Principal Laboratory Scientist for Molecular Diagnosis (AfCDC)

Date: Oct 25, 2023

Location: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Organization: African Union

AU Values 

            • Respect for Diversity and Team Work             • Think Africa Above all                     

            • Transparency and Accountability                    • Integrity and Impartiality                       

            • Efficiency and Professionalism                       • Information and Knowledge Shari

Organization Information

Reports to: Head, Division of Laboratory Systems
Directorate/Department/Organ: Africa CDC 
Division : Africa CDC Reference Laboratories
Number of Direct Reports: 0
Number of Indirect Reports: 0
Job Grade: P4
Number of Positions: 1
Contract Type: Fixed term
Location: Addis Ababa

Purpose of Job

The Principal Lab Scientist for Molecular Diagnosis is responsible for the overall technical leadership and management of the molecular diagnosis laboratory in the Africa CDC Reference Laboratories department. This includes developing and implementing laboratory procedures, training and supervising staff, and ensuring the quality of laboratory results. The Principal Lab Scientist will also work to support the development of new molecular diagnostic technologies and applications.

Main Functions

This job involves the following main functions that are generally applicable for this category:
•    Take technical and intellectual lead in the management of various elements related to the area of expertise
•    Identify best practices and monitor effectiveness of the Africa CDC Lab division.
•    Provide support in the development of the strategies and business continuity plan and participate in/ensure their implementation
•    Foster and ensure implementation of initiatives related to area of specialization;
•    Provide support in the organization of thematic networks, consultations and meetings on development cooperation and international relations.
•    Develop materials and provide necessary training and support to Organization Units as required.
•    Provide technical guidance on matters relating to system review and implementation project in area of specialization, as required. 

Specific Responsibilities

•    Responsible for planning, execution and monitoring of the functioning of the Africa CDC reference laboratory.
•    Conducts advanced laboratory tests for clinical diagnosis, outbreak confirmation, surveillance and research activities.
•    Develops SOPs and guidelines for the  different laboratory methods.
•    Receive urine, blood or other samples for experimentation and analysis.
•    Prepare standard volumetric solutions or reagents to be combined with specimens.
•    Manage and operate laboratory equipment.
•    Test and study blood, urine and other body fluids.
•    Evaluate test results and prepare reports.
•    Maintain laboratory quality assurance and safety standards.
•    Guide and supervise junior staff and technicians.
•    Write medical articles for medical journals.
•    Leads the functioning of microbiology, parasitology, immunology and molecular biology laboratories of the Africa CDC reference laboratories.

Academic Requirements and Relevant Experience

•    Masters in Molecular Biology, Microbiology, or a related field.
•    PhD in the above fields will be an advantage.
•    Ten (10) years of relevant work experience, including six (6) years at expert level in molecular diagnosis 
•    Proven ability to lead and manage a laboratory, quality assurance, data analysis, 
•    Experience with molecular diagnostic technologies, such as PCR, qPCR, and sequencing.
•    Experience with laboratory quality assurance and control.
•    Experience in training and supervising staff.
•    Experience in writing and publishing scientific articles.
•    Experience in networking and building relationships.

Required Skills

•    Excellent report writing skills
•    Strong technical skills in molecular biology and laboratory techniques.
•    Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
•    Strong commitment to the vision and mission of Africa CDC, and a willingness to travel within Africa and abroad as needed
•    Ability to work independently and as part of a team.
•    Proficiency in any one of the AU working languages is a must. Preference is given to fluency in English and French, while knowledge of other African languages is an asset.

Leadership Competencies

Strategic Insight ….

Change Management….

Managing Risk…

Core Competencies

Building Relationship ….

Accountable and Complies with Rules..

..Learning Orientation

Communicating with Influence:

Functional Competencies

Conceptual thinking ….

Job Knowledge and information sharing…

Drive for Result ….

Continuous Improvement Orientation:


The appointment shall be for an initial period of one (1) year, the first three (3) months of which shall be on probation. It shall be renewable subject to performance and availability of funds.


The AU Commission is an equal opportunity employer and qualified women are strongly encouraged to apply.


The salary attached to the position is an annual lump-sum of US$ 110,951.49 (P4 Step 5) inclusive of all allowances for internationally recruited staff, and US$  92,867.97 inclusive of all allowances for locally recruited staff of the African Union Commission.

 Applications must be submitted no later than  November 24, 2023 11h59 p.m. EAT.
-Only candidates who meet all job requirements and are selected for interviews will be contacted.
-Consideration will be given only to those candidates who have submitted a fully completed online application with a curriculum vitae (CV), an African passport, and the required academic qualifications, such as Diplomas, Bachelor’s degrees, Master’s degrees and any relevant certificate in line with the area of expertise.
-The African Union is an equal opportunity employer, and female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
-Candidates from less represented countries within the African Union are strongly encouraged to apply for positions that fit their profiles. These countries include Algeria, Angola, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Comoros, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Eswatini, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Mali, Morocco, Namibia, Niger, Sahrawi D.R., Sao Tome and Principe., Seychelles, Somalia and Tunisia.

Requisition ID: 2025