards. For this particular position, an organic chemist is required to support the OPCW Laboratory with chemical synthesis and chemical knowledge for their envisaged research programs at OPCW’s Centre for Chemistry and Technology (CCT).

Main Responsibilities

As the Senior Analytical Chemist, you will perform the following duties: Guarantee the daily operational readiness of the micro synthesis facility (MSF) at OPCW’s Centre for Chemistry and Technology. Perform synthesis and purification of small amounts of toxic chemicals within the MSF. Perform chemical analysis of synthesized materials by means of NMR and mass spectrometry-based techniques. Translate knowledge on synthetic chemistry into knowledge relevant to the CWC, in terms of impurity profiling and provenance (chemical forensics). You will translate knowledge on environmental chemistry into knowledge relevant to the CWC, in terms of agent fate, as well as sampling and analysis. In addition, as the Senior Analytical Chemist you will provide technical advice, training, and support on inspection and verification-related issues. Coordinate research projects at the new Centre for Chemistry and Technology. Collaborate with other divisions within OPCW, in particular the Inspectorate division.

To view the complete Job Description, please click the link here.

Qualifications and Experience


In order to succeed in this role you have to have an advanced degree in Organic Chemistry, with a focus on chemical synthesis, or equivalent from a recognized institution, not necessarily from a university.

Desirable: PhD/Masters/Good honours degree in chemistry, preferably majoring in Organic Chemistry, with a focus on chemical synthesis.

Knowledge and Experience


  • Organic synthesis experience, in particular in relation to toxic organophosphorus, organosulfur, and organonitrogen-containing compounds, as can be derived from publication records.
  • Experience with safe handling of toxic materials.
  • A minimum of 5 years of practical experience as an operator of NMR instrumentation.
  • Hands-on experience with GC-MS and/or LC-MS analysis.


Experience in analytical techniques relevant to forensic/environmental chemistry

Skills and Competencies

To succeed in this role you will need the following skills and competencies:

  • Proven synthetic organic chemistry skills, preferably in the field of toxic chemicals; experience working in a Schedule 1 facility is highly desirable;
  • Knowledge of the chemistry of Scheduled chemicals, their nomenclature, precursors, and degradation products that are listed in the ‘Annex on Chemicals’ in the CWC;
  • Practical skills in the analysis of organic chemicals (e.g., NMR and mass spectrometry-based methods);
  • Basic understanding of modern database methodology;
  • Basic project management skills;
  • Tact, discretion, and the ability to work harmoniously in a multicultural environment.


Fluency in English is essential and a good working knowledge of one of the other official languages (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, and Spanish) is desirable.

Additional Information

This fixed-term appointment is for the duration of two years with a six-month probationary period, and is subject to the OPCW Staff Regulations and Interim Staff Rules.

The OPCW is a non-career organisation with limited staff tenure. The total length of service for Professional staff shall not exceed 7 years.

The mandatory age of separation at the OPCW is 65 years.

Fixed-term staff members participate in the OPCW provident fund. A monthly staff contribution is met with a doubled amount by the OPCW to ensure separating staff have the capital necessary to move on to new challenges.

The Director-General retains the discretion to not make any appointment to this vacancy, to make an appointment at a lower grade, or to make an appointment with a modified job description. Several vacancies may be filled.

Only fully completed applications submitted before the closing date and through OPCW CandidateSpace will be considered. Only applicants under serious consideration for a post will be contacted.

Applications from qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged.

Important notice for applicants who are currently insured under the Dutch Social Security system

Although headquartered in the Netherlands, the OPCW is not a regular Dutch employer but a public international organisation with its own special status. Please be advised that if you are currently insured under the Dutch Social Security system, you will be excluded from this system as a staff member of the OPCW. You will consequently be insured under the organisation’s system. The above also applies to your dependents unless they are employed by a regular Dutch employer, they are self-employed in the Netherlands, or are receiving Dutch social security payments.

Please refer to the website of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment for more information about the possible consequences for you and your dependents, such as exclusion from ‘AWBZ’ and ‘Zorgverzekeringswet’ coverage: ‘ Werken bij een internationale organisatie’.

Tags: chemical analysis, chemical industry, chemical weapons, disarmament, environmental chemistry, organic chemicals, organic chemistry, project management