You are here

Medical laboratory staff and scientists

We receive occasional requests for experienced medical laboratory staff and scientists to help strengthen and improve hospitals' ability to diagnose and treat their patients.

Roles generally range from one to two years.

You’ll have a degree in biomedical science, microbiology or a related field with at least two years’ experience in a hospital laboratory. Ideally you'll also have experience of training or mentoring others.

What you’ll be doing

Strong diagnostic facilities are essential in providing effective healthcare and fighting HIV and AIDS. In many poorer countries, general laboratory systems need improving, so that treatment for vulnerable patients can be improved.

You’ll be working with local laboratory staff to improve analysis techniques and develop services. 

Example placement

Placement for: Biomedical engineer

Country: Ethiopia

Based in Mekelle University you will help to build the capacity of the university, both to improve current service delivery and to make full use of the new facilities being developed.

What does the role involve?:

The major health problems in Ethiopia remain largely preventable communicable diseases and nutritional disorders. Despite major progress that has been made to improve the health status of the population in the last fifteen years, Ethiopia’s population still faces a high rate of morbidity and mortality and its health status remains poor. The main objective of this placement is to support the Mekelle University to improve the access to, and quality and efficiency of, healthcare provision. You will help to build the capacity of the university, both to improve current service delivery and to make full use of the new facilities being developed. Key responsibilities will include:

  • Medical equipment assessment and identification of maintenance requirements
  • Action planning for maintenance provision, assessing capacity of the volunteer and any support needed   
  • Medical equipment maintenance 
  • Support other hospitals in the region alongside Mekelle University
  • Support other VSO supported hospitals in consultation of other volunteers
  • May involve joint teaching sessions, workshops or research

Skills, qualifications and experience required

You can apply for this role if you have a BSc in Biomedical Engineering and have completed your general biomedical engineering training. It would be desirable if you were to have a Masters of Science in Biomedical Engineering, but not essential. The volunteer should be able to perform advanced maintenance of medical equipment and experience of teaching and sharing skill maintenance of medical equipment would be beneficial. These roles would be suited to someone who has good interpersonal, networking and communication skills, integrity, positive attitude and willingness to contribute to national health program and the ability to maintain confidentiality. Patience and flexibility about working in a resource limited where the health system is poor and commitment to make a difference in the health system of the country are important.

And the rest...

Mekelle is a large town situated in the northernmost region of Ethiopia. It lies at an altitude of 2,200m and so is not malarial. Its fast-growing population is currently in the region of 140,000. Facilities are very good, with an excellent range of shops, cafés and restaurants, and a large and interesting market. The university is situated on a hill overlooking the city, between 2 and 3 km from the centre. There is frequent minibus transport to the university (5-10 minutes), or it could be walked. While on placement, we’ll ask you to commit to 3-6 months to make a sustainable contribution to our development goals. In return, we’ll give you comprehensive financial, personal and professional support. We'll provide you with extensive training including language classes before your placement, and our financial package includes a local living allowance, return flights, accommodation, insurance and more. When you return to your home country, we'll support you to resettle. 

Next steps

Search roles and apply

Explore currently available roles and apply now.

Not ready to apply yet?

Register with us to get updates on available roles and news from VSO.