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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:

Purpose: The successful candidate will contribute towards achieving the objectives of the Institute Strategic Programme Grants (ISPGs). In particular, the successful candidate will participate in identifying and characterising genes (potentially endogenous mosquito genes but primarily synthetic transgenes) affecting female mosquito vector competence or fitness and investigate their potential for genetic control strategies (see also Host ISPG, Objective 4.2).

Position: The post-holder will report to the Head of Arthropod Genetics. The post-holder will be expected to contribute to the training and supervision of additional members of the Group, including junior research staff, technicians and students whether directly engaged in this specific project or on other projects in the Group, to project management, and to reporting to the funding agency and other stakeholders as required. The post-holder will also be expected to help maintain and strengthen the Group’s collaborative links with other research groups both nationally and internationally.

Main duties and responsibilities

The successful applicant’s work will focus on the development of new tools and strategies for the genetic control of pest insects. Duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

Insect/virus genetic studies, including:

  • Transgenesis
  • Genome editing
  • Rearing and colony maintenance
  • Phenotypic analysis including vector competence and fitness studies etc.
  • Molecular biology, including:
  • Plasmid design and construction
  • Experimental design and statistical data analysis
  • Communicating progress and data, including reporting progress to the consortium and funding agency as required and preparing manuscripts for publication
  • Supervision of students and staff
  • Project management and coordination with other consortium members

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. The job description and personal specification may be reviewed on an ongoing basis in accordance with the changing needs of the The Pirbright Institute.

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.

Personal behaviours

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


Band D (Postdoctoral Research Scientist)

  • A bachelor’s or Master’s degree or equivalent in a relevant branch of biosciences
  • Significant bench experience in a recognised R&D environment
  • An excellent record of research productivity, relative to experience
  • Evidence of experience and vision in scientific research
  • Experience of mosquito genetic transformation and/or gene editing OR of arboviruses
  • Experience of plasmid design and construction

Band E (Senior Postdoctoral Research Scientist)

In addition to the requirements outlined in Band D, for candidates to be considered for appointment at Senior level (Band E), the following criteria apply:

  • Proven track record in managing staff/students
  • More extensive experience in each of the areas cited in Band D


  • Evidence of good oral and written communication skills including the ability to communicate effectively within a team
  • Capacity to travel within UK and overseas, with long hours and occasional overnight or longer stays

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

Band D or E subject to experience;
Band D: £32,361 up to £35,104 for an exceptional candidate
Band E: £39,974 up to £43,432 for an exceptional candidate…

To apply for this vacancy please quote job reference number and send a copy of your CV with an
optional cover letter to jobs@pirbright.ac.uk

Applications end: Mon, 21/05/2018











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