Molecular Biologist for Assay Development

Crop Innovations

Crop Innovations CIO and Arcis Biotechnology Holdings are seeking a molecular biologist for a 12 month fixed-term contract. The role is to develop a PCR-based assay for molecular marker analysis. The individual will have a degree in molecular biology or related subject and be educated to at least masters’ level or have at significant experience in a relevant topic, including some basic bioinformatics. The successful applicant will be a self-starter, capable of independently conducting and recording experiments for molecular assay development. This individual will be employed by Crop Innovations and on full-time secondment at Arcis facilities, Daresbury Science Park. Part-time and flexible working patterns will be considered with possible extension to the term of the contract to accommodate this.

Person Specifics

  • Highly motivated self-starter, managing own time and workload (Essential)
  • Able to work as part of a team and independently (Essential)
  • Good communication skills (Essential)


  • Degree in molecular biology or similar subject (Essential)
  • Masters/PhD or significant relevant experience (Desirable)
  • Industrial workplace experience (Desirable)

Technical skills/Experience

  • Molecular assay development (Essential)
  • An understanding of DNA extraction protocols (Essential)
  • Bioinformatic alignment and primer design (Essential)
  • PCR, gel-based analysis and sequencing (Essential)
  • Plant or fungal genetic analysis (Desirable)
  • Molecular marker analysis (Desirable)

The Project

The successful application will be working as part of a collaboration between Crop Innovations, Arcis and other organisations. The project, funded by Innovate UK and DFID as part of the agri-tech catalyst scheme to improve smallholder agricultural production in developing countries. The individual’s role in the collaborative project is to develop a PCR-based genetic analysis protocol to facilitate rapid on-site recognition and recording of genetic diversity in locally-bred varieties of beans in Zambia. It is hoped that tracking and recording these locally-bred varieties gives farmers buying the seed an identity assurance, thus contributing to food security in the region. Other aspects of the project will explore how the local communities that developed the varieties can be properly recognised and rewarded for their expertise as part of the goals of the international treaty on plant genetic resources.

Suggested start date for the role is January 2018. Salary will be in the range £33k -35k + statutory pension, depending on relevant experience. Applicants must have a valid UK work permit or right to work in the UK.

About the Employers

Crop Innovations is a registered charitable incorporated organisation conducting user demand-driven research to promote sustainable agriculture & food security. Hosted by the University of Bath, Crop Innovations specialises in genetic analysis & sustainable technology transfer into developing countries. Crop Innovations is leading the collaborative project to develop low-cost genetic analysis for tracking and recognising crop genetic diversity.

Arcis Biotechnology is a company established in 2010 with a core, patented scientific technology. Arcis have raised £10m funding to date, mostly EIS qualifying, they have used funds primarily to commercialise a Molecular DNA/RNA “sample preparation” portfolio. The company are developing products for two large primary markets – Molecular Bioscience and Agricultural Biotechnology. Arcis Biotechnology has developed kits that revolutionise DNA and RNA preparation for analysis.

Applicants should send a CV and cover letter to Heather Sanders: Closing date for applications is the 12th November 2017.

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Northern England