28 October 2016
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The mission of WHO is the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health.
Vacancy Notice No: EURO/12/FT391
Title: Scientist (Laboratory), VPI - CLOSING DATE EXTENDED
Grade: P4
Contract type: Fixed-term Appointment
Duration of contract:  One year project funded* (see additional information below)
Date: 24 October 2012
Application Deadline: 8 November 2012 Vacancy Filled
Duty Station:  Copenhagen, Denmark
Organization unit: EURO Europe Regional Office (EU/RGO) /
EU/DCE Communicable Diseases, Health Security & Environment (EU/DCE)
Vaccine Preventable Diseases, Immunization and Influenza
The Vaccine-preventable Diseases and Immunization (VPI) Programme aims to reduce disease and death caused by vaccine-preventable diseases by: (i) strengthening routine immunization programmes by achieving and maintaining high vaccination coverage with childhood vaccines; (ii) ensuring that all children, adolescents, adults, and women of childbearing age have equal access to safe and high-quality immunization services; (iii) ensuring that epidemiological surveillance, including laboratory networks, is sufficient to achieve and sustain disease elimination targets; (iv) supporting the implementation of an immunization week to promote immunization; and (v) fostering appropriate partnerships with governmental and intergovernmental agencies, nongovernmental organizations and other relevant partners. The VPI Programme is divided into four main strategic areas each with its own scope, goal and set of objectives. These strategic areas are: (i) communication, partnerships, and management; (ii) immunization systems strengthening; (iii) accelerated disease control, including eradication and elimination goals; and (iv) surveillance, laboratories, monitoring and evaluation.
The VPI Programme provides technical input into the implementation of WHO country programmes (Biennial Collaborative Agreements), which are led by the WHO country offices, aimed at prevention and control of vaccine-preventable diseases through strengthening health systems capacity. It supports Member States in designing and implementing evidence-based operational research and interventions, assessing the burden of disease and monitoring progress towards disease reduction and elimination/eradication goals. These activities are coordinated with management and dissemination of technical knowledge. The VPI Programme develops norms and standards, provides normative guidance in developing regional and national policies to assist countries to implement effective vaccine-preventable disease control programmes, promotes partnerships, and advocates for political commitment towards elimination and eradication goals.

Purpose of the post
Contribution to policy development and strategy direction for vaccine-preventable disease laboratory surveillance initiatives in the European Region of WHO with the focus on measles, rubella, viral hepatitis viruses or other pathogens. Provision of advice and guidance on new diagnostic methods for public health laboratories, quality control procedures, and standardization of tests. Coordination and overseeing performance of regional measles and rubella laboratory surveillance network. Manages resources provided to laboratories participating in the regional network. Monitors viral genotype distribution. Scientific advice to support risk assessment activities. Contribution to regional measles and rubella elimination verification process.

