Diagnostics Advisor

  • Mid-level, Full-time staff position
  • Posted on 7 March 2019
  • Rockville, Maryland, United States
  • Closing on 6 May 2019
  • Current

Job Description


The Diagnostics Advisor (DA) will support the diagnostics systems capacity building work for the USAID Infectious Diseases Detection and Surveillance (IDDS) project that serves the Global Health Security Agenda, TB programs and other related initiatives. IDDS supports select governments and their relevant ministries in the strengthening of their human and animal health diagnostic systems for infectious diseases, TB and antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The work will focus primarily on public health systems but may also include private health and other non-governmental diagnostic facilities (laboratories and point-of-care facilities). The position will be based in the prime’s Rockville, MD office, and will involve frequent international travel. Technical responsibilities include working with the Senior Diagnostics Advisor, ICF (project prime) and USAID to implement agreed strategies to enhance diagnostic networks (both human and animal health and point-of-care facilities) in project countries as well as the broader surveillance systems.

Technical Responsibilities:

The DA provides technical support to the design, implementation and monitoring of technical strategies to strengthen diagnostic networks that provide comprehensive coverage and universal access to diagnostic services. This will include diagnostic network and facilities assessments, capacity building initiatives of both human and animal diagnostic networks, and implementation of strategies, programs or tools to support diagnostic network capacity building. Specifically:

  • Supports the development and implementation of technical assistance, diagnostic network and facility strengthening and quality improvement interventions in line with joint external evaluation (JEE) reports, country national action plans and other assessment reports.
  • Supports the development of country-specific workplans and budgets for diagnostic network activities aligned with JEE and local stakeholder improvement goals.
  • Supports the implementation of diagnostic network enhancement activities in countries which may include capacity building activities for core diagnostic components such as specimen referral mechanisms, quality management systems, supply chain, management information systems, diagnostic SOPs and tools, qualified workforce, expansion of point-of-care diagnostic service points, and biosafety and biosecurity.
  • Supports reporting of diagnostic network strengthening activities.
  • In close collaboration with IDDS staff and diagnostic network leaders supports the monitoring of network enhancement activities as per approved workplans.
  • Provides technical support based upon expertise with diagnostic systems strengthening, methods and strategies, current practice, and established diagnostic and operational standards while also being locally relevant and sustainable.
  • Builds capacity in country-level, regional or global diagnostic staff.
  • Supports the development and implementation of strategies, workplans and quality improvement programs for diagnostic networks and facilities supported by IDDS with reference to accepted standards and requirements.
  • In close collaboration with IDDS surveillance staff, provides technical assistance to diagnostic networks to strengthen the accuracy and timeliness of reporting into national reporting databases such as DHIS2.
  • Encourages and assists laboratories with preparing for and seeking accreditation through locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally accepted accreditation agencies, contingent on country demand.
  • Shares new knowledge/evidence and best practices with the project team, partners and host countries.
  • Will be required to coordinate and work with a diverse group of organizations, such as; the Ministry of Health and Agriculture, diagnostic leaders and facility staff, several international and national development partner organizations, and the donor.

Applied Knowledge & Skills:

  • In-depth functional knowledge of clinical diagnostics and diagnostic networks and quality management systems.
  • In-depth functional knowledge of the diagnostics for infectious diseases (including TB) and anti-microbial resistance
  • Knowledge of the mechanisms and strategies that are being deployed under the Global Health Security Agenda and other similar mechanisms to combat emerging infectious threats and anti-microbial resistance
  • Good understanding of the external environment and how it affects diagnostic network functioning in general, including political, legal, environmental, financial and social influences.
  • Strong capacity building skills.
  • Ability to exchange information, present recommendations and collaborate with colleagues and peers within IDDS and externally.


  • A minimum of an MSc in clinical diagnostics.
  • At least five years of experience (combination of long-term in-country placement and short term technical assistance) in diagnostics strengthening in developing countries.
  • Proven knowledge and experience in the diagnosis of infectious diseases (including TB) and anti-microbial resistance including specific hands-on clinical diagnostics experience.
  • Competent in current developments in the diagnosis of infectious diseases including point-of-care and molecular methods.
  • Knowledge with strengthening laboratories to achieve international quality standards including against ISO 15189 and/or SLMTA/SLIPTA or in-country standards.
  • A demonstrated ability to work with multiple partners on collaborative projects;
  • Experience implementing diagnostic network capacity building.

Supervision Given/Received:

  • May supervise other FHI 360 IDDS staff members in multiple countries (including in Asia and Africa).
  • Plays a coaching and mentoring role for others; may assist in team management as necessary, although has no formal people management responsibility.

This job description summarizes the main duties of the job. It neither prescribes nor restricts the exact tasks that may be assigned to carry out these duties. This document should not be construed in any way to represent a contract of employment. Management reserves the right to review and revise this document at any time.

FHI 360 fosters the strength and health of its workforce through a competitive benefits package, professional development and policies and programs that support healthy work/life balance. Join our global workforce to make a positive difference for others — and yourself.

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FHI 360 is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. FHI 360 is an equal employment and affirmative action employer whereby we do not engage in practices that discriminate against any person employed or seeking employment based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, marital status, disability, veteran status, genetic information or any other status or characteristic protected under applicable law.

About the Organization

About FHI 360: FHI 360 is a nonprofit human development organization dedicated to improving lives in lasting ways by advancing integrated, locally driven solutions. Our staff includes experts in health, education, nutrition, environment, economic development, civil society, gender, youth, research and technology — creating a unique mix of capabilities to address today's interrelated development challenges. FHI 360 serves more than 70 countries and all U.S. states and territories. We are currently seeking qualified candidates for the position of: Technical Advisor

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