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Laboratory Technical Specialist

Requisition ID:  11562

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date:  12-Oct-2021


We are a world class research-intensive university. We deliver teaching and learning of the highest quality. We play a leading role in economic, social and cultural development of the North East of England. Attracting and retaining high-calibre people is fundamental to our continued success.


Salary: £26,341 - £27,924, with progression to £30,497 per annum

Closing Date: 9 November 2021


The Role 
We are looking for an experienced Laboratory Technical Specialist to provide specialised technical support for the operation of research studies within the Wellcome Centre for Mitochondrial Research (WCMR). Your work will focus on animal models of diseases caused by mutations in the mitochondrial DNA.


Reporting to the Institute Technical Manager team and Principal Investigator, you will display an in-depth knowledge of technical or scientific practices, methods and procedures gained through either experience and/or formal qualification and will deploy this knowledge to provide a range of technical support activities. 
Specifically, you will continue the development of genome engineering techniques, including novel technologies such as the delivery of new, mitochondria-targeted base editor into the developing mouse to produce targeted mutation models and transgenic models to modify and manipulate mitochondrial DNA. 


This is a full time fixed term post for 12 months.


For informal enquiries, please contact Jim.Stewart@ncl.ac.uk
 Key Accountabilities 

  • Complete a range of routine and complex maintenance activities and repairs 
  • Assist research workers with setup of animal breeding, animal housing, equipment, data recording, and contribute to the development and refinement of research techniques
  • Assist in the collection of oocytes and sperm, and the re-implantation of fertilized embryos
  • Ensure accurate identification, cage labelling and record keeping to Home Office requirements; monitor compliance
  • Provide pretreatment and post care of animals used in transgenic in-vitro fertilization procedures
  • Manage the breeding and colony maintenance, including help with genotyping and documentation of breeding and genetic transmission of targeted alleles. Check pups and monitor pregnant females and unweaned pups in the breeding cage
  • Preparation and feeding of special diets as required
  • Liaise with suppliers and manufacturers to resolve both routine and complex problems and investigate replacement options
  • Advise on equipment capabilities demonstrating how results can be achieved
  • Design and delivery of bespoke equipment and apparatus by developing local procedures, establish and maintain a safe/compliant working environment 
  • Hold specific safety responsibilities relevant to the specialism 
  • Assist with the completion and updating of a wide range of safety paperwork 
  • Oversee compliance tasks ensuring timely completion and maintenance of appropriate records
  • Complete accident reporting and assist with investigations
  • Maintain in-depth and up-to-date health and safety knowledge relevant to the specialism 
  • Schedule, prioritise and monitor work in line with demands and deadlines
  • Hold delegated responsibility from the academic lead for the planning, operation and supervision of laboratory spaces occupied by the specialism
  • Organise and facilitate progress meetings
  • Be a key contributor to specialism development, delivery and planning
  • Contribute to and support change
  • Manage on or more budgets monitoring resource usage
  • Source and negotiate with suppliers for a range of items including specialist parts/equipment
  • Create, update and implement procedures to deliver an aligned, efficient and effective service
  • Provide general and specialist research support including leading method development
  • Provide general and specialist teaching support including class/field work development
  • Support taught course projects by promotion and incorporation of specialism 
  • Prepare and manufacture specimens/samples requiring specialist skills with limited direction
  • Manage equipment bookings, calculate charges/costs and assist with re-charging 
  • Contribute to building work affecting the area occupied by the specialism 
  • Manage local security and access control arrangements
  • Design, develop and deliver inductions, demonstrations and training covering complex techniques and specialist equipment
  • Assist managers with the identification of training and development needs
  • Maintain specialist knowledge and skills, sharing with others 
  • Mentor junior staff 


The Person (Essential) 

Knowledge, Skills and Experience



  • Demonstrable work experience in a relevant technical role 
  • Thorough working knowledge of Health and Safety procedures 
  • Ensure knowledge of relevant Home Office Legistration and Codes of Practice
  • Ensure knowledge of relevant licence 
  • You should hold or obtain a Personal Licence under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 
  • Demonstratable effectiveness of working with human tissue samples  
  • Experience of molecular biology methods including PCR and RNA/DNA isolation 
  • Experience in biochemistry and cell biology 
  • Good practical knowledge of biochemical assays using specttrophotometric approaches 
  • Excellent team working skills 
  • Demonstrates technical and problem solving capacity 
  • Demonstrates good organising ability to meet deadlines, with a positive and proactive approach to duties and diligence and attention to detail (Desirable) 
  • Contribute to design and specification of research/teaching activities (Desirable) 
  • Ability to adapt to changes in laboratory research priorities (Desirable) 
  • Specific lab or workshop and specific to role (Desirable) 


Attributes and Behaviour  



  • Tact, diplomacy and able to handle difficult situations 
  • Ability to meet deadlines with effective time and resource management
  • Clear communicator and active listener 
  • Consistent and appropriate approach to staff and situations 
  • Use of feedback for process improvement and staff development 
  • Team player, self starter and able to manage complex workload 
  • Ability to respond enthusiastically and positively to undergraduate students 





  • BTEC  HNC / HND; or A’ level (or equivalent) qualification; or broad work experience acquired through a combination of vocational training and considerable on-the-job experience, demonstrating development through progressively more demanding relevant roles
  • Professional registration with an accredited professional body (including HEA) or working towards this on appointment (Desirable) 



Newcastle University is committed to being a fully inclusive Global University which actively recruits, supports and retains colleagues from all sectors of society.  We value diversity as well as celebrate, support and thrive on the contributions of all our employees and the communities they represent.  We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer and encourage applications from everybody, regardless of race, sex, ethnicity, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, age, disability, gender identity, marital status/civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, as well as being open to flexible working practices.


The University holds a silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our good employment practices for the advancement of gender equality. The University also holds the HR Excellence in Research award for our work to support the career development of our researchers, and is a member of the Euraxess initiative supporting researchers in Europe.


We understand how important the full employment package is to our colleagues at Newcastle University and we are committed to providing a great range of benefits and discounts for all.  You can learn more about what is available here on our Benefits Website page.

Requisition ID: 11562