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Research Technician (Band B) / Research Scientist (Band C)

The Pirbright Institute - Arthropod Genetics

Location: Pirbright
Salary: £21,570 to £30,000
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 31st July 2020
Closes: 30th August 2020
Job Ref: 20P-33

Pay band and salary range: Band B; £21,570 with higher remuneration considered depending on experience and qualifications OR Band C; from £27,355 with higher remuneration up to £30,000 considered for exceptional candidates or those who require a visa from overseas.

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. 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 excellent scientific research, knowledge sharing and contribution; with a real focus in improving the world in which we live.

Organisation position and purpose:

The successful candidate will lead experimental work on a new BBSRC-funded project to explore the possibility of developing stress-tolerant honey bees, in particular bees less affected by exposure to viral pathogens. The post-holder will report to the senior postdoc on the grant and to Luke Alphey, the Head of Arthropod Genetics and Principal Investigator on the grant.

Main duties and responsibility

Responsible for working as a member of Prof Alphey’s research group, which will include:

  • Key technical role on this project,
    • Communicating progress and data, including reporting progress to the funding agency as required and preparing manuscripts for publication
  • Interacting with and assisting other project teams

Responsible for insect and microbiological studies, which will include:

  • Bee rearing and colony maintenance
  • Bee manipulation including Wolbachia and virus challenge
  • Phenotypic analysis of insects
  • Experimental design and statistical data analysis

Responsible for molecular and microbiological studies, which will include:

  • • Insect (bee) cell culture
  • Wolbachia manipulations in cell culture
  • • Molecular analysis of modified cells and insects

For Band C grading, in addition to the above, individuals will be expected to undertake this work with a greater degree of independence, with more input into experimental design, troubleshooting and data analysis, and supporting other team members/students.

Personal specification

Enthusiastic, energetic, intellectually engaged, results-oriented, time management skills, reliability under pressure, decision-making and problem-solving skills, ability to delegate, negotiation and conciliation skills, business planning skills

Specific requirements


  • A BSc, MSc or equivalent in a relevant branch of biosciences
  • Relevant bench experience in a recognised R&D environment
  • An excellent record of research productivity, relative to experience
  • Experience of rearing bees
  • Band C only: Experience of cell culture, molecular biology and/or virology
  • Band C only: Significant bench experience in a recognised R&D environment and Evidence of ability to work with minimal supervision


  • • Experience of cell culture, molecular biology and/or virology
  • • Evidence of networking skills with the ability to build effective collaborative relationships
  • • Evidence of entrepreneurial skills and expertise

To apply for this vacancy please visit our careers page -Jobs | The Pirbright Institute

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