Call for expressions of interest in a technical consultancy on measles and rubella laboratory accreditation

Laboratory expert to support 2017 accreditation review of the European Measles and Rubella Laboratory Network 

The Vaccine-preventable Diseases and Immunization Programme (VPI) of the Division of Communicable Diseases, Health Security and Environment is seeking a consultant in the area of measles and rubella reference laboratory accreditation. 

Closing date for applications: 1 March 2016. 

If you are qualified and interested in providing consultancy support to VPI according to the below terms of reference, please send a letter of interest and curriculum vitae (preferably in the format of a WHO Personal history form (PHF) by 1 March 2016 to, mentioning "Application to consultancy - MR Lab" in the subject line. 


High-quality laboratory investigation is critical to understanding the impact of a country's vaccination programme and assessing the progress toward disease elimination. Therefore, it constitutes a key pillar to achieve the European Vaccine Action Plan's objectives and targets. 

To facilitate high-quality laboratory investigation, WHO/Europe coordinates a Measles-Rubella Laboratory Network (LabNet). Established in 2002 and comprising a total of 72 laboratories, LabNet consists of National Reference Laboratories supervised by Regional Reference Laboratories. Of the 53 Member States in the Region, 48 have nominated a national measles-rubella reference lab. Three regional reference laboratories, in Luxembourg, Berlin (Germany) and Moscow (Russian Federation), in addition to the global specialized laboratory in London (United Kingdom), each supervise a subregion. Some Member States have nominated one or several WHO-recognized subnational laboratories. 

WHO/Europe supervises an annual accreditation review, with the aim of ensuring high-quality laboratory investigation for measles and rubella in the Region. This programme assesses the performance of the participating laboratories based on the number of IgM tests conducted, the timeliness and completeness of reporting laboratory data, including virus detection and genotyping, the score in proficiency testing and confirmatory testing, the implementation of quality control measures and the score from the on-site review, conducted annually by the Regional LabNet Coordinator or a designated delegate. 

WHO/Europe is seeking a consultant with a background in medical microbiology/virology laboratory to support the annual accreditation desk review of LabNet for 2017.

Tasks and deliverables 

Scope of work and tasks:  

  • to review data (2015) from the annual accreditation checklists submitted by LabNet members (68 checklists are expected from national and subnational laboratories, of which 23 are in Russian); 
  • to identify missing information in the checklists and request clarifications to laboratories accordingly; 
  • to tabulate the data of the checklists (populate the accreditation summary Excel database for the current year); 
  • to prepare the WHO/Europe individual summary table with recommendations for each laboratory; and
  • to discuss key issues and regularly update the Regional LabNet Coordinator during the contract period. 


  • clarification requests sent to laboratories
  • 68 individual review summary tables completed 
  • regional compilation table completed. 

Contract duration 

The contract is for 30 days of work between 1 April and 31 May 2016. 

Qualifications, experience, skills and languages 


  • laboratory background (MD or PhD) 
  • specialist in medical microbiology/virology. 


  • at least 7 years of documented work experience in and/or with medical microbiology/virology laboratories 
  • work experience with WHO or another international public health organization/UN agency is desirable. 


  • laboratory quality management o laboratory accreditation criteria and procedures 
  • IT skills: Excel
  • knowledge of WHO laboratory networks is an asset. 


  • fluency in verbal and written communication in English 
  • working knowledge of Russian is an asset. NB. If a non-Russian-speaking consultant is selected, translation service will be provided as needed. 


  • The consultant will work under the supervision of Dr Myriam Ben Mamou, Regional LabNet Coordinator, WHO/Europe. 


  • The consultant will work on premises (UN City, Copenhagen, Denmark) and off premises (home-based). Travel to Copenhagen will be involved 1–3 times.