Senior Forensic Specialist

Requisition ID:  15230
Region:  Global Deployment Option
Contract type:  Open-ended contract

Who we are

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is an independent, neutral organization providing humanitarian protection and assistance for victims of armed conflict and other situations of violence. It takes action in response to emergencies, works in protracted conflicts and other situations of violence and at the same time promotes respect for international humanitarian law (IHL) and its implementation in national law. The work of the ICRC is based on the Geneva Conventions of 1949, their Additional Protocols, its Statutes and the Resolutions of the International Conferences of the Red Cross and Red Crescent. The ICRC has over 18 000 staff across 90 countries and is funded by voluntary contributions from the States party to the Geneva Conventions; national Red Cross and Red Crescent societies; supranational organizations and public and private sources.Role description

The ICRC seeks Senior Forensic Specialists for several positions worldwide with continuous departures in 2020.

Senior forensic professionals are needed to effectively liaise with government officials and local forensic actors to ensure an adequate legal framework for forensic operations, efficient intra and inter-institutional mechanisms of cooperation and exchange (including development of standard operating procedures), and that forensic practitioners are appropriately skilled to carry out their tasks in relation to events of humanitarian concern.

ICRC Forensic positions do not involve casework.Main responsibilities

Senior Forensic Specialists contribute to the implementation of ICRC’s humanitarian forensic action by:

  • Promoting and supporting the effective implementation of relevant forensic standards and procedures, including for the management of the dead, for preventing and resolving the missing and for other applications of forensic science to humanitarian action
  • Assisting forensic institutions and practitioners involved in humanitarian forensic action
  • Contributing to the effective implementation of the ICRC’s strategies in humanitarian forensic action
  • Providing specialized advice on human remains and forensic sciences to relevant stakeholders and institutions
  • Carrying out appraisals and assessments on forensics and human remains as required by ICRC field operations
  • Helping define specific objectives and strategies aimed at supporting medico-legal and other external structures relevant to the missing, forensics and human remains
  • Supporting ICRC field operations to implement objectives related to humanitarian forensic action
  • Contributing towards the ICRC’s policy, strategies and tactics related to issues requiring forensic assistance
  • Representing the ICRC where necessary for furthering the organization’s principles and goals in humanitarian forensic action
  • Contributing to the dissemination of all relevant information on humanitarian forensic action, both within the ICRC and beyond, including the preparation and presentation of appropriate materials for diverse audiences
  • Training relevant external stakeholders and ICRC staff, on issues related to humanitarian forensic action, including forensics in data collection and management and management of human remains and data collection
  • Participating and contribute towards maintaining an optimal team environment necessary to meet growing organizational needs related to humanitarian forensic action.

Desired profile and skills


  • Forensic practitioner holding at least a Masters’ degree or equivalent in medical, biological or forensic sciences. Preferred areas of expertise: forensic pathology, anthropology/archaeology, genetics, odontology, molecular biology
  • At least 8 years post-graduate forensic case-work experience
  • Fluency in English
  • Experience in technical and non-technical report writing
  • Commitment towards highest forensic scientific and ethical standards
  • Desire to work in proximity to affected people and communities with empathy

Highly Preferred:

  • Fluency in French, and/or Spanish and/or Arabic a strong asset.
  • Experience in forensic practice applied to humanitarian or human rights investigations.
  • Experience in various aspects related to post-conflict missing persons.
  • Broad-based (multi-disciplinary) technical and non-technical knowledge and experience related to the scientific and legal identification of human remains and an integrated forensic reconciliation process.
  • Knowledge and experience in data management strategies, methodologies and implementation, including electronic databases.
  • Experience in Management of the Dead from Emergencies/DVI, with particular experience and skills in high-throughput mortuary management and forensic identification methods in mass casualty events.
  • Broad based (multi-context) knowledge and understanding of the medico-legal framework for death investigations
  • Proven experience of a collaborative approach. Prior experience in multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary teams

An asset

  • Experience with legislation/regulation/policy development
  • Experience and skills in rapid situation analysis and strategy development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation
  • Proven experience and skills in delivering forensic training and a capacity to adapt the message to diverse audiences
  • Teaching experience at the graduate level an asset
  • Experience in development of technical and non-technical guidelines and protocols
  • Proven networking skills
  • Proven contribution to relevant scientific publications in the field of forensic practice, especially as it applies to humanitarian and human rights investigations
  • Experience and practice in negotiations and public relations, particularly applied to the promotion and implementation of professional and ethical standards related to the field of expertise

Our operational and field constraints

  • In line with the principle of neutrality, the ICRC does not assign mobile personnel to a country of which they are nationals.
  • Candidates must be in good health and must meet medical health checks requirements before qualifying for field deployments.
  • Candidates must hold a valid driving license for manual transmission vehicles and be able to drive such vehicles independently in unfamiliar terrain.
  • Candidates must be prepared to accept unaccompanied postings (i.e. no spouse, partner, children or dependents) for at least 6 months.

What we offer

  • Rewarding work in a humanitarian environment
  • Competitive employment package
  • Join an ICRC talent pool and be considered for future assignments in other contexts and with progressively more responsibilities
  • Opportunities for further in-house training

The ICRC values diversity and is committed to creating an inclusive working environment. We welcome applications from all qualified candidates.Additional information

  • Type of mobility: International
  • Length of assignment: 24 months minimum
  • Starting date: Depending on operational needs – continuous

Apply now »