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Systematic Reviewer (Tumours Classification)


  • Organization: WHO - World Health Organization
  • Location: Lyons
  • Grade: P-2, International Professional - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Human Resources
  • Closing Date: 2022-08-30


The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), is the cancer agency of the World Health Organization (WHO) and is based in Lyon, France.

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. IARC selects these experts based on their knowledge and experience and the absence of real or apparent conflicting interests.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), with several international partners, has established the International Collaboration for Cancer Classification and Research (IC3R) to promote evidence-based practice and standards for cancer classification and research.

Research on cancer aims to help patients at risk through prevention, early detection, diagnosis, and treatment. Most countries have clear pathways for translating clinical trial results into practice through drug approval and clinical guidelines, but not always for the translation of evidence into diagnosis or early detection methodologies.

Challenges related to tumour classification such as its increasingly multidimensional nature, the overwhelming amount of scientific information available in this area, and the translation of research findings into tumour classification and cancer diagnosis are difficult to address by interested parties individually.

IC3R will provide a forum to coordinate evidence generation, synthesis, evaluation, and standard-setting for tumour classification worldwide.

As an initiative of the World Health Organization (WHO) Classification of Tumours (WCT) at IARC, which produces the WHO Classification of Tumours series used by pathologists and cancer researchers worldwide, IC3R is uniquely situated to coordinate an international collaboration to assess tumour classification and cancer research worldwide. The objective of the WCT programme is to improve the classification of tumours for diagnosis, epidemiology and cancer research. WCT 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.

Under the direct supervision of the Head of Evidence, Synthesis and Classification (ESC) branch, and the

general guidance of the IARC director, the incumbent has the following duties:

  • Manage the International Collaboration for Cancer Classification and Research, which provides scientific support to the WCT programme.
  • To work in close cooperation with staff within WCT to provide systematic review expertise and evidence evaluation and synthesis for the WCT Group and WHO Blue Books.
  • Assist the WCT team to identify experts for appointment to the WHO Blue Books editorial board, and contributors to the books.
  • Provide systematic review expertise and support to the Agency.
  • Undertake externally funded research in collaboration with other IARC staff and external researchers.


  1. Provide support for systematic reviews and evidence evaluation required to produce the WHO Blue Books. Specific tasks include:
    1. Manage the IC3R programme of research, through interactions with IC3R partners worldwide
    2. Supervise IC3R staff within the ESC branch
    3. Participate in the production and management of the WHO Blue Books, particularly in the assessement of evidence for changes in tumour classification. This will include the design of systematic review protocols, extraction and critical appraisal of data, and presentation of findings at scientific meetings.
    4. Participate in editorial board meetings as an IARC observer, with particular emphasis on evidence assessment.
    5. Assist contributors in developing their content for the WHO Blue Books, including assessment of evidence.
    6. Work with editorial staff within IARC to ensure the accuracy of the WHO Blue Books.
    7. Assist in the production of high quality online content for the WHO Blue Books.
  2. Develop research in tumour classification using systematic review methodology.
  3. Contribute to systematic review support within IARC for existing research groups. This may include:
    1. Advise groups within IARC on research needs relating to systematic reviews, including pre-analytical and analytical methods.
    2. Development of own research, while focussing efforts on the classification of cancer
  4. Train Pathologists and others in systematic review methodology and practice to underpin the use of evidence-based pathology in the classification of cancer
  5. Assist in the training of junior staff, including visiting pathology fellows within WCT/ESC and more widely within IARC.
  6. Attend relevant training(s) to stay abreast of WCT/ESC enhancements and developments
  7. Mobilise research funding from competitive sources through development of grant proposals.
  8. Attend WHO Blue Book Editorial Board meetings and Research Conferences
  9. Perform other related duties as assigned.


Due to the evolving situation resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, and depending on work requirements, this position may be partly occupied remotely, from the home of the candidate selected in the region Lyon, according to the teleworking clause for force majeure currently in force as part of the IARC teleworking policy during this pandemic period.


  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Technical Expertise.
  • Creating an empowering and motivating environment
  • Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences



Essential: PhD in Medicine, biology or related discipline.


  • Masters of science in systematic review methodology.
  • Postgraduate degree in biomedical research (e.g. Masters, MD, or PhD)


Essential: At least 2 years’ experience in systematic review preparation at an advanced level, cancer diagnosis, management, or research.


  • Additional 5 years’ experience or more in cancer diagnosis
  • Research and teaching experience in systematic review methodology.


Expert knowledge of English with at least a basic level of French.


  • Knowledge of Microsoft office 365 applications


WHO salaries for staff in the Professional category are calculated in US dollars. The remuneration for the above position comprises an annual base salary starting at USD 49,254 (subject to mandatory deductions for pension contributions and health insurance, as applicable), a variable post adjustment, which reflects the cost of living in a particular duty station, and currently amounts to USD 1,494 per month for the duty station indicated above (subject to change). Other benefits include 30 days of annual leave, allowances for dependent family members, home leave, and an education grant for dependent children.


  • Only candidates under serious consideration will be contacted.
  • A written test and/or seminar presentation may be used as a form of screening.
  • In the event that your candidature is retained for an interview, you will be required to provide, in advance, a scanned copy of the degree(s)/diploma(s)/certificate(s) required for this position. IARC/WHO only considers higher educational qualifications obtained from an institution accredited/recognized in the World Higher Education Database (WHED), a list updated by the International Association of Universities (IAU)/United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The list can be accessed through the link: Some professional certificates may not appear in the WHED and will require individual review.
  • Any appointment/extension of appointment is subject to IARC/WHO Staff Regulations, Staff Rules and Manual.
  • WHO staff members in other duty stations are encouraged to apply.
  • For information on IARC’S operations please visit:
  • IARC/WHO is committed to workforce diversity.
  • IARC/WHO's workforce adheres to the WHO Values Charter and is committed to put the WHO Values into practice.
  • IARC/WHO has a smoke-free environment and does not recruit smokers or users of any form of tobacco.
  • Applications from women and from nationals of non and underrepresented Participating States are particularly encourage.
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.