RPHL Twinning Event

  • When Jan 01, 2024 to Oct 30, 2024 (America/Denver / UTC-700)
  • Contact Name
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Please read the invitation details carefully before submitting an expression of interest to ensure you are eligible to apply for participation.

If you choose to submit an expression of interest, it must be submitted, along with any accompanying documents in accordance with the requirements set out in this invitation.

On the behalf of the US Department of Defense, Defense Threat Reduction Agency/Biological Threat Reduction Program (DTRA/BTRP), Sandia National Laboratories/Global Chemical-Biological Security (SNL/GCBS) will sponsor Austrailian participation in a 6-month Twinning program to establish partnerships between Southeast Asia (SEA) Biorisk Management Advisors (BRMAs) working in public and animal health laboratories with counterparts in Australia national laboratories in order to identify and develop a plan for the development of a BRM related project in the SEA laboratory. 

Invitation Details



Name of Program

SE Asia Biorisk Management Advisor Development and Twinning Program

Regional Public Health Laboratory Network

Invitation Closing Time

Monday 30 October 2023 at 5pm Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST)

SNL/GCBS Contact

rlholla@sandia.gov Renee Holland, MS, RN, IFBA

Method of Submission

Please click "Registration" above

File Format for electronic submission of Expression of Interest

Any attachments for your proposal should be in Portable Document Format (PDF).


Interested particpants should complete the following steps via the “Plone Portal”:

  1. Register by clicking "Registration" above.
  2. Submit an “Expression of Interest” Memorandum addressed to the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs’ (DFAT), Indo-Pacific Centre for Health Security (CHS);
  3. Submit a Professional Curriculum Vitale; and
  4. Submit 2 letters of recommendation from industry peers and/or supervisors.

Participation Eligibility 

A total of 3 Austrailan BRM professionals will be selected.   The selection will include 2 laboratory professionals from a national human health laboratory and 1 participant from a national animal health laboratory. 

Participants that apply should meet the following professional eligibility criteria:

  • Member of mid-level laboratory management representing national animal health laboratories and human health laboratories who are responsible for operations or who serve as their institution’s Biorisk Management Advisor/Biosafety Officers; and
  • Have an advanced understanding in Biorisk Management, have expectations to develop Biorisk management programs in their Twin institutions as part of their job and have the experience to effect biorisk management change at the institutional level.

Particpants will be selected in coordination with the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs’ (DFAT) Indo-Pacific Centre for Health Security (CHS) and should be affliliated with institutions in one of the following categories:

  • An Australian National, State or Territory Animal Health Laboratory  
  • An Australian State or Territory Public Health Laboratory

Selected Participant Kick-Off Event and Workshop Travel Support

A kick-off workshop will be held early 2024, in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia whereby workshop participants will be matched into “Twins” (teams of participants with representatives from SE Asia and Australian laboratories) based on mutual biorisk management project interests, strengths, and experiences.  “Twins” will be assigned a “Twinning Facilitator” and together they will develop strategic plans to accomplish a BRM project for the SE Asia laboratory. Efforts will be made to match suitable teams of twins based on mutual interests in a project idea and the strengths and experience of facilitators to be able to assist in each twins’ projects. Each “Twin” will develop a project plan that addresses critical BRM needs at the SEA twins’ facilities. “Twins” will work together to plan a short-term project to work on together over the next six months, outlining priorities for Biorisk Management (BRM) at their respective institutions.

The funding for this event is provided through Sandia National Laboratories.  In accordance with the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the laws of your country, Sandia is required to inform the relevant supervising authority prior to providing any hospitality. The participants chosen to become the beneficiaries of the hospitalities should possess competence and expertise relevant to the business purpose. Sandia is proposing to offer the hospitalities listed below.  Sandia is committed to acting responsibly in extending only those hospitalities which do not conflict with the ethical standards of your employer and government. 

  • Non-local Transportation:  Round-trip coach-class airline tickets from home country to event site.  Funding for the airline tickets will be paid directly to the service provider and not the individual.  In the event that it is more practical to reimburse the participant for an airline ticket, the reimbursement will be up to the amount that Sandia would have paid.  In these cases, a copy of the airline ticket is required.  Funding will be reimbursed to either the participant or the participant’s company.
  • Lodging: Reasonable lodging during the event for room and tax only.  Funding for the lodging will be paid directly to the service provider and not the individual (unless it is not feasible to do so).  It is requested that the participant bring a credit card to pay for personal incidental charges. 
  • Local Transportation: Local transportation is defined as travel within the general area of the facility or meeting location (usually a group bus ride from the airport, hotel and meeting sites). Funding for local transportation will be paid to the service provider and not the individual (unless it is not feasible to do so).   
  • Meals Per Diem: Meals Per Diem Payment for unfunded conference meals during the event. The Per Diem Payment will be paid directly to the individual.  The Per Diem Payment does not follow the U.S. Federal Travel Regulations and is only provided as a courtesy and is usually a minimal amount; the participant should expect to fund or supplement their own meals and other travel expenses.  It is highly recommended that the participant bring a credit card to pay for charges. 
  • Business Meals: Business meals during the event (as noted on the agenda as hosted luncheons and/or dinners).  Funding for the meals will be paid directly to the service provider and not the individual.


