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Laboratory Technician

The Pirbright Institute - Vector Molecular Biology Group

Location: Pirbright, Woking
Salary: £21,570 Band B; with higher remuneration considered depending on experience and qualifications
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 19th March 2019
Closes: 22nd April 2019
Job Ref: 19P-13

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:

The successful candidate will be required to support the activities of the Vector Molecular Biology Group at The Pirbright Institute. The group uses genetically modified mosquitoes to analyse the function of genes involved in development, with the purpose of identifying targets for novel mosquito control approaches.

The post holder will be involved in selecting, maintaining and crossing multiple strains of mosquitoes and in various molecular laboratory-based duties, such as assisting in construction and purification of plasmids and other nucleic acid templates.

The role requires intermittent work in laboratory environment at temperature of up to 27°C and humid conditions, with occasional working hours at weekends.

Main duties and responsibility:

  • Assist in the rearing of mosquito colonies (none infected with pathogens).
  • Assist in crossing experiments using mosquitoes with specific genetic characteristics.
  • Contribute to the smooth running of the insectary, including maintenance of a clean and orderly environment.
  • Assist in preparation of novel DNA constructs.
  • Assist with other molecular techniques to characterise mosquitoes.
  • Collect laboratory data and assist with basic data analysis.

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.

Personal behaviours:

Time management, reliability under pressure, action-oriented, ethical/credible, inspiring, creative, collaborative, diplomatic, results driven.

Specific requirements:


  • BSc in biological sciences or related discipline
  • Understanding of basic laboratory procedures
  • Enthusiastic and willing to learn new skills
  • Able to work effectively with limited supervision
  • Excellent attention to details
  • Excellent organizational skills and ability to multi-task
  • Good record keeping
  • Good oral communication skills
  • Able to work as an integral and cooperative member of a team
  • Able to work to targets and deadlines


  • Experience of working in a laboratory environment
  • Experience of working with insect colonies
  • Experience in molecular biology techniques

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
  • Subsidised childcare allowance
  • Free onsite parking

To apply for this vacancy please visit our website:

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