Postdoctoral Research Scientist

The Pirbright Institute - Birnaviruses

The Pirbright Institute

The Pirbright Institute delivers world-leading research to understand, predict, detect and respond to viral disease outbreaks. We study viruses of livestock that are endemic and exotic to the UK, including zoonotic viruses, by using the most advanced tools and technologies to understand host-pathogen interactions in animals and arthropod vectors. Our major strength in understanding the immune systems of livestock provides a platform to control current diseases and respond to emerging threats.

Our Institute is made up of a dynamic and vibrant community of staff covering a diverse set of chosen fields, backgrounds and experience. We all play a crucial role in furthering the Institute’s aspirations, advancing the frontiers of science and knowledge through our excellent scientific research, knowledge sharing and contribution; with a real focus in improving the world in which we live. Our outlook is always balanced by our strong sense of purpose, values and behaviours and an unwavering commitment to a ‘one Institute’ approach.

Organisation position and purpose:

This role is a two-year funded project to develop a chicken primary B cell culture model to investigate the interaction of the immunosuppressive viruses IBDV, ALV and REV with avian cells. The successful applicant will be a key member of the Birnaviruses group, will be involved with in vitro and in vivo studies, and will be using classical molecular biology techniques and next generation sequencing.

Main duties and responsibility

  • Design in vitro and in vivo studies and collect data.
  • Work together with collaborators at Imperial College London to generate and analyse RNA-seq datasets
  • Characterise cellular pathways that are affected by viral infection.
  • Undertake appropriate administration and management arising from the project
  • Present research findings in departmental seminars and in talks at conferences
  • Prepare manuscripts for submission to peer reviewed journals
  • Give guidance, support and advice to students in the lab.

Specific requirements


  • A PhD or equivalent in microbiology or immunology
  • Laboratory experience at the bench
  • Proven history in publishing scientific research
  • Experience with presenting data


  • Experience with cell culture and molecular assays.
  • Experience with generating and analysing RNA-Seq datasets
  • Experience with conducting animal experiments under  Home Office approved Project Licence guidelines
  • Knowledge of how RNA viruses and retroviruses infect, replicate and exit cells, and how cells respond when they are infected.

What we offer

  • Generous Group Personal Pension Scheme and life cover (subject to age and earnings)
  • 25 days annual leave per annum, pro rata, plus 10.5 public and privilege days
  • Pirbright gym with subsidised membership
  • Social club
  • Lifestyle Hub (discount site)
  • Cycle to work
  • Subsidised staff restaurant
  • Vouchers and a subsidised allowance for childcare.
  • Free onsite parking
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South East England