Roster of consultants – Clinical microbiologists and laboratory experts in antimicrobial resistance (AMR)

NAT
NAT
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United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)


JOB DESCRIPTION

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Qualifications

Purpose of consultancy

The technical unit is seeking experts in antimicrobial resistance (AMR) surveillance from the following fields: (i) clinical microbiology, (ii) diagnostic stewardship. The aim of this roster is to support WHO’s mission to strengthen bacteriology and mycology laboratory capacity and AMR surveillance systems nationally and globally.

More specifically, the purpose is to:

i. Provide technical assistance to countries on planning, implementation, reporting and analysis of laboratory strengthening initiatives and AMR surveillance through implementation of WHO tools, standards and recommendations.
ii. Contribute to the development of evidence-based technical guidance and implementation tools for bacteriology and mycology diagnostics and AMR surveillance.

Background

The mission of the Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Division is to define, advance, promote and monitor comprehensive policies and strategies that prevent, reduce, and mitigate drug-resistant infections and the overall impact of antimicrobial resistance globally based on the Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance and the 13th Global Programme of Work of WHO and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The objective of the  Surveillance Evidence and Laboratory Strengthening (SEL) unit at the AMR Division of WHO is to provide sound technical support to national authorities through: i) mapping their bacteriology and mycology diagnostic capacity and AMR surveillance systems and response capacities; ii)  providing technical guidance on strengthening bacteriology and mycology diagnostic services and laboratory systems;  iii) contributing to the global knowledge on AMR by establishing AMR surveillance; iv) promoting sustained capacity strengthening along with knowledge and awareness raising activities; and v) ensuring availability of and access to strategic guidance for detection, verification, risk assessment, communication and response to public health events associated with novel or emerging AMR.

WHO developed the Global Antimicrobial Resistance and Use Surveillance System (GLASS) to enable integrated analysis of standardised, comparable and validated data on AMR and antimicrobial use (AMU) to be shared with countries and inform strategies to tackle AMR locally, regionally and globally.

Laboratory standards and proficiency are a pillar of surveillance systems and national AMR surveillance depend on the quality of diagnostic services that are available to health professionals in a country. As part of the WHO AMR Diagnostic Initiative to strengthen bacteriology and mycology laboratory capacity in low- and middle-income countries, WHO is producing a comprehensive toolkit including set of relevant technical documents, guidance, protocols, and SOPs encompassing the pre-analytical, analytical, and post-analytical laboratory procedures for bacteria and fungi identification and susceptibility testing. Furthermore, WHO is establishing a Global AMR Laboratory Network with national, supranational, and specialized laboratories.

Deliverables

These will be determined according to the Terms of Reference of each individual consultancy, but may include the following:

  • Guidance documents, training packages and associated tools on clinical bacteriology and mycology.
  • Contributions to the development and implementation of the WHO AMR Diagnostic Initiative, including relevant WHO guidance documents (e.g. manual on clinical bacteriology laboratory practices and bacteriology; manual on mycology diagnostic stewardship), the global AMR Laboratory Network, and research and innovation (e.g. AMR genomics).
  • Technical support for data collection, analysis and reporting of the status of global bacteriology and mycology laboratory capacity.
  • Technical support to countries for assessing and strengthening capacity for diagnostic stewardship, bacteriology and mycology.
  • Technical support to countries for national AMR prevalence surveys, including development of protocols, standard operating procedures, and data collection and monitoring tools.

Qualifications, experience, skills and languages

Educational Qualifications:

Essential:

  • For Band level B: University degree or medical degree, with specialization in clinical microbiology or other relevant laboratory specialisation.
  • For Band level C: Advanced university degree or medical degree, with specialization in clinical microbiology or other relevant laboratory specialisation.

Experience

Essential:

  • For Band level B: At least 5 years of professional experience in any of the following: implementation of international standards (CLSI or EUCAST), microbiological proficiency testing, laboratory assessments, mycological diagnosis.
  • For Band level C: At least 10 years of professional experience in any of the following: implementation of international standards (CLSI or EUCAST), microbiological proficiency testing, laboratory assessments, mycological diagnosis.

Desirable:

  • Experience working with WHO.
  • Experience working in low- and middle-income countries.
  • Experience working in a public health or health policy capacity.
  • Experience in implementing infectious diseases surveys or clinical research studies, according to good clinical management and good data management practices.
  • Publication record in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Experience with writing research proposals or technical reports.
  • Experience in conducting systematic reviews, including use of evidence synthesis software.
  • Experience developing and applying bioinformatics pipelines.

Skills:

Essential:

  • Competency in at least one of the following:
    • (i) performing quality-assured microbiological testing; or
    • (ii) performing assessments of bacteriology/mycology laboratories; or
    • (iii) designing external quality assurance programmes for bacteriology/mycology.
  • Excellent written skills, demonstrating ability to conceptualize and write about complex health topics, with proven contributions to technical documents, protocols, reports, or scientific articles.

Desirable

  • Knowledge of laboratory networks and sample referral systems in resource-poor settings and associated challenges.
  • Good understanding of WHO guidance and tools for surveillance of AMR.

Languages required:

Essential:

  • Expert knowledge of English.

Desirable

  • Intermediate knowledge of French.

Location

Off site: Home-based.

Travel

Travel to low- and middle-income countries may be required, depending on the Terms of Reference of the individual assignment.

Remuneration and budget (travel costs are excluded):

Remuneration:

Band level B – USD 350 – 499 per day or USD 7,000 – 9,980 per month.
Band level C – USD 500 – 625 per day or USD 10,000 – 12,500 per month.

Living expenses (A living expense is payable to on-site consultants who are internationally recruited):

N/A

Expected duration of contract:

3-11 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: http://www.whed.net/. Some professional certificates may not appear in the WHED and will require individual review.
  • For information on WHO’s operations please visit: http://www.who.int.
  • The WHO is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment of mutual respect. The WHO recruits workforce regardless of disability status, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, language, race, marital status, religious, cultural, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds, or any other personal characteristics.
    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 (https://www.who.int/careers/diversity-equity-and-inclusion) 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 [email protected].
  • 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 (https://www.who.int/about/who-we-are/our-values) 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 short-listed candidates.
  • WHO has a smoke-free environment and does not recruit smokers or users of any form of tobacco.
  • 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 [email protected].
    In case the recruitment website does not display properly, please retry by: (i) checking that you have the latest version of the browser installed (Chrome, Edge or Firefox); (ii) clearing your browser history and opening the site in a new browser (not a new tab within the same browser); or (iii) retry accessing the website using Mozilla Firefox browser or using another device. Click the link for detailed guidance on completing job applications: Instructions for candidates.

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.


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