Postdoctoral Scientist (Phylogenetics)

The Pirbright Institute

The Pirbright Institute is a unique national centre that works through its highly innovative fundamental and applied bioscience to enhance the UK capability to contain, control, and eliminate viral diseases of animals and viruses that spread from animals to humans. We thereby support the competitiveness of UK livestock and poultry producers, and improve the health and quality of life of both animals and people.

Purpose: This successful candidate will conduct studies in the molecular epidemiology of bluetongue virus (BTV), an arbovirus of ruminants.

Main Duties and Responsibilities

  • Working with the non-vesicular reference laboratory to process and maintain outbreak/archive strains of orbiviruses
  • Create databases of orbivirus genome data
  • Conduct phylogenetic analysis of orbivirus genome data
  • Develop and assist in the validation of cutting edge diagnostic assays
  • Maintain and add to collaborative links with domestic and overseas collaborators
  • Providing reports to managers for dissemination
  • Drive the production of peer-reviewed publications
  • Produce method-based protocols where necessary for training purposes
  • Support all aspects biosecurity, quality assurance and health and safety processes
  • Implement and maintain QA standards
  • Provide support as part of outbreak contingency planning

This job description is only an outline of the tasks, responsibilities and outcomes required of the role. The jobholder will carry out any other duties as may be reasonably required by his/her line manager. The job description and personal specification may be reviewed on an ongoing basis in accordance with the changing needs of the Human Resources department and The Pirbright Institute.

Benefits of the Post: The post is graded at a Band D/E and is a Limited Term Contract with funding until 31 March 2019.

This is a full time role of 37 hours per week, Monday to Friday.

Additional Information

  • Any offer of employment will be subject to security screening, health clearance, receipt of satisfactory references, and continued right to work and remain in the UK.
  • The Institute is engaged in Research work on a number of virus diseases of livestock, several of which are highly infectious to livestock, compliance with the Disease Security Regulations is an essential requirement of employment.
  • For those applicants where English is not their first language, please note that the successful applicant must be able to prove their ability to communicate in English.

How to Apply: To view or apply for this vacancy please visit The Pirbright Institute website, where an application form and further details can be found. Job reference 16P-50B.

Person Specification Essential

  • A PhD or equivalent in a relevant branch of biosciences
  • Significant and relevant bench experience in an R&D environment
  • An excellent record of research productivity
  • A high-quality research reputation
  • Evidence of experience and innovation in genome sequencing and phylogenetic analyses
  • A working knowledge of current sequencing platforms
  • Experience in the production and validation of diagnostic tools for research and/or applied use


  • Experience in or an ability to adapt to working under SAPO 4 conditions
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, including the ability to communicate effectively and persuasively
  • Experience in the production of publications for peer reviewed journals
  • Evidence of effective team working in a quality assured environment

Special Requirements

  • Capacity to travel within the UK, with possible early starts and/or late finishes and occasional overnight stays
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South East England