Roster of consultants – Strengthening Public Health Laboratory Services At World Health Organization (WHO)




Purpose of consultancy

To contribute to the development and implementation of Public Health Laboratory Strengthening activities in the World Health Emergencies Programme.


The Public Health Laboratory Strengthening Unit, based in the Lyon Office, aims to support Member States to be ready to detect, and respond, to health emergencies earlier, faster, and safer. Activities of the Unit support global, regional, and national laboratory networks and systems in their long-term preparedness and capacity building for all-hazards, as well as operational readiness and response activities in at-risk countries for imminent and emerging health-threats. The Unit has developed several flagship programmes, as well as tools, guidance, and frameworks that build laboratory capacities across all levels of the system, from governance and oversight to infrastructure and facilities, and for the strengthening of the laboratory workforce.


  • Contribute to the preparation and facilitation of meetings including preparation of meeting documents, minutes, and reports for laboratory stakeholders.
    Contribute to developing WHO normative guidance, tools, and other materials related to laboratory capacities and/or systems.
    Provide technical expertise on laboratory capacities and/or systems for in-country missions/workshops to disseminate guidance, tools, and other materials as well as participate in laboratory capacity and/or laboratory systems assessments.
    Produce technical reports on meetings, missions, and other activities undertaken.
    Provide technical expertise on the readiness and response of laboratory systems to public health emergencies.
    Produce and disseminate technical communications and advocacy products for laboratory stakeholders such as news articles, FAQs, journal articles, presentations, and webinar sessions.


Qualifications, experience, skills and languages



  • A first university degree in life science, laboratory science, medicine, medical microbiology or similar field (molecular biology, virology, bacteriology, infectious diseases, and/or epidemiology).


  • An advanced degree in public health or public health-related field.



  • At least five to ten years of relevant experience in the operations and/or management of public health or clinical laboratory services, at the national or international levels.


  • Related experience in laboratory capacity building in a lower-middle-income setting.
    Related experience in outbreaks and/or health emergency response of international importance.
    Related experience in delivering trainings, and workshops in person and virtually.
    Related experience in the area of diagnostics for emerging/reemerging diseases.
    Relevant work experience in WHO, other UN agencies, or experience working in relevant non-governmental or humanitarian organizations.



  • Sound knowledge of methodologies, and techniques in health laboratories, including those in microbiology, molecular biology, virology, and/or bacteriology.
  • Demonstrated excellent writing and ability to produce engaging and scientifically accurate communication materials in a clear and concise manner.


  • Knowledge of quality assurance systems and biosafety for laboratories.
  • Knowledge of advanced laboratory techniques such as genomic sequencing and/or statistical and bioinformatic data analysis.
  • Proficiency in utilizing tools to support virtual collaborations.
  • Ability to work in a multi-disciplinary and cross-cutting environment.
  • Excellent organizational skills combined with the ability to multi-task and produce accurate results under pressure.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, diplomacy, tact and discretion, sound judgment and initiative.
  • Ability to clearly articulate and present concepts and procedures to a broad range of audiences.
  • Knowledge of the public health sector and global health issues.




  • Expert knowledge of English.


  • Expert knowledge of French.
  • Intermediate knowledge of any other UN language.


Off site: Home-based.


The consultant is expected to travel.



Band level B – USD 7,000 – 9,980 per month.




1 -11 months. Additional contracts may be offered based on programme needs, satisfactory performance and funding availability.


  • 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.
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    The WHO is committed to achieving gender parity and geographical diversity in its workforce. Women, persons with disabilities, and nationals of unrepresented and underrepresented Member States ( are strongly encouraged to apply for WHO jobs.
    Persons with disabilities can request reasonable accommodations to enable participation in the recruitment process. Requests for reasonable accommodation should be sent through an email to
  • An impeccable record for integrity and professional ethical standards is essential. 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.
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  • Consultants shall perform the work as independent contractors in a personal capacity, and not as a representative of any entity or authority.
  • WHO shall have no responsibility 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.
  • Please note that WHO’s contracts are conditional on members of the workforce confirming that they are vaccinated as required by WHO before undertaking a WHO assignment, except where a medical condition does not allow such vaccination, as certified by the WHO Staff Health and Wellbeing Services (SHW). The successful candidate will be asked to provide relevant evidence related to this condition. A copy of the updated vaccination card must be shared with WHO medical service in the medical clearance process. Please note that certain countries require proof of specific vaccinations for entry or exit. For example, official proof /certification of yellow fever vaccination is required to enter many countries. Country-specific vaccine recommendations can be found on the WHO international travel and Staff Health and Wellbeing website. For vaccination-related queries please directly contact SHW directly at
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For roster VNs:

The purpose of this vacancy is to develop a list of qualified candidates for inclusion in this advertised roster. All applicants will be notified in writing of the outcome of their application (whether successful or unsuccessful) upon conclusion of the selection process. Successful candidates will be placed on the roster and subsequently may be selected for consultancy assignments falling in this area of work or for similar requirements/tasks/deliverables. Inclusion in the Roster does not guarantee selection to a consultant contract. There is no commitment on either side.