Research Assistant / Lab Technician at icipe

On Friday, September 20th, 2013
icipe – African Insect Science for Food and Health is an intergovernmental organisation funded by governmental aid agencies, UN organisations and private foundations to carry out research and training in environmentally sound and sustainable management of arthropods for improving health and agricultural productivity in the tropics.
icipe has 400 staff to support its research and capacity building programmes located at various sites in Kenya and Ethiopia.

icipe wishes to urgently recruit a suitable person to fill the position of Research Assistant / Lab Technician in the HEG-Mosquito Control Project.

Ref. No. NRS/35/092013

The position is tenable in Nairobi, Kenya at the icipe Duduville campus. 
This is a two-year contract, with a possibility of extension after successfully completing a six-month probation period of the first contract.

Overall purpose of the job

  • Maintain and oversee proper use and functioning of an Arthropod Containment Level 2 (ACL-2) facility
  • Ensure that containment guidelines of the ACL-2 facility are adhered to, and updated as necessary
  • Conduct training on functions and guidelines in the facility to new staff
  • Adhere to and ensure that all users comply with relevant ACL-2 policy and biosafety regulations
  • Conduct serological, biochemical and molecular (bio)assays
  • Maintain mosquito colonies in accordance with ACL-2 containment guidelines
  • Develop standard operating procedures (SOPs) and assay protocols
  • Maintain equipment inventories, and ensure their proper functioning
  • Maintain sample and reagent storage records
  • Facilitate timely procurement of supplies.
Specific Responsibilities and Duties

a) Implement, maintain and lead a robust arthropod containment and biosafety programme for all laboratory and insectary work by ensuring:

  • That the available space in the laboratory and the ACL-2 facility is utilised appropriately with full adherence to biosafety standards and regulations;
  • That all insectary personnel and students admitted to the laboratory are appropriately trained and qualified for the work at hand;
  • Proper maintenance of all personnel training records and schedules;
  • Routine cross-training and co-learning activities with partner ACL-2 facilities;
  • Proper storage and management of laboratory equipment, consumables, supplies and records;
  • That all pieces of laboratory equipment are in good working order and are closely and continuously monitored according to the SOPs.

b) Oversee and conduct scientific experiments
  • Perform in-vitro biochemical and molecular assays such as ELISA, PCR, population genetic analyses, etc.
  • Conduct semi-field mosquito behavioural studies such as host seeking behaviour, oviposition, mating, dispersal, etc.
  • Design and conduct experiments to assess mosquito fitness and vectorial capacity
  • Establish and maintain mosquito colonies for experimental work
  • Write scientific reports
  • Participate in scientific workshops and video-conferences
  • Publish scientific work in peer-reviewed journals;
c) Comply with any other duties and responsibilities as assigned by the Project PI or his/her designee

Knowledge required for performing the job

  • Demonstrated experience in rearing and maintenance of mosquito colonies and screen-house mosquito bioassays is mandatory
  • Knowledge and experience with laboratory and insectary quality standards, biosafety and biosecurity
  • Good interpersonal and management skills
  • Good communication skills
  • Experience in database computer skills and statistical analyses;
Requirements / Qualifications

A Higher National Diploma or higher (non-doctoral) qualification in biomedical sciences or a related discipline with at least 2 years of relevant work experience.


This position reports to the Principal Investigator, HEG Mosquito Control Project.

How to Apply

Only electronic applications will be accepted.

Applications will be accepted up to 27th September 2013, or until the position is filled, whichever is earlier. 

Please quote the job reference number NRS/35/092013 on the email subject line. 
Send an application (including current salary details and anticipated remuneration package), with a current CV with names and addresses of 3 referees (including e-mail addresses and fax numbers), copies of transcripts or academic certificates and relevant testimonials. 
Electronic copies must be sent to [email protected] and copied to ( [email protected]). 
Only applications of shortlisted candidates will be acknowledged.

icipe is an Equal Opportunity Employer

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