Postdoctoral Research Scientist

The Pirbright Institute - Influenza Viruses Group

Contract type: Limited Term until 1st March 2022
Reporting To: Group Leader
Line Manager Responsibilities: No

Postdoctoral Research Scientist

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.

The position of postdoctoral research scientist will be a valued member of the Influenza viruses Group. The successful candidate will contribute to the five year strategic science objectives of the group by participating in and leading a range of research projects in the area of avian influenza virus transmission and pathogenesis. Our aims are to understand more about the intra-host dissemination and diversity of influenza viruses in avian hosts as well as pin-point pivotal mechanisms in transmission to new hosts that can be exploited for control of this highly contagious virus with importance to the farmed industry and human health. The post holder will be provided training at containment levels ADCP 3/SAPO 4 and ADCP 2.

Main Duties and Responsibility

  • Sequencing including preparing samples for next generation sequencing and other molecular biology techniques.
  • Manipulation of influenza viruses including reverse genetics and characterisation of viruses using standard virological techniques.
  • In vivo characterisation of viruses in avian species.
  • Laboratory organisation.
  • Managing and liaising with the Health and Safety and Biosafety and engineering and maintenance groups around specific issues.                   
  • Communicating progress and barriers of projects to the Group Leader and group members.
  • Delivering data in publishable format to the group from selected projects.
  • Contributing to the preparation of manuscripts and grants.
  • Dissemination of project results through presentations.
  • Supervision of junior lab members.

All employees shall actively participate in the Institute-wide quality assurance system in conjunction with the Institute’s Quality Manager. Employees are also expected to safeguard their own health and safety and security by following policies and all employees are responsible for the Health and Safety and security of staff under their management.

We are looking for someone who is enthusiastic, intellectually engaged with the capability for good decision making and problem solving. The successful applicant will have good communication and team-working skills.


  • A PhD in a relevant branch of biosciences.
  • Laboratory experience, (at least 3 years) in a research environment.
  • Evidence of excellent oral and written communication skills, including the ability to communicate effectively within a team.
  • Enthusiasm for viral research


  • Experience of working with viruses
  • Experience of tissue culture manipulation
  • Experience with sequencing methods
  • Experience with laboratory management tasks

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
  • Pirbright social club
  • Pirbright Lifestyle Hub (employee discount site)
  • Cycle to work
  • Subsidised staff restaurant
  • Childcare vouchers and a subsidised childcare allowance
  • Free onsite parking

To apply for this vacancy please send a copy of your CV with an optional cover letter to

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South East England