Vacancy Information

Technician - Molecular Microbiology (18 months fixed term contract)


Location: Cambridgeshire
Closing date: 27 Aug 2020
Reference number: T/368

Job details

NIAB is the UK’s fastest growing crop science organisation, with rapidly expanding research capabilities in plant genetics, agronomy, farming systems and data science, the largest national field trials capability, and strong research links with industry, Government and academia. With headquarters in Cambridge, and regional offices across the country, employing around 400 people across the UK, NIAB provides scientific research, technical services and practical advice to improve the yield, efficiency and resilience of crop production across the arable, forage and horticulture sectors.

We are looking for a Laboratory Technician to work within the Pathology Department assisting with a BBSRC research project within the Cambridge Crop Research Unit laboratories at NIAB.

The job will require a varied skill set and be split between field/glass work and the laboratory. Molecular work will include DNA extractions, PCR, qPCR, various cloning techniques and DNA sequencing library preparations. Microbiology work will involve isolation, identification and subculture of microorganisms. In the field, assistance will be required for plant phenotyping, pathology experiments and sampling of microorganisms from commercial orchards.

The Essential requirements for the role are:
• A levels and degree in a Science subject
• Experience of Windows and Microsoft Office, including Excel
• Experience in a laboratory environment
• UK Driving licence as field visits may be required
• An interest in science and developing skills in molecular biology
• Good communication skills (excellent spoken and written English)
• Teamwork
• Ability to work independently and follow standard operating procedure
• Determination and ability to focus on repetitive tasks

A keen interest in molecular biology and knowledge of molecular techniques used in the laboratory along with experience in Molecular Biology and Bacteriology are desirable.  You must also be prepared to work flexibly to meet seasonal workloads with occasional weekend work (and occasional unsocial hours).

Key areas of the job

1. General microbiological work including culture of microorganisms, preparation of growth media and dilution plating
2. Performing DNA/RNA extractions, PCR, qPCR and sequencing library preparation
3. Completing all stages of bacterial transformations to generate bacterial mutants
4. Pathogenicity testing of bacterial strains on different plant tissues, including inoculations, re-isolations and disease scoring
5. Regular data input 
6. Phenotyping of plant traits

NIAB is committed to equal opportunity and gender balance and is also recognised by the commitment to work with international partners as evidenced by the number of Newton and GCRF current projects on global staple crops.

The post is initially available for 18 months, with the possibility of extension subject to available funding. Salary is in the range of £19,626 to £25,896 per annum, depending on experience and qualifications along with 25 days annual leave plus 8 days public holidays, pleasant working environment and eligibility to join the company pension scheme upon appointment. 

Informal enquiries to Dr Richard Harrison-  Further details and an application form are available at: or from the HR Office, NIAB, 93 Lawrence Weaver Rd, Cambridge CB3 0LE, Tel No. 01223 342282, Email:, quoting Ref No. T/368.  Closing date for applications: 27 August 2020, with interviews to be held w/c 7 September 2020 either via Zoom/MS Teams or Face-to-Face.