SE Asia Biorisk Management Advisor Development and Twinning Program with the Public Health Laboratory Network – Program Background/Rationale

Throughout 2023-2024 DTRA has collaborated with  SNL/GCBS, to develop and implement a Biorisk Twinning Program to pilot in SEA.Under this program a Biorisk Management Advisor (BRMA), also referred to as a Biosafety Officer from a partner laboratory in SEA will be ‘twinned’with an established (preferably Certified Biosafety Professionals or Registered Biosafety Professionals (CBSP or RBP)) BRMA to develop a partnership for education, problem-solving, and networking. More established biosafety professionals in the U.S, Europe, and Australia have developed their careers through extensive networking and resource development. These experienced professionals will provide their newer international counterparts with valuable perspectives and problem-solving techniques, as well as solid technical information about biosafety, biosecurity and biorisk management.

Each team of ‘twins’ will participate in live and electronically mediated events. All activities will be based on developing the competencies outlined for biosafety professionals in the ISO 35001 and former CEN WS 53 as well as CWA 15793 documents on Laboratory Biorisk Management Standards, and WHO biosafety and biosecurity recommendations. By following these international consensus recommendations, the BRMAs involved will develop a project plan to work on over a six-month period in 2024. At the end of the six months, twins will reconvene to analyze data collected from their project and create a poster and presentation to submit that would be suitable for display at the RPHL Partnership Forum 2024 or other applicable conferences (ABSA – International Association of Biosafety and Biosecurity, APBA (Asia Pacific Biosafety Association).

During the project, there may be opportunities for the twins to visit select facilities to observe and learn firsthand about biosafety/biosecurity programs at their partners’ laboratory.

This program will contribute to establishing a list of subject matter experts in the region as well as enhance networking and partnership. Individual partners will gain access to a network of experienced, credentialed biosafety professionals. The benefits to the Australian twins will be a view of biorisk management implementation that lies outside the more regulated biosafety and biosecurity culture in Ausrtralia. The partnering of these two different perspectives through guided education and problem-solving will enhance biorisk management at both locations, as well as offer tools that can be used at institutions around the world.


SNL/GCBS proposes the following to accomplish this plan:

  1. SNL/GCBS will work with sponsors and partners to identify suitable candidates from designated laboratories in partner countries to participate in the twinning program.
  2. SNL/GCBS has recruited and worked with experienced and credentialed Western twin facilitators from the US, Mexico, and UK for more than a decade.
  3. Twins will receive orientation, via an electronic session and written materials, on the responsibilities, expectations, resources, etc. for being in the program.
  4. Preferably, participants will have already received basic biorisk management training through Sandia or others and will be appointed or designated as a biosafety officer or biorisk management advisor for their respective institutions.
  5. Twins will convene at a 5-day orientation workshop to be held in early 2024. This meeting will be an opportunity for individuals to get to know each other and select a good match for their twin. Activities will be done to provide a review of biorisk management practices at their respective facilities. From this, ideas will be brainstormed for possible BRM related projects for twinned groups to work on over a six-month period. During the last two days, twinned groups will develop detailed project plans, goals, objectives, tasks, sub-tasks and assigned responsibilities.
  6. Over the following six months twinned teams will be expected to regularly contact each other and work together to complete their project plan.


Twinning Project 6 Month Timeline:

  • Month 1: Kick off meeting and project planning, In-Person Event
  • Month 1: Get support from lab management and other stakeholders
  • Month 2: First project status report due
  • Months 3-6: At the end of every month, project status report due
  • 6 Months: Project completion deadline
  • 6 Months: Project wrap up meeting, location TBD - prepare final report (poster, paper, or presentation)
  • Prepare for attendance at the 2024 RPHL Partnership Forum anticipated to be hosted in Cambodia in the Fall of 2024.
  • Optional: Post wrap-up research publication and additional biosafety conference attendance/submission. Example: March 2024 ABSA poster/presentation submission due for October 2024 ABSA conference.

Participants must register by clicking registration above.  Additionally, nominees should upload a copy of their CV under documents above.  Once registration has been completed, participants will receive a confirmation of their success via email.

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