Senior Scientific Officer (01)


The Ministry of Health (MoH) Cooperative Agreement supported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) aims at supporting the strengthening of the Ministry’s capacity to provide leadership to the national HIV/AIDS response through coordination, policy development, mentorship and training. MoH seeks to recruit suitably qualified and experienced persons to be appointed to the under listed positions under this project.

Job Title:    Senior Scientific Officer (01)
Reports to: Director – Laboratory Systems and Network, ZNPHI
Location:    Zambia National Public Health Institute Laboratory (ZNPHI), Lusaka, Zambia

Job Purpose

The Senior Scientific Officer will support implementation of appropriate laboratory technical standards and guidelines and ensure programs are technically sound. Provides scientific leadership at the Zambia National Public Health Reference Laboratory (ZNPHRL) by staying current of evolving laboratory technical standards, guidelines, and program developments in area of expertise. He/she shall be responsible for sharing new knowledge/evidence with the ZNPHRL team, partners and other stakeholders. The officer responsibilities shall include conducting laboratory assessments, capacity building and strengthening of the laboratories; supporting strategies to enhance diagnostic surveillance systems; and support for improved and sustainable laboratory services both at the national and subnational levels with an emphasis of strengthening the role of the Public Health Reference Laboratories for greater sustainability of laboratory services, including strategies for maintenance of QMS; hub system for specimen referral, testing, and result transmission; Laboratory Information Management Systems (LIMS); biosafety and biosecurity; increased utilization of the National Health Laboratory standards and regulations; and ensuring effective national, regional, and local partnerships and collaborations with technical experts and other professionals. The Senior technical officer will be based at the Zambia National Public Health Reference Laboratory (ZNPHRL). The position is supported under a cooperative agreement between ZNPHI and the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Responsibilities/Principal Accountabilities

• Support the ZNPHI LSN Department in achieving the goals of establishing a functional One Health public health laboratory system and network for Zambia.
• Support laboratory biosafety and biosecurity initiatives work and help to ensure safe working practices.
• Support ongoing development and management of ZNPHL with a focus on strengthening laboratory practice to achieve accreditation to ISO 15189 Standards for Medical Laboratories.
• Support expansion of sentinel surveillance sites for AMR and human and animal diseases.
• Support laboratory detection and reporting of priority pathogens and linking with surveillance systems using a one health approach.
• Support excellence in practice, service delivery and improvement in scientific and technical performance always. This includes supporting innovative ways of delivering services to ensure Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI).
• Contribute to development of laboratory standard operating procedures and other management documents compliant with national and international quality and governance standards.
• Support the development of policies and strategies that ensure effective and efficient day-to-day operational work.
• Support the development of management processes such as supply chain monitoring plan for the laboratories.
• Participating in activities relevant to laboratory committees, working groups and other expert groups as required
• Participate in developing and monitoring of annual work plans and budgets for ZNPHRL and execute the work-plan and budget using team effort.
• Participate and or facilitate in trainings for laboratory staff that include QMS, accreditation programs, laboratory management and any other.
• Conduct assessment of needs for expansion of laboratory testing profiles and placement of new equipment and support operationalization of satellite ZNPHI laboratory sites and public health laboratory network laboratories.
• Supports the development and implementation of continuous improvement initiatives to build laboratory capacity and quality with reference to accepted standards and requirements.
• Assist laboratories with preparing for accreditation through locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally accepted accreditation agencies.
• Supports laboratories in building laboratory network and support in fostering collaboration and networking between the laboratories.
• Support laboratories in data management and data sharing.
• Support the implementation of laboratory-based sentinel surveillance activities and ensure timely laboratory communication of results of notifiable disease from sub national to national level and within the national public health laboratory network.
• Assist with providing technical assistance to establish new diagnostics as they become available.
• Perform other duties as assigned by the Director – LSN.


• Full Grade 12 School Certificate with five O level credits including English and Mathematics
• Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Laboratory Sciences, Biological Sciences, Clinical or Diagnostic discipline is required.
• Postgraduate qualification in a Science field, Public Health field, or any relevant equivalent subject is required.

Experience and Skills

• At least 8 years work experience at senior level.
• Experience with laboratory quality control and quality assurance systems and implementation
• Member of relevant professional body
• Knowledge and experience with strengthening laboratories to achieve international quality standards including against ISO 15189 and/or SLMTA/SLIPTA.
• Familiarity with international biosafety regulations.
• In-depth understanding of relevant laboratory policies, standards, and guidelines.
• Good knowledge of laboratory management.
• Experience of participation in research and donor funded development projects will be an added advantage.
• Knowledge of the ZNPHI and the wider Zambia public health sector and laboratory network will be an added advantage.
• Experience of working with Laboratory Information Management System
• Experience working on a donor funded project will be an asset.
• Excellent communication skills (both written and oral) in English
• Proficiency in use of general computing applications such as MS Excel, Word, Power point
• A team player with strong interpersonal communication skills, relationship building and networking skills
• Strong analytical skills with an ability to evaluate and propose strategic options
• Ability to multi-task (prioritize, organize, schedule work)
• Ability to think critically and strategically in difficult conditions to diplomatically challenge the status quo and encourage shared ownership of outcomes;
• Commitment to ensuring that knowledge transfer and capacity building is central in the work;
• Ability to work under pressure and meet tight deadlines.

How to Apply

All interested persons meeting the above qualifications and experience should send their written applications to the undersigned with certified copies of their National Registration Card, academic and professional qualifications and a detailed Curriculum Vitae with three references including their contact numbers.

Applicants are advised to clearly indicate the position they are applying for on the envelope or subject area in the case of electronic applications email to

The closing date for receipt of applications is Wednesday, 18th January, 2023. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

The Permanent Secretary – (Technical Services)
Ministry of Health
Ndeke House
P.O. Box 30205