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Research Scientist (Avian Influenza)

The Pirbright Institute - Avian Influenza Research Group

Location: Pirbright
Salary: £27,629 to £29,374 Band C. Candidates are appointed typically at the starting point, with some flexibility subject to skills/knowledge/experience
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 13th September 2021
Closes: 11th October 2021
Job Ref: 21P-115

Contract Length: Fixed Term until 30/05/2024

The Pirbright Institute

The Pirbright Institute delivers world-leading research to understand, predict, detect and respond to viral disease outbreaks.

Organisation position and purpose

The Research Scientist or Postdoctoral Research Scientist will be part of the Avian Influenza Research group led by Professor Munir Iqbal. The researcher will perform a key role in developing and testing of new multivalent vaccines protecting poultry from major poultry viral diseases including avian influenza, Newcastle disease, infectious bronchitis, and Gumboro disease.

Main duties and responsibility

Taking forward our novel “Targeted Antigen Delivery Vaccine” (TADV) technology which selectively targets antigens to chicken antigen-presenting cells (APCs) and potentiates the immunogenicity of the vaccine (PMID: 34267228, 34358200). Using this technology, you will develop new multivalent vaccines protecting poultry from major viral diseases.

  • Producing recombinant viral antigens using insect and yeast cell culture systems
  • Generating recombinant reverse genetics viruses (avian influenza and Newcastle disease virus) and multivalent vaccines by manipulating viral vectors such as herpesvirus Turkey (HVT), Duck enteritis virus (DEV) and Fowl adenoviruses (FAdVs) using CRISPR-Cas9 technology,
  • Testing the immunogenicity and efficacy of novel vaccines using experimental animal models (chickens, turkey and ducks)
  • Keeping accurate records of samples and work performed
  • Analysing your results and preparing your data for discussion
  • Writing up your work for project reports and scientific manuscripts

Personal specification

Ability to work in a team, time management, reliability under pressure, decision making/problem solving skills, collaborative, diplomatic, results driven, and enthusiastic.

Specific requirements


  • BSc, MSc, M Phil or equivalent in a relevant branch of biosciences
  • Relevant bench experience in a recognised R&D environment
  • Practical experience in recombinant protein expression, virology, molecular biology & cell culture.
  • Evidence of excellent oral and written communication skills, including the ability to communicate effectively within a team and to external stake holders.
  • An achievement record commensurate to the applicant’s career
  • Proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and statistical analyses.


  • Experience in animal experimental work involving poultry viral diseases
  • Evidence of networking skills and the ability to liaise with research collaborators and industrial partners

We would like to encourage all overseas applicants to consider the Tier 1 Global Talent Visa route. This has been designed to offer fast-tracked entry to the UK for scientific researchers to work and live in the UK. Please see for further information under the link:

The Pirbright Institute may be able to make a financial contribution towards the cost of immigration to the UK.

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
  • Buy and sell annual leave
  • Option to carry over up to two weeks annual leave
  • Pirbright gym with subsidised membership
  • Pirbright social club
  • Pirbright Lifestyle Hub (employee discount site)
  • Cycle to work
  • Subsidised staff restaurant
  • Childcare allowance
  • Free onsite parking
  • Electric Car charging facilities

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

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