in Food Microbiology for a Testing Laboratory
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Experienced in food microbiology?  Looking to make an impactful impression on a local Cambodian community?  Want to share your skills?  We are searching for an experienced professional looking to volunteer on behalf of a nonprofit water testing lab.

Project Brief

  • Suitable for: Professionals experienced in microbiology or food technology
  • Project type: Unpaid volunteer position
  • Location: Siem Reap, Cambodia
  • Duration: Minimum 3 months
  • Start date: July 2020 
  • Working hours: 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday to Friday
  • Reports to:  Lab technical Advisor



  • Review current analysis methods according to standard procedures. Revise current laboratory manual policies and procedures as necessary.
  • Develop and introduce specific procedures, instructions and tools related to the new pathogen and quality indicator bacterial tests to be executed by the laboratory.
  • Further develop the quality control plan and good laboratory practices in the lab.
  • Train technicians and other staff members in new procedures, including sampling requirements, performing analysis, and interpreting and reporting results.
  • Introduce systems for consolidating results and producing technical reports
  • Develop materials and guidance for the lab to use when providing information to clients on sampling, appropriate tests, interpreting results and suggesting possible remedial measures.


  • Bachelor’s degree or higher in food technology or microbiology
  • Minimum two years’ experience executing analytical tests in a food laboratory environment
  • Comprehensive knowledge of laboratory best practices and a track record in developing and introducing new laboratory systems and processes
  • Demonstrable experience in training others
  • Excellent command of written and spoken English

Personal qualities and attitudes to be successful in this project

  • Strong analytical skills and attention to detail: As with any laboratory, we strives to provide sound, reliable results to its clients. A keen eye for detail will help us identify the priority areas where we can make improvements and ensure we continue to provide accurate, reliable and timely results.
  • Flexible and proactive approach: The lab is small and microbiological testing is limited to basic parameters and represents only a small proportion of its current testing. We need to someone who is adaptive and can use their initiative to work with the resources available in the lab to find solutions that are appropriate and feasible in the context.
  • Work well independently and as part of a team: It will be important to work with other team members to develop and put in place new systems and processes. At the same time, you will have space to work independently and to propose new work practices and areas for improvement.

Supporting Documentation

  • CV
  • Copy of passport
  • Copy of relevant qualifications
  • Proof of travel and health insurance
  • Professional reference from at least one former employer


  • Make an impact – work in a lab that is moving towards a new phase of development and shaping the vision for its expansion while positively contributing to the local community
  • Learn to work in all environments – face and overcome the challenges of working in a lab environment in a developing country
  • Become a world citizen – insight into a fascinating culture and complex social issues while personally influencing positive change in the lives of Cambodian people

Daily Life

  • You will work five days a week, standard office hours, reporting to the Technical Advisor.  On the weekends and public holidays, you will be able to use your free time to explore Siem Reap at your leisure.  Your host organization will provide you with usage of an office desk with Wi-Fi and usage of an office computer or laptop, as well as usage of a bicycle.

Host Organization

  • The laboratory presently conducts water and food quality testing for its community development projects and commercially for private individuals, hotels and other businesses in the leisure industry in the region. There has been demand from commercial clients for food safety and environmental testing and in response, the laboratory is now looking to expand its services to offer a wider range of microbiological tests.


Please note that this is an unpaid volunteer placement. If successfully accepted for the position, you will be required to pay a project fee and cover your living and travel expenses.  We will guide through each phase of your journey as you move forward. For a more detailed cost breakdown, please click here.