Laboratory Technician - Germplasm Health (x2)

Suva, Fiji

  • Attractive local package
  • Friendly and supportive team environment
  • Join the principal development organisation in the region


The Pacific Community (SPC) is the principal scientific and technical organisation in the Pacific region, supporting development since 1947. We are an international development organisation owned and governed by our 27 country and territory members. In pursuit of sustainable development to benefit Pacific people, our organisation works across more than 25 sectors. We are known for our knowledge and innovation in such areas as fisheries science, public health surveillance, geoscience, and conservation of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture. 

The Land Resources Division (LRD) provides advice, technical assistance, research and training support to Pacific Island countries and territories on all aspects of agriculture and forestry. This includes plant protection, conservation, plant genetic resources, animal health and production, agroforestry, biosecurity and trade facilitation, and sustainable systems for agriculture, forestry and land management. This work has two objectives: improved food and nutritional security, and resilient communities. The division’s services are provided through seven technical/thematic teams: Animal Health and Production; Plant Health; Biosecurity and Trade Facilitation; Forest and Agriculture Diversification; Crop Production and Extension; Genetic Resources; and Forests and Trees. 

The Laboratory Technician – Germplasm Health (x2) will support the Associate Scientist – Germplasm Health with the functions of CePaCT’s Molecular Lab and Germplasm Health Unit (GHU) in order to meet a number of key outputs as per recommendations of the Crop Trust Review team. The position will assist the activities related to germplasm health unit and the molecular facilities to ensure that international standards are maintained. 

The key responsibilities of the role include: 

Virus Indexing

  • Virus indexing of CePaCT crop accessions as allocated by the Associate Scientist – Germplasm Health
  • Multiplication of clean virus tested crop accessions
  • Labelling of CePaCT accessions with the correct health status 

Virus Sanitation

  • Carry out virus sanitation research as directed by the Associate Scientist – Germplasm Health
  • Virus clean infected material 

DNA fingerprinting

  • Build numbers for the aroid accessions for DNA fingerprinting
  • Extract DNA from the allocated accessions for DNA fingerprinting 

Support the efficient and effective functions of CePaCT

  • Assist with the conservation and distribution of CePaCT crops upon request
  • Monitor virus indexing crops in the PEQ
  • Assist in the sourcing of equipment’s and consumables 

For a more detailed account of the key responsibilities, please refer to the online job description. 


Key selection criteria 


  • A diploma in science with emphasis on molecular and /or microbiology specialties 

Technical expertise 

  • At least 3 years of work experience in a similar setting
  • A working knowledge of viruses infecting tropical crops and diagnostic
  • Good working knowledge of biotechnology lab and equipment
  • Ability to design and implement experiments 

Language skills 

  • Excellent English communication skills (oral and written) 

Interpersonal skills and cultural awareness 

  • Ability to work in a multicultural, inclusive and equitable environment


Salary, terms and conditions 

Contract Duration – 12 months subject to extension depending on funding and performance 

Remuneration – The Laboratory Technician – Germplasm Health is a Band 6 position in SPC’s 2023 salary scale, with a commencing taxable salary range of FJD 1,892-2,365 per month, plus local staff benefits. An offer of appointment for an initial contract will normally be made in the lower half of this range, with due consideration given to experience and qualifications. Progression within the salary scale will be based on annual performance reviews. 

Recruitment principles – SPC’s recruitment is based on merit and fairness, and candidates are competing in a selection process that is fair, transparent and non-discriminatory. SPC is an equal-opportunity employer, and is committed to cultural and gender diversity, including bilingualism, and will seek to attract and appoint candidates who respect these values. Due attention is given to gender equity and the maintenance of strong representation from Pacific Island professionals. If two interviewed candidates are ranked equal by the selection panel, preference will be given to the Pacific Islander

Applicants will be assured of complete confidentiality in line with SPC’s Privacy Policy. 


Application procedure 

Closing Date – 8 February 2023 at 11:59pm (Fiji time)

Job Reference: JM000392 

Applicants must apply online at

Hard copies of applications will not be accepted.

For your application to be considered, you must provide us with:

  • an updated resume with contact details for three professional referees
  • a cover letter detailing your skills, experience and interest in this position
  • responses to all screening questions

Your application will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed at shortlisting stage if all the above documents are not provided. Applicants should not attach copies of qualifications or letters of reference. Please ensure your documents are in Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF format.

Only Fijian citizens are eligible to apply for this role.

SPC does not charge a fee to consider your application and will never ask for your banking or financial information during the recruitment process. 

Screening Questions (maximum of 2,000 characters per question): 

  1. Describe some of the functions of a germplasm health unit and its role in an international genebank, given the nature of Small Island Development States (SIDS) and the crops kept at the Centre for Pacific Crop trees.
  2. Explain why it is important to have a germplasm health unit associated with a genebank that distributes crops, especially in the Pacific.
  3. What are the main pathogens that need to be tested for in clonally propagated crops?


Type: Contract - Local

Category: Land & Resources Management

Reference ID: JM000392

Date Posted: 25/01/2023