Research Scientist

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.

Location: This post is based Pirbright, Surrey.

Purpose: The Pirbright Institute is designated as the World Reference Laboratory for Foot-and-Mouth Disease by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and as a reference laboratory for FMD by the Office International des Epizooties (OIE).

Organisation Position: The post holder will be a member of the Virology Section within the Vesicular Disease Reference Laboratory, and will report to Dr Britta Wood. The group is within the Livestock Viral Diseases program.

Main Duties and Responsibilities

Responsible for diagnostic testing, which will include:

  • Conducting diagnostic tests
  • Maintaining supplies of consumables for diagnostic tests
  • Maintaining supplies of reagents and controls for diagnostic tests
  • Assisting with the training of members of staff for the use of diagnostic facilities and equipment  50%
  • Assisting with the development and improvement of diagnostic assays 50%

This job description is only an outline of the tasks, responsibilities and outcomes required of the role.

Benefits of the Post

  • The post is graded at a Band C and is a Limited Term contract with funding until April 2017.
  • This is a full time role of 37 hour 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 Site Handbook and related documentation 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: Please note this is NOT the full job description. For more information and greater detail, please visit

To view or apply for this vacancy please visit (job reference 16P-84).

Please send applications to: Human Resources, The Pirbright Institute, Pirbright, Surrey, GU24 0NF.

For Person Specification Please See Our Website Above

Person Specification

Qualifications and Experience Essential

  • Degree or equivalent experience in virology or related discipline (s)
  • Understanding of the processes that underpin diagnostic assays (s)
  • Demonstrated practical experience of diagnostic assays such as virus isolation, ELISA, real-time RT-PCR (gained either in previous post or as part of project assignment for degree) (s)
  • Background knowledge of FMDV (i)
  • Theoretical or practical experience of virology (s&i)


  • Understanding of the steps required for assay development and validation (i)
  • Experience of working in a quality management system (s&i)

Specific Skills Essential

  • Capable of precise and careful work (i)
  • Good written and verbal communication skills (s&i)
  • Computer literate (MS Office) (s&i)


  • Experience in using laboratory information management systems (LIMS) (i)

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South East England