World Health Organization (WHO)

Consultant (Microbiology - Bacteriology Laboratory)

World Health Organization (WHO)

Job Description

Purpose of consultancy

To develop high quality, proficient global laboratory networks for bacterial vaccine-preventable disease (VPD) surveillance.


In the context of building laboratory capacity for the diagnosis of bacterial VPDs, the Consultant will facilitate the development and maintenance of high quality, proficient global laboratory networks for bacterial VPD surveillance. This work will require 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 data to support Public Health surveillance.


  • 1.1: To perform routine screening of WHO documentation, published scientific literature and laboratory guidelines, and provide reports of needed updates and changes to ensure the WHO-coordinated bacterial VPD laboratory networks are consistent with global guidelines including maintaining standards for accreditation as well as external Quality Assurance.
  • 1.2: Facilitate implementation of the WHO laboratory testing guidelines across the global network laboratories.

Expected by late 2023.

  • 2.1: Evaluate newly developed rapid diagnostic tests (RDT) for typhoid and other bacterial diseases through:
    • landscape Analysis of the diagnostic market.
    • developing target product profiles for each testing platform and each pathogen.
    • develop an expression of interest for manufacturers for kit performance evaluation according to WHO prequalification standards.
    • guide the actual kit evaluation.
    • facilitate the development of the report on the kit performance evaluation, and
    • submit the final report for publishing.
  • 2.2: Prepare recommendations and guidelines for the RDT’s evaluation and use in the clinical laboratories.
  • 2.3: Develop Target Product Profiles (TPP) for Typhoid laboratory assays.
  • 2.4: Develop and submit an Expression of Interest and conduct kit performance evaluation for Typhoid tests.

3.1: Contribute to developing guidelines and manuals for vaccine-preventable bacterial infections as well as Capacity Building of lab personnel and facilitating training and procurement of essential diagnostics to network laboratories.

Qualifications, experience, skills and languages.

Educational Qualifications:


  • Advanced university degree in clinical microbiology or public health laboratory science or a related field.


  • PhD/Doctorate degree in bacteriology or microbiology laboratory sciences.
  • Training in epidemiology and Data Analysis.
  • Training in managing data and producing graphics.



  • 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 the implementation of quality assurance and laboratory accreditation.


  • Relevant experience working with countries and laboratories in low resource settings.
  • Experience in molecular data analysis including DNA sequence alignment and phylogeny.
  • 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 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 and knowledge in coordinating and managing laboratory scientific projects.


  • Solid understanding of VPD laboratory and surveillance networks.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of laboratory methods for diagnosis of bacterial VPD pathogens, quality assurance systems and managerial skills.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of laboratory networks and laboratory methodology and quality assurance/quality control.
  • Demonstrated ability to coordinate VPD laboratory networks.
  • Demonstrated understanding of, and formulating effective responses to, the unique challenges of public health surveillance in the developing world
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Proven 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: Some professional certificates may not appear in the WHED and will require individual review.
  • For information on WHO's operations please visit:
  • 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: fonctionnaires et stagiaires.html
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