Research Assistant (Laboratory Services)

This opening expired 7 months ago.

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Application deadline 7 months ago: Thursday 3 Mar 2022 at 22:59 UTC

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This is a G-4 contract. This kind of contract is known as General Service and related categories. It is normally only for nationals. It usually requires 4 years of experience, depending on education. More about G-4 contracts.


The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), is the cancer agency of the World Health Organization (WHO) and is based in Lyon, France.

The purpose of this position is to provide laboratory research support to research activities and projects within the Epigenomics and Mechanisms Branch (EGM), collaboratively within broader collaborations with other teams at IARC and also with external partners. The main responsibilities involve:

  • Epigenomic and genetic biomarker analyses using specialized in-house and external massively parallel sequencing platforms.
  • A variety of standard and advanced molecular biology, cell culture and chemical exposure experiments.
  • Cell culture work in the security level 3 (L3) laboratory.

Under the supervision of a Scientist in the EGM Branch and the Deputy Branch Head, the incumbent will perform the below duties:


  1. Provide technical support to a wide range of collaborative research projects conducted by the EGM Branch, this includes:
  • Ongoing projects on mutation and transcriptomic profiles and epigenomic alterations relevant to human cancers, which are complemented by mechanistic studies relying on advanced molecular and cell biology applications, including e.g. Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeat “CRISPR-Cas9” techniques.
  • Conduct cell-based chemical exposure studies.
  • Pre-process and process samples for (epi) genomics applications on an institutional genomic analysis platform (exome, transcriptome or targeted sequencing, Reduced Representation Bisulfite Sequencing “RRBS”, Assay for Transposase-Accessible Chromatin “ATAC-seq”, Chromatin Immuno-Precipitation “ChIP-seq” and for outsourced applications (whole genome sequencing). This includes the operation of associated auxiliary equipment for nucleic acid quality control.
  • Liaise with the IARC Histopathology lab on archived tissue samples and perform defined processing steps (e.g. tissue macrodissection).
  1. Manage essential daily laboratory operations, this includes:
  • Perform high quality routine maintenance of general laboratory equipment, specialized instruments associated with the sequencing platform and the L3 laboratory.
  • Organize and place requests for laboratory supplies within the team.
  • Recommend and test new equipment and reagents relevant for the team and the Branch’s collaborative research.
  • Organize samples using a Laboratory Information Management System. Store and ship biological samples.
  • Coordinate with the IARC Safety Officer to ensure overall safe operation of the associated laboratory facilities.
  1. Additional organizational and technical responsibilites include:
  • Guide IARC personnel and collaborators on the up-to-date protocols to be followed for compatibility with equipment specifications.
  • Deliver and oversee training sessions of technical protocols to ensure familiarity and proper compliance by the users.
  • Perform any other related duties.


Due to the evolving situation resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, and depending on work requirements, this position may be partly occupied remotely, from the home of the candidate selected in the region Lyon, according to the teleworking clause for force majeure currently in force as part of the IARC teleworking policy during this pandemic period.


  • Producing results
  • Communication
  • Fostering integration and teamwork
  • Moving forward in a changing environment
  • Technical expertise




- Secondary school with scientific orientation or equivalent,

- Specialized training as a laboratory technician recognized by a diploma (BTS, DUT or equivalent).

- Training in molecular and/or cellular biology and/or in biochemistry, chemistry or genetics.

Desirable: -



  • At least three years' of professional experience in laboratory work related to cellular and molecular biology, including some experience in:
  • Next-generation sequencing (NGS).
  • Cell/tissue culture and DNA sequencing.
  • Experience in both standard and advanced techniques in cell/tissue culture, including the security level 3 (L3) laboratory.

Desirable: Knowledge of current software for NGS data generation and primary analysis.


Expert knowledge of either French or English and intermediate or higher knowledge of the other


  • Good knowledge of molecular biology of nucleic acids and cell culture techniques.
  • Very good organizational and presentation skills.
  • Solid English communication skills for presenting and discussing data related to human, animal and experimental sample collections and experimental protocols with international collaborators.
  • Capacity to interact and dialogue with colleagues of diverse backgrounds (notably lab scientists, epidemiologists) and to provide proper advice for easy audience comprehension.
  • Ability to track, follow up on transactions and to meet deadlines.
  • Good technical skills in maintaining complex instruments.

Desirable: -


The fixed remuneration for the above position currently amounts to EUR 3,196 per month, and is expressed net of income tax but before deduction of the employee share contributions for mandatory participation in the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund (UNJSPF) and in the Organization’s private insurance plans covering health, accident, illness and disability.

Other benefits include different types of leave and allowances for dependent family members.

Employment status is that of an international civil servant.

Note: due to the legal status of WHO/IARC as an international organization, its staff do not contribute to and do not generate benefits in French mandatory schemes for health insurance (“assurance maladie”), pension (“assurance vieillesse/retraite or unemployment (“Pôle-Emploi”) throughout their period of employment with the Agency.


  • This post is subject to local recruitment and will be filled by persons residing in the local commuting area of Lyon.
  • We only accept applications submitted via our online recruitment tool (applications for this position should be filled out in English and include a cover letter in English). Application profiles should include the details of all work experiences to date (including paid internships).
  • This vacancy notice may be used to fill other similar positions at the same grade level.
  • Only candidates under serious consideration will be contacted.
  • A written test and/or presentation may be used as a form of screening.
  • In the event that your candidature is retained for an interview, you will be required to provide, in advance, a scanned copy of the degree(s)/diploma(s)/certificate(s) required for this position. IARC/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: Some professional certificates may not appear in the WHED and will require individual review.
  • Any appointment/extension of appointment is subject to IARC/WHO Staff Regulations, Staff Rules and Manual.
  • For information on IARC’S operations please visit:
  • IARC/WHO is committed to workforce diversity.
  • IARC/WHO's workforce adheres to the WHO Values Charter and is committed to put the WHO Values into practice.
  • IARC/WHO has a smoke-free environment and does not recruit smokers or users of any form of tobacco.
  • Applications from women are encouraged.
Added 7 months ago - Updated 7 months ago - Source: