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Senior Forensic Geneticist based in Armenia (12 months assignment)

Requisition ID:  16993
Region:  Europe & Central Asia
Contract type:  Max term contract

What we do


The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) works worldwide to provide humanitarian assistance to people affected by conflict and armed violence. We take action in response to emergencies and at the same time promote respect for international humanitarian law. We are an independent and neutral organization, and our mandate stems essentially from the Geneva Conventions of 1949. We work closely with National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and with their International Federation in order to ensure a concerted, rational and rapid humanitarian response to the needs of the victims of armed conflict or any other situation of internal violence. We direct and coordinate the international activities conducted in these situations.

Role description


Are you the Forensic Genetic Specialist who can support us in supervising and managing ICRC genetics forensic activities in Armenia?

Based in Erevan, you will be responsible, with the supervision of the Forensic Coordinator, for the clarification of the fate and whereabouts of missing persons in connection with conflicts of the 1990s and 2020 and their aftermath.

Main responsibilities


  • Provide technical support in the Missing Project Identification to the Scientific Practical Center of Forensic Medicine DNA Laboratory (50%), closely collaborating with the laboratory personnel and management.
  • Perform a laboratory assessment, observe the sample processing, and identify steps in the DNA identification process that require improvement.
  • Give technical advice and guidance to ensure the implementation of anticontamination measures and best genetic forensic practices in all phases of DNA processing.
  • Advise on equipment/instruments, genetic software, and consumables as needed. 
  • Provide mentorship for optimisation and validation of processes.
  • Instruct personnel in DNA database management & matching using DNA View software. 
  • Give presentations and training for the required steps of DNA identification.


Other responsibilities (50%) include:

  • Mapping partners and evaluating the current educational opportunities in forensic genetics both in Armenia and internationally, following a needs assessment.
  • Being the point of contact on all genetic issues for the Forensic Coordinator (review of strategy, technical and institutional relevant reporting and documents, including data protection issues and application of international standards).
  • Assisting with the review of laws governing the identification process, gap analysis, and development of recommendations to improve legal aspects of the identification process (sample collection, DNA profiling, methods used, etc.).
  • Supporting the development of internal and external communication on forensic genetic and overall forensic team strategy.

Desired profile and skills


  • Masters' degree or equivalent (e.g., MA, MS, and MSc) in biological, genetic, or forensic sciences.
  • Proven experience for at least 8 years in forensic practice in human rights or humanitarian investigations or MPI/DVI investigations in several different operational contexts.
  • Extensive hands-on laboratory experience in DNA analysis and interpretation of DNA profiles, especially challenging samples (e.g. human remains).
  • Proficiency in DNA matching softwares (e.g. Familias, DNA View, etc.) and DNA kinship on Missing Project Identification or Disaster victim identification (DVI) on large scale.
  • Proficiency in statistical evaluation of a genetic match.
  • Proven practice in DNA Data management (DNA profiles of family reference, and post-mortem samples and related information).
  • Experience of working in a DNA laboratory accredited according to ISO/IEC 17025 standard. Experience with Quality Management Systems, Procedures and Standards of forensic genetic casework.
  • Experience in developing technical and non-technical guidelines and protocols
  • Experience with the management of genetic data of persons who went missing in connection to conflicts/MPI/DVI.
  • Multi-disciplinary knowledge and experience related to the legal and scientific identification of human remains and an integrated forensic reconciliation process.  
  • Extensive command in data management strategies, methodologies and implementation, including electronic databases.
  • Networking and project management experience. 
  • Dedication towards highest forensic scientific and ethical standards.
  • Proven skills in delivering forensic genetic training and a capacity to adapt the message to diverse audiences.
  • Professional experience in diverse environments, including gender equality.

Our operational & field constraints


  • In line with the principle of neutrality, the ICRC does not assign personnel to a country of which they are nationals.
  • Candidates must possess a driving license (for manual transmission vehicles).
  • Applicants must be prepared to accept unaccompanied postings (i.e. no spouse, partner, children, or dependents) for six months minimum.
  • The person hired needs to be in good health and will have to do a medical check-up prior to departure in the field.

What we offer


  • Rewarding work in a humanitarian and multicultural environment with attractive salary and social benefits.
  • Institutional onboarding programme and other opportunities for further in-house training.
  • Opportunity to join an ICRC talent pool and be considered for future assignments elsewhere.
  • One return trip to the employee’s contractual domicile accompanied by family members.
  • Maternity and adoption leave of four months and paternity leave of ten days.

Additional information


Length of assignment: 12 months
Starting date: as soon as possible
Application closing date: 25 April 2021


The ICRC values diversity and is committed to create an inclusive working environment. We welcome applications from all qualified candidates.


Apply today!