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Head of DNA Laboratories, E7, The Hague
International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP)
The Hague, the Netherlands
Full-time
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Posted 1 month ago
Job Description

Why ICMP

Every year, millions of people around the world go missing as a result of conflict, human rights abuses, disasters, organized crime, irregular migration, and other causes. Be part of a growing international organization that is dedicated to tackling this global challenge. To learn more about ICMP click here to see our website, or follow us on Twitter @TheICMP.

What we do

ICMP endeavors to secure the co-operation of governments and other authorities in locating persons missing as a result of conflicts, human rights abuses, disasters, organized violence and other causes and to assist them in doing so. ICMP also supports the work of other organizations in their efforts, encourages public involvement in its activities and contributes to the development of appropriate expressions of commemoration and tribute to the missing.

This Opportunity

ICMP is seeking an individual to lead ICMP’s DNA identification system that relies on integrated DNA testing laboratories, which are located in The Hague. The DNA laboratories have a highly developed capacity to obtain DNA profiles from very difficult cases of unidentified human remains, such as bone samples from decades-old mass graves. ICMP has conducted the world’s largest missing persons DNA testing program, having successfully tested more than 50,000 bone samples and established a database of almost 100,000 family reference DNA profiles to support the identification of almost 20,000 missing persons.

The successful individual will join ICMP during an exciting and rewarding period of growth and expansion. The Head DNA lab will be responsible to maintain the current work, and at the same time, to ensure the lab’s capacities are upgraded in the fields of human identification DNA testing, associated information management systems, infrastructure and through-put capacities. The position will be responsible to expand the lab facilities and grow the team. This role requires someone with outstanding technical expertise, strong organization and superior communication skills. This once in a lifetime career opportunity is ideal for someone who is challenged by change and growth. If this sounds like you, we would like to meet you and invite you to apply!

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Job in Brief

The Head, DNA laboratories' main job duties are the following:

  • Manage the daily laboratory operation including staff, supplies and expenses
  • Understand the DNA Laboratory obligations and ensure that these are met
  • Be responsible for day-to-day planning of laboratory activities and supervision of DNA laboratory casework as well as lab management staff
  • Supervise the Quality Assurance Manager to achieve and maintain laboratory accreditation
  • Oversee the implementation and validation of new forensic techniques, instrumentation, or genetic systems
  • Plan and budget staffing and resources for current and future operations
  • Coordinate the work between ICMP’s DNA laboratory, other ICMP departments and programs and external partners
  • Develop relationships and ensure smooth cooperation with manufacturers, academia and other partners to ensure success in ICMP’s activities
  • Serve as a point of contact with external partners and manufacturers
  • Represent the ICMP prominently in the international scientific community

Job Qualifications

  • Master’s degree or higher in Biological Science, Genetics or related field plus a minimum of 7 years of relevant full-time professional experience in working in a forensic DNA laboratory environment
  • Practical experience in a lab with at least five years managing lab staff at various levels including interns
  • Familiar with DIN/EN ISO 17025 accreditation in a forensic environment
  • Experiences in automation, instrumentation liquid handling solutions, LIMS implementation
  • Profound skills in forensic genetics and complex kinship testing, reporting and testifying as an expert witness
  • Experiences working with low level and degraded DNA samples
  • Excellent written and spoken English language skills
  • Proven ability to interact positively with colleagues regardless of culture, nationality or gender
  • Exceptional attitude and capability regarding professionalism, teamwork and flexibility
  • Proficiency with Microsoft applications (MS Word, Excel, Teams, etc)
  • Willingness and ability to travel to ICMP country program locations (Iraq, Libya, Ukraine for example) or other locations
  • Physical and mental resilience, with the ability to operate effectively in a fast paced and changing work environment while maintaining a healthy work-life equilibrium

Salary and Allowances

This is a full-time position with a competitive base salary at the E 7 level on the ICMP professional salary scale, includes a post adjustment, six weeks of paid leave and extended health and dental benefits. The position is eligible for expatriate benefits including relocation allowance, education allowance for eligible dependent children and dependent health insurance coverage.

This position is based in the international city of peace and justice, The Hague, The Netherlands. The Hague is a comfortable city and appeals to those with a wide range of interests. To learn more about living in The Hague click here. ICMP enjoys exemption from income tax and social security deductions in The Netherlands (staff members are responsible for any income tax in their home country).

Expected start date: The position will be vacant as of 1 October 2022. The start date is as soon as possible.


Review of applications will begin on 7 September 2022; however, the position will remain open until filled.


ICMP is committed to maintaining an environment of mutual respect, where equal employment opportunities are available to all applicants. ICMP believes that diversity and inclusion among our staff are critical to our success as a global organization, and we seek to recruit, develop and retain the most talented individuals from a thoroughly diverse range of candidates. ICMP is proud to be part of the International Gender Champions network.

ICMP may cancel this recruitment without notice, or may decide to offer a position with different duties and/or contract length.

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