An estimated 48 million foodborne illnesses occur in the U.S. annually resulting in 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths. In order to address this significant public health problem, improvements must be made in a variety of areas but particularly in the quality and efficiency of laboratory-based surveillance for the detection of clusters of foodborne illnesses. For over two decades, PulseNet has detected thousands of local and multi-state outbreaks, leading to the implementations of numerous preventative measures and significant improvements to food safety as a whole. APHL and CDC are committed to assisting all PulseNet laboratories in achieving the highest quality of whole genome sequencing (WGS) data to submit to the PulseNet databases. Analyzing certification and proficiency tests ensures faster, more reliable cluster detection and investigation. During the process, providing feedback to the PulseNet participants regarding the quality of their work aids in improving the overall data in the national databases.

Through this Request for Proposals (RFP), APHL seeks to identify an individual with the following experience:

  • Bachelor's degree in life science, or health/laboratory field; master's degree in life science or health/laboratory field preferred;
  • Minimum of fifteen (15) years of PulseNet related work experience;
  • Working knowledge and experience using BioNumerics v7 software;
  • Working knowledge and experience using CLC Bio Genomics Workbench software;
  • Working knowledge and experience using the PulseNet WGS protocols for certification and proficiency testing.


Interested parties must submit a proposal to APHL that provides all of the information specified in the Response Submission section below. In order to be considered, an applicant must ensure APHL has a complete response no later than the Response Due Date specified in the Anticipated RFP Schedule section below.

Anticipated RFP Schedule

Applications are due to the individual specified in the Final Response section of this RFP by 5:00 pm Eastern Standard Time (EST) on April 29, 2020. APHL anticipates the following schedule for the entire competitive bidding process:

  • April 1, 2020 - RFP issued
  • April 15, 2020 - Letter of Intent Due to APHL by 5:00pm (EST)
  • April 29, 2020  - RFP responses due
  • May 1, 2020 - Proposal review completed
  • May 4, 2020 - Final review completed and PulseNet Quality Consultant selected
  • June 26, 2020 - Contract finalized
  • July 1, 2020 - PulseNet Quality Consultancy begins

Response Submittal Confirmation of Intent to Respond

APHL requires that prospective applicants submit a brief email statement indicating intent to submit a proposal by no later than 5:00 PM EST on April 15, 2020.  Interested parties should email the letter of intent to A letter of intent is required for consideration of application. While the letter of intent is not binding and does not enter into the review of the RFP, the information that it contains allows APHL's evaluation team to plan the contract development and review process. Potential applicants must include the name of the organization or individual that will submit the response in their email.

Final Response

APHL must receive a complete response by no later than 5:00 PM EST on April 29, 2020.  Applicants may send responses by the following methods:

Via email to; or via certified, registered or express mail through the postal service or via trackable mail delivery services provided by DHL, FedEx, and UPS, addressed to:

c/o Jennifer Adams

The Association of Public Health Laboratories, Inc.

8515 Georgia Avenue, Suite 700

Silver Spring, MD 20910

APHL will send an email acknowledging the receipt of your application. If you do not receive an acknowledgement within 48 hours, please email the points of contact below to confirm receipt.

Regardless of the delivery method, APHL must receive all responses by 5:00 PM EST. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that APHL received the proposal by this deadline.

APHL may terminate or modify the RFP process at any time during the response period.


The PulseNet Quality Consultant PDF will provide detailed information in regards to this request, please read it in its entirety.


Please direct all questions regarding this RFP or its application requirements via email to Jennifer Adams at .

A member of APHL's Food Safety staff will respond directly to the questions on an individual basis as questions are received. While APHL will endeavour to answer questions within one business day of receipt, additional time may be needed depending on the issue raised.

APHL should receive all questions by 5:00 pm EST on April 15, 2020. APHL is unlikely to answer any question received after this deadline, but it will have discretion to do so if APHL's Food Safety staff reasonably feel that the question raises a substantial issue that could affect multiple applicants, and may be answered without impacting the application submission and review process. Should APHL opt to answer any late questions, APHL will post the question and answer to APHL's procurement website and will not respond directly to the sender.