Description of duties:
Under the general guidance of VPI Laboratory Coordinator, the incumbent will work with the Member States and public health or other laboratories that are part of the VPI laboratory network to:
  • Provide strategic direction and technical support to the Region's laboratory network for the laboratory surveillance of measles, rubella, viral hepatitis and other pathogens;
  • Provide technical direction towards achieving and sustaining high quality performance of laboratories participating in the regional laboratory networks, including standardized sample collection and handling, specimens processing, timely feedback of results and ensuring consistency with epidemiological data;
  • Work closely with the VPI unit's team to provide technical support for strengthening the integration of laboratory and epidemiological components of national and regional surveillance systems in accordance with regional surveillance guidelines and strategic objectives;
  • Alongside overall coordination of the measles and rubella laboratory network, provide technical direction and troubleshooting when necessary for using serology and specific viral detection methods for targeted communicable diseases, including measles and rubella;
  • Assess needs, plan and provide validated new technology transfer as well as material and financial support to selected national laboratories in accordance with regional priorities and strategies;
  • Provide technical guidance and perform molecular epidemiology analysis of measles, rubella or other priority circulating viruses in the Region;
  • Provide specific technical guidance and training on laboratory management, including fiscal and human resources, procurement and logistics; or other key management components needed to develop and sustain laboratory surveillance support for priority viral agents of importance to national immunization programmes;
  • Oversee an annual quality assurance programme for network laboratories, including proficiency testing, distribution of standard reagents, accreditation reviews and appropriate follow-up action of targeted communicable diseases, with special emphasis on measles and rubella;
  • Document laboratory network activities and major findings in peer-reviewed journals and other publications of scientific and technical importance;
  • Participate in coordination of laboratory-related activities in the Region with ECDC, regional and global Designated Surveillance Networks, and other major partners;
  • Provide input to outbreak risk assessment and situation assessment;
  • Perform other duties as assigned.
Essential: Masters or post graduate degree in microbiology, virology, biology, laboratory science or related.
Desirable: PhD in virology. Postgraduate training in medical virology, laboratory science, public health or epidemiology.
Functional skills and knowledge:
  • Knowledge of the regional laboratory networks, knowledge of public health laboratory surveillance and use of its outputs in risk assessment.
  • Demonstrable experience in molecular/genetic characterization, cell culture and standard virology techniques. Working knowledge of molecular biology applied software tools.
  • Excellent knowledge of Good Laboratory Practice (GLP), biosafety, laboratory quality assurance validation and standardization principles.
  1. Producing results: Produces and delivers quality results by positioning oneself as a proactive and committed facilitator of an outcome oriented laboratory network. The incumbent produces high-quality results and workable solutions to achieve desired outcomes; monitors progress towards objectives taking corrective actions when necessary; acts early, independently and effectively to resolve problems and indentifies and secures required resources.
  2. Fostering integration and teamwork: The incumbent develops and promotes effective relationships with team members, other units and stakeholders. Works in a collaborative fashion to achieve results by encouraging co-operation and building a positive rapport among network participants. Identifies conflicts or obstacles early and supports actions to facilitate its resolution.
  3. Communicating in a credible and effective way: Speaks and writes clearly, adapting communication style and content to the intended audience. Conveys information and opinions in a structured and credible way. Produces effective written communications. Encourages others to share their views; employs good listening skills, and considers other views. Ensures key messages are communicated and understood and keeps others informed of key and relevant activity updates and issues. Strong advocacy and negotiation skills.
  4. Building and promoting partnerships: Seeks to understand and promote synergies between the work produced in WHO and the work of external partners to improve organizational success. Builds and maintains mutually beneficial work relationships and alliances inside and outside the Organization. Encourages and assists others in building networks to improve results. Creates opportunities for promoting synergies inside and outside the organization to improve outcomes. Encourages people from different parts of the Organization to work together.
Essential: A minimum of 7 years of experience in medical virology. At least 5 years experience in the operational management of international health-related projects.
Desirable: Experience in establishing or managing laboratory surveillance activities in supporting the elimination, eradication or control of communicable diseases. Experience in molecular and genetic characterization of viral isolates including related data analysis/interpretation.
Good publication record in relevant research area.
Essential: A very good command of the English language and working knowledge of a WHO and/or EURO official language.
Desirable: Knowledge of other EURO languages.
Additional Information:
(1) Extension of appointment is subject to:
- satisfactory performance,
- continued need for the function, and
- availability of funds.

Similar posts may be filled using this vacancy notice.

WHO has an on-line recruitment system, therefore ONLY applications submitted on-line at will be accepted.

All on-line applications are automatically acknowledged. If you do not receive an e-mail within 24 hours confirming receipt of your application, you should verify your on-line profile. In case of repeated difficulties, contact by e-mail indicating the vacancy title and number in the subject line.
Annual salary: (Net of tax)
USD 67,483 at single rate
USD 72,467 with primary dependants
Post Adjustment: 66.8 % of the above figure(s). This percentage is to be considered as indicative since variations may occur each month either upwards or downwards due to currency exchange rate fluctuations or inflation.

This vacancy notice may be used to fill other similar positions at the same grade level.

A written test and interviews may be used as a form of screening

Online applications are strongly encouraged to enable WHO to store your profile in a permanent database. Please visit WHO's e-Recruitment website at: The system provides instructions for online application procedures.
All applicants are encouraged to apply online as soon as possible after the vacancy has been posted and well before the deadline stated in the vacancy announcement.

WHO is committed to workforce diversity.
Any appointment/extension of appointment is subject to WHO Staff Regulations, Staff Rules and Manual. Only candidates under serious consideration will be contacted.

Vacancy Filled

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