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Senior Forensic Officer (P-4)

The Hague

  • Organization: OPCW - Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
  • Location: The Hague
  • Grade: Mid level - P-4, International Professional - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Legal - Broad
    • Biology and Chemistry
    • Criminology, Extremism, Police Affairs and Anti-Corruption
    • Medical Doctor
  • Closing Date: 2024-05-31

About Us


The IIT is comprised of a multi-disciplinary team of staff, which includes experienced investigators, analysts and a legal adviser who are led by a Chief Coordinator. The team conducts its activities in an impartial and objective manner. The IIT is part of the OPCW Technical Secretariat and functions under the authority of the OPCW Director-General.



General Information

  • Contract Type
    Fixed-term Professional

  • Grade

  • Total Estimated monthly remuneration depending on post adjustment and family status: USD

  • Closing Date



Job Summary

The position is in the OPCW Investigation and Identification Team (IIT). The Director-General established the Investigation and Identification Team (IIT) pursuant to the Decision by the Conference of the States Parties entitled “Addressing the Threat from Chemical Weapons Use” (C-SS-4/DEC.3, dated 27 June 2018). The team conducts its activities in an impartial and objective manner, in line with the methodologies and best practices of international investigative bodies and commissions of inquiry.

OPCW is looking for a dedicated professional with hands on experience in complex international or national investigations, expertise in applying forensic techniques and methodologies, and knowledge of theories, concepts, methodologies, and approaches to information gathering. 

The incumbent will undertake and oversee identification, collection and compilation of good practices, will also plan and support the IIT’s investigative and information gathering activities as required, including by collecting and analysing relevant information, evidence and data, and recommending and implementing appropriate forensic and investigative techniques.

Main Responsibilities

The incumbent will work under the overall supervision of the Chief Coordinator of the IIT, in close coordination with relevant IIT team members and scientific and technical experts.

Reviews and takes stock of investigative practices and procedures within the IIT and other investigative and fact-finding mechanisms as appropriate in order to build and transfer a repository of knowledge and good practices as per C/SS-4/DEC.3 paragraph 20.

Reviews, develops and updates as required internal guidance on IIT investigative and forensic procedures.

Plans, participates and substantively contributes in the investigations being conducted by the IIT, including by undertaking travel to conduct investigations.

Advises on investigative and forensic procedures and techniques to be used.

Provides technical expertise and advice on appropriate forensic and laboratory analysis methods, in coordination with the IIT scientific experts and the OPCW Laboratory.

Collects, screens, and handles information from all sources, including through in-person interviews.

Analyses, interprets, and compares information and evidence.

Is responsible for the development of leads and avenues of investigation, and manages contacts with external counterparts including victims, witnesses and partners as mandated.

Participates in the preparation, implementation and timely review of investigation plans at the different stages of the investigative cycle.

Drafts mission reports, interview summaries and other products as required, in a timely manner.

Regularly and thoroughly reviews analytical work products to determine further investigative actions, including forensic analysis, and engages with, and receives input from, relevant team members, experts and consultants.

Coordinates and liaises, as mandated, with relevant OPCW teams and branches.

Collates evidence obtained during investigations, ensuring the safe-keeping, recording, preservation and management of all evidence, statements and other relevant materials in line with OPCW and IIT procedures and practices.

Assists in the drafting of reports, including investigative findings.

Implements and/or updates systems, protocols and procedures to ensure that investigations are conducted professionally, efficiently, and effectively.

Provides expert advice on how to use existing international and national networks to support the Team.

Works harmoniously and collaboratively with all team members and experts, and supervises consultants and interns as mandated.

Provides input to budgetary and procurement planning and processes.

Supports, inputs to, and delivers training programmes to IIT and OPCW personnel.

Takes responsibility for the planning, logistics and administrative aspects of the investigative deployments.

Qualifications and Experience



Advanced University degree in forensic science, forensic chemistry, criminal investigation, crime analysis, international law, social/political science, or other related fields.



Additional certifications in forensic investigations, digital forensics, forensic chemistry, crime analysis and other relevant disciplines from recognised institutions (including, but not limited to, military, police, judicial/prosecutorial, federal/national intelligence agencies) would be highly desirable.


Knowledge and Experience


A minimum of 7 years of progressively responsible experience at a senior level in complex international or national investigations.
Proven experience in applying forensic science in national or international investigations.
Knowledge and hands-on experience of theories, concepts, methodologies, and approaches to information gathering, including interviewing techniques and evidence preservation.
Experience in developing guidance in the domain of forensics and/or international investigations.


Formal training and/or certification in forensic chemistry and/or digital forensics.
Proven experience in applying forensic techniques and methodologies, with an emphasis on forensic chemistry and/or digital forensics, at the international level.
Prior international experience with scientific institutes, international courts or tribunals, international fact-finding commissions or groups of experts.
Experience in developing methodologies for, and in undertaking, the collection of investigative and forensic best practices and lessons learned.
Relevant work experience in the Middle East, including international investigations, fact-finding and/or human rights inquiries.
Previous experience with, or exposure to, the work of forensic institutes and/or chemistry laboratories.


Skills and Competencies

Excellent ability to organize and analyse complex sets of records and facts;

Proven ability in gathering data, and evidence, and interviewing suspects and witnesses with minimal or no supervision.

Be open-minded to consider alternative thinking.

Ability to postulate and identify a range of possible hypotheses as investigations progress.

Ability to organise and draw sound conclusions and be able to re-evaluate initial conclusions on the basis of new information.

Proposes a course of action or makes a recommendation based on all available information.

Innovative and creative problem-solving skills.

Proven ability to use of various research methodologies and sources, chemical analytical data, digital imagery and open-source materials.

Ability to plan, work, and manage conflicting priorities.

Excellent communication skills.

Excellent ability to communicate effectively with forensic, academic or other relevant networks.

Ability to draft/edit a variety of written reports, complex investigation, interview and mission reports.

Outstanding interpersonal and diplomatic skills; demonstrated ability to work in a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity. 

Sound understanding of the concepts and practices of Knowledge Management and their application to forensics and/or international investigations and fact-finding.

Availability to travel as required.

Performs other work-related duties as required.


Fluency in English and Arabic is essential. Good working knowledge of one of the other official languages
(Chinese, French, Russian, and Spanish) is an asset.

Additional Information

This fixed-term appointment is for the duration of two years with a six-month probationary period, and is subject to the OPCW Staff Regulations and Interim Staff Rules.

The OPCW is a non-career organisation with limited staff tenure. The total length of service for Professional staff shall not exceed 7 years.

The mandatory age of separation at the OPCW is 65 years.

The Director-General retains the discretion to not make any appointment to this vacancy, to make an appointment at a lower grade, or to make an appointment with a modified job description. Several vacancies may be filled.

Only fully completed applications submitted before the closing date and through OPCW CandidateSpace will be considered. Only applicants under serious consideration for a post will be contacted.

Fixed-term staff members participate in the OPCW Provident Fund. A monthly staff contribution is met with a doubled amount by the OPCW under the provisions for social security. As the OPCW is exploring membership of the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund (UNJSPF), staff participation in the Provident Fund may be replaced by participation in the UNJSPF effective 1 January 2025.

Applications from qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged.


OPCW General Terms and Conditions


Important notice for applicants who are currently insured under the Dutch Social Security system

Although headquartered in the Netherlands, the OPCW is not a regular Dutch employer but a public international organisation with its own special status. Please be advised that if you are currently insured under the Dutch Social Security system, you will be excluded from this system as a staff member of the OPCW. You will consequently be insured under the organisation’s system. The above also applies to your dependents unless they are employed by a regular Dutch employer, they are self-employed in the Netherlands, or are receiving Dutch social security payments.

Please refer to the website of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment for more information about the possible consequences for you and your dependents, such as exclusion from ‘AWBZ’ and ‘Zorgverzekeringswet’ coverage: ‘Werken bij een internationale organisatie’.

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.