- Job Title
- Microbiome Research Technician
- Post Number
- Closing Date
- 2 Sep 2019
- Starting Salary
- £24,815 - £30,270
- Hours per week
- Project Title
- Microbiome Research Technician
- Expected/Ideal Start Date
- 01 Oct 2019
- Months Duration
Main Purpose of the Job
An exciting opportunity for a highly motivated and enthusiastic individual to join a dynamic, multidisciplinary research programme within the Quadram Institute. The successful applicant will work as part of a technical support team and be responsible for recruiting study participants and for the collection, cataloging, storage and processing of samples obtained from subjects recruited into the two longitudinal studies at the Quadram Institute, the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) or from regional GP practices. This may include working with a Clinical Studies Co-ordinator and a Microbiome Research Scientist to assist with participant recruitment which will include taking Informed Consent in line with GCP (Good Clinical Practice), administering questionnaires, in addition to taking primary responsibility for obtaining and processing samples (e.g. blood, stool, urine and/or intestinal biopsies) from the recruited participants.
The post will require working in close collaboration with staff of the QI- Endoscopy and Clinical Trials Research Unit, members of the Norwich Research Park (NRP) Biorepository for obtaining, cataloging and banking samples and external stakeholders. The successful applicant will be expected to work closely with researchers in the Gut Microbes and Health (GMH) research programme to develop standard operating procedures and protocols for the processing of samples for different downstream analyses including cell isolation, culture and/or banking from blood and stool samples, eukaryotic and prokaryotic DNA/RNA extraction and library generation for next generation sequencing.
The post holder will be based within the Gut Microbes and Health Programme of the Quadram Institute which is located on the NRP (which also includes the University of East Anglia, the John Innes Centre, the NNUH, and the Earlham Institute) and is the leading centre in UK for the study of the interactions of the gut microbiota and the host.
The technical support team covers most of the research groups within the Gut Microbes and Health research programme at the Quadram Institute, where they interact with bench scientists as part of research projects, the other Microbiome Project Scientist, Clinical Studies Co-ordinator for study participant recruitment, NHS staff in the QI Endoscopy and Clinical Research Trials Unit to obtain study samples, staff of the NRP Biorepository for sample cataloguing and storage, and Programme Managers for project oversight and members of the Health and Safety team.
Main Activities & Responsibilities
- Responsible for collection, cataloging, storage and processing of samples from participants recruited to longitudinal studies
- Obtaining informed consent from participants, in line with Good Clinical Practice
- Maintaining all study-related documents and databases
- Providing assistance, guidance and/or training to staff, students and visiting workers as appropriate
- Maintaining specific laboratory records including COSHH and Risk Assessment forms
- Assisting with decontamination under guidance
- Routine operation, maintenance and calibration of specialist equipment
- Participating in programme and institute-wide meetings when required
- Liaising with NRP Biorepository, NHS staff, QI researchers
- Following full training, to provide detailed telephone and face-to-face study information to participants
- As agreed with line manager, any other duties commensurate with the nature of the post
Education & Qualifications
- BSc or equivalent in biomedical science, or a related field
Specialist Knowledge & Skills
