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Pathologist (WHO Classification of Tumours series)

Lyons (United States of America)

  • Organization: WHO - World Health Organization
  • Location: Lyons (United States of America)
  • Grade: P-3, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Human Resources
    • Biology and Chemistry
  • Closing Date: 2021-09-30

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The Evidence Synthesis and Classification Branch (ESC) produces the WHO Classification of Tumours, the IARC Monographs on the Identification of Carcinogenic Hazards to Humans, and the IARC Handbooks of Cancer Prevention. For each volume, IARC convenes international, interdisciplinary Working Groups of expert scientists to systematically review the pertinent scientific literature and to develop consensus evaluations and classifications.

The dedicated Blue Books team is responsible for the preparation and publication of the WHO Classification of Tumours series (WHO Blue Books), which are the international standard of histopathological and genetic classification of human neoplasms:

  • IARC provides a timely, definitive synthesis and evaluation for tumour classification based on expert consensus review of reproducible peer-reviewed published evidence.
  • The WHO Blue Books provide the user with a unique synthesis of histopathological diagnosis with digital and molecular pathology to guide cancer diagnosis. This underpins individual patient treatment, as well as research into all aspects of cancer causation, prevention, therapy, and education.
  • The WHO Blue Books are available in multiple formats to meet the needs of users in low, middle and high-income countries.

More information about the WHO Blue Books and the work of the ESC Branch at IARC can be found at the following links:

This position of Pathologist is required to support the WHO Classification of Tumours in which excellence of pathology editing is key to ensure consistency and accuracy. The incumbent will work closely with teams of the most senior pathologists and other clinicians worldwide in finalising text and figures for the WHO Blue Books.

Note: Start date for this position is normally set for as soon as possible. However, in light of the evolving Covid-19 situation (notably in terms of confinement and travel restrictions), the start date of the position may be impacted until such date that the successful candidate be able to physically report for duty in Lyon, France.


Key duties of the incumbent include:

1) Provide pathology support required to produce the WHO Blue Books. Specific tasks include the following:

  • Participating in the development of leadership, coordination and management of the WHO Blue Books and the ESC Branch;
  • Assisting in the choice of editors and contributors for the WHO Blue Books;
  • Participating in WHO Blue Book editorial board meetings;
  • Assisting contributors in developing their content for the WHO Blue Books, including generation and annotation of images suitable for publication;
  • Working with Layout editorial staff within IARC to ensure the accuracy of the WHO Blue Books;
  • Assisting in the production of high quality online content for the WHO Blue Books.

2) Develop research in collaboration with the Branch and Blue Books team in tumour classification using computational pathology methods based on whole slide imaging, and/or systematic review.

3) Contribute to pathology support within IARC for existing research groups. This may include:

  • Advising groups within IARC on research needs relating to pathology, including pre-analytical and analytical methods relating to tissue, cytology, blood and other sample types;
  • Reporting cytology, histology and immunohistochemistry (for research only);
  • Image analysis of histology and immunohistochemistry.

4) Supervise and train junior staff, as well as visiting pathology fellows, within the Blue Books team and more widely across IARC.

5) Undertake training to stay abreast of enhancements and developments in relevant technology and best practices.

6) Write research grant applications with a view to attracting research funding from competitive sources.

7) Travel as necessary to WHO Blue Book Editorial Board meetings and Research Conferences, as agreed with the ESC Branch Head.



Essential: Degree in medicine as well as board certification or fellowship permitting diagnostic histopathology practice.

Desirable: Postgraduate degree (e.g. Masters, MD, or PhD) in biomedical research


Essential: At least five years’ progressively responsible experience in diagnostic pathology, including some at a senior level leading projects, programmes and/or teams, combined at the national and international levels.

Desirable: Research and teaching experience in pathology.



  • Diagnosis of histological and cytology using slides or images.
  • Process management skills suitable to the WHO Blue Books process – deciding on contributors, quality of contributions and images, and any additional information required.
  • Ability to prioritize tasks during WHO Blue Book production.
  • Research skills including planning, execution, reporting and presentation of research to international conferences and peer-reviewed scientific journals.
  • Ability to advise the Blue Books team, the ESC Branch and IARC on pathology matters, including WHO Blue Book layout, and electronic content.
  • Ability to understand and mitigate risks to the WHO Blue Book process.
  • Proven ability to write grant applications.
  • Publication record of original research in peer-reviewed journals.

Desirable: Diagnostic abilities in cytology and molecular pathology.

WHO Competencies

- Producing results

- Fostering integration and teamwork

- Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences

- Communicating in a credible and effective way

Use of Language Skills

Expert knowledge of English is essential.

Knowledge of French is desirable.


IARC salaries for staff in the Professional category are calculated in US dollars. The fixed remuneration for the above position comprises an annual net salary plus a post adjustment which reflects the cost of living in a particular duty station.

Total fixed remuneration for this position currently amounts to USD 92435 (i.e. approximately EUR 77750) per annum which is the sum of: 1) annual net salary of USD 62120 at Level P3 of the UN professional salary scale, plus 2) post adjustment for Lyon, France currently amounting to an annualized figure of USD 30315.

The fixed remuneration is expressed net of income tax but before deduction of the employee share of contributions for mandatory participation in the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund and in the Organization’s private insurance plans covering health, accident, illness and disability.

Other benefits include 30 days of annual leave and allowances for dependent family members.

Subject to certain conditions, under temporary appointment, internationally-recruited staff may also be entitled to relocation travel & shipment, settling-in grant upon appointment and/or education grant for dependent children.

Employment status is that of international civil servant.


• We only accept applications submitted via our online recruitment tool, which should be filled out in English and include a cover letter. Application profiles should include the details of all work experiences to date (full career details).

• It is mandatory to attach a full list of publications. To add this list, please go to your profile under the dedicated "publication" tab.

• Only candidates under serious consideration will be contacted for assessment and interview (to be held remotely).

• This vacancy notice may be used to fill other similar positions at the same grade level.

• Any appointment/extension of appointment is subject to WHO Staff Regulations, Staff Rules and Manual.

• For information on WHO's operations please visit:

• WHO/IARC is committed to workforce diversity.

• WHO/IARC has a smoke-free environment and does not recruit smokers or users of any form of tobacco.

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.

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