Laboratory Specialist

Laboratory Specialist

Job Posting


Closure Date

:16/Mar/2018, 11:59:00 PM
Organizational Unit:TCE
Type of Requisition:Consultant / PSA (Personal Services Agreement)
Grade Level:N/A

Primary Location

:Various Locations
Duration:11 months
Post Number:N/A

FAO seeks gender, geographical and linguistic diversity in its staff and international consultants

in order to best serve FAO Members in all regions.


Qualified female applicants and qualified nationals of non-and under-represented member countries

are encouraged to apply.

Persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply.

All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.


Organizational Setting
The tasks envisaged for this consultancy are to be carried out through the Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases (ECTAD), which is currently implementing a number of projects in various countries in Africa. Within the ECTAD framework, the Animal Production and Health Division (AGA) is closely working with the Emergency and Rehabilitation Division (TCE) under the Strategic Program 5 (SP5) to support various aspects of the animal health programme of FAO, including the Emerging Pandemic Threats (EPT-2) and Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) Programmes.
Reporting Lines
Depending on the duty station, the Laboratory Specialist reports to the Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO/Chief, Animal Health Services), and works under the functional and administrative supervision of the relevant Assistant Director General/Regional Representative or FAO Country Representative, and the direct supervision of the appropriate line manager of ECTAD (Country Team Leader or Regional Manager or Global Coordinator), and in collaboration with the Head of the Emergency Prevention System for Animal Health (EMPRES-AH), the EMPRES Lab Unit at headquarters and the Animal production and health officers from the Regional and sub-Regional Offices and Country Offices.
Technical Focus
Technical support and guidance to laboratory activities under AGA-TCE/ECTAD, EMPRES and SP5 projects.
Tasks and responsibilities
  • Support technical and capacity building activities conducted and/or supported by the EMPRES Laboratory Unit;
  • Provide technical support to FAO-ECTAD regional and country offices in implementation of EPT-2/GHSA and other projects;
  • Support the development and implementation of work plans for the GHSA ‘National Laboratory System’ and ‘Biosafety and Biosecurity’ Action Packages;
  • Support and monitor national, regional and international laboratory networking activities. In particular the regional Biosafety/Biosafety and Quality Assurance (QA) networks. This includes contribution to meeting preparation, sharing technical information and linkage with other relevant networks (e.g. in the public health sector);
  • Enhance cross-sectoral technical cooperation with the human health sector, particularly using FAO tools, guidelines and strategies;
  • Follow up drafting and implementation of national Biosafety/Biosecurity and QA plans;
  • Support and monitor work carried out under Letters of Agreement with technical partners;
  • Support in providing on-site laboratory trainings for beneficiary countries and provide technical follow up for gaps identified during such missions;
  • Support the assessment of capacity, needs and gaps (e.g. using the laboratory mapping tool) for implementation of effective testing for transboundary animal diseases (TADs) and zoonotic emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) and help address gaps and needs;
  • Provide technical support in promoting data sharing for OFFLU-related activities through FAO OFFLU focal point at FAO headquarters;
  • In collaboration with AGAH headquarters, FAO/International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and FAO/World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) reference centres, provide technical guidance, protocols and troubleshooting for laboratory testing;
  • Facilitate and follow up proficiency testing for priority diseases;
  • Facilitate shipment of samples to regional or international reference laboratories for confirmatory testing; 
  • Help identify needs and support procurement of appropriate laboratory equipment, consumable and reagents, for implementation of routine testing and for emergencies (stockpile);
  • Facilitate the close collaboration between epidemiology and laboratory teams to enhance surveillance, early detection and linkage of field and laboratory data;
  • Facilitate for the harmonization and improvement of data collection and sharing, including the use of appropriate laboratory information management systems;
  • Participate in emergency preparedness and response missions, as needed;
  • Contribute to project reports, monitoring and evaluation activities, work plans and publications as required by FAO, donors or governments;
  • Support preparation of technical meetings;
  • Perform any other related duties as required.


Minimum Requirements
  • Advanced university degree (for Consultants)/ University degree (for PSA) in veterinary or biological sciences and relevant post-graduate training or experience in laboratory management and diagnostics;
  • At least 2 years of proven experience in laboratory diagnostics, good laboratory management practices, quality assurance, biosafety/biosecurity and/or in management and implementation of infectious disease control programmes, preferably in international setting or developing countries;
  • Working knowledge of English, French or Spanish and limited knowledge of one of the other two or Arabic, Chinese, Russian (for Consultants)/ working knowledge of English, French or Spanish (for PSA).  
FAO Core Competencies
  • Results Focus
  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Building Effective Relationships
  • Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement
Technical/Functional Skills
  • Work experience in more than one location or area of work, particularly in field positions is desirable.  
  • Extent and relevance of experience at international level.
  • Ability to write briefs and reports
  • Ability to work under pressure and meat deadlines
Familiarity with FAO policies and programmes and systems is desirable
Selection Criteria
Based on requirements, competencies and skills.

 Please note that all candidates should adhere to FAO Values of Commitment to FAO,

Respect for All and Integrity and Transparency 


  • FAO does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview, processing).
  • Please note that FAO will only consider academic credentials or degrees obtained from an educational institution recognised in the IAU/UNESCO list.
  • Only language proficiency certificates from UN accredited external providers and/or FAO language official examinations (LPE, ILE, LRT) will be accepted as proof of the level of knowledge of languages indicated in the online applications.
  • For other issues, visit the FAO employment website:
  • For further information on categories, contract duration and honoraria, please refer to the Conditions page.
To apply, visit the recruitment website at Jobs at FAOand complete your online profile. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Only applications received through the recruitment portal will be considered.
Vacancies will be removed from the recruitment portal at 23:59 Central European Time (CET) on the deadline for applications date. We encourage applicants to submit the application well before the deadline date.


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