Laboratory Assistant Archivist

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It’s a complicated process, but Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia (CIDRZ) is uniquely positioned to guide it. Using our strong technical expertise and years of experience in the field, our strong relationships with the Zambian government, and our ability to leverage funding from multiple international donors, we are uniquely positioned to identify and address health problems in the country and the African region. The CIDRZ approach is effective. We conduct intensive needs assessments to understand the ongoing challenges for the local health systems. We engage relevant partners to design and implement realistic solutions. We monitor our progress towards improved health outcomes, both at the individual and population level. The interplay between each step is critical and the result is a continuous loop that allows us to take past experiences to inform future decisions. Through this process, we have steadily expanded access to care and improved healthcare quality across a range of services. In addition, because our sole focus is on Zambia, we have a nuanced understanding of health systems on the ground and are able to nimbly respond to priorities identified by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Community Development Mother and Child Health.


Laboratory Assistant Archivist – LA/LB/30/11/17 – Lusaka

Reporting to the Pre/Post Analytical Supervisor, the Laboratory Assistant Archivist has the overall responsibility for management, operation and maintenance of specimen archive system. This system includes all -80c freezers located within the central laboratory, all specimens stored within these freezers, specimen archive software and all paper and electronic freezer box maps. S/he will acquire and maintain an in-depth knowledge of specimen handling, storage and shipping conditions and procedures required by all project protocols and SOPs.

Consult and report to Operations Manager and the Pre/Post Analytical Supervisor on any issues that affect the accurate and successful implementation of projects and the functioning of the specimen archive system.

Catalogues all archived specimens and reconcile any discrepancies between the paper and electronic box maps. Maintain accurate records of all archived specimens and ensure that these records are available to the appropriate program, study and laboratory staff. Schedule and maintain an accurate record of all maintenance and repair performed on CIDRZ laboratory freezers, fridges and any other specimen storage tools to ensure they are in optimal operating conditions. Work with program and laboratory staff to develop protocols and standard operating procedures [SOPs] for proper specimen handling, storage, retrieval and shipping of all archived specimens to and from central lab. Acquire and maintain an in-depth knowledge of the specimen archive software, LIMS, LDMS and other relevant computer software and systems. Train program and laboratory staff on proper use of the specimen archive software for entry of new specimens into the archive and retrieval of information and/or specimens from archive. Supervise adherence to protocols and quality of work that laboratory staff responsible for handling and processing of specimens destined for the archive and for specimens to be removed for testing, shipping or destruction. Design and perform QA/QC checks of all studies and projects that are part of the specimen archive system. Prepare daily, weekly and monthly reports as required, attend monitoring visit debriefs as required. Ensure that adequate freezer space is assigned to users and is properly documented. Work with laboratory staff to ensure adequate supplies of cryo boxes, freezer racks and paper box maps. Ensure proper use and maintenance of all specimen archive computers, software and paper and electronic box maps. Whenever requested pull out samples while verifying dates, visits and any other details so as to maintain good laboratory practice. Record temperature of all the freezers in the freezer room and report any discrepancies to the supervisor or designate. Help in putting together every shipment request be it for the network studies or non-network. Review and validate results in the absence of the Pre/Post Analytical Supervisor. Assist the Pre/Post Analytical Supervisor in supervising handling of both study and routine specimens.


Scientific or Technical certificate or 3 years’ similar work experience

Full grade 12 certificate

Knowledge and competence in the use of the LDMS preferred

Competent in the use of Ms Excel, Word and Power point

Working hours are subject to negotiation. Early morning, evening or weekend hours may be required, especially during the implementation and the first months of the study (not exceeding 40 hours weekly)

Experience in maintenance of biobanking equipment such was cold rooms, freezers and LN2 will be added advantage

How to apply

Suitably qualified candidates are invited to apply; however only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. Please send application letter quoting the reference number above, relevant academic and professional certificates, and detailed CV with day-time telephone number(s) to:

The CIDRZ Human Resources Director,

PO Box 34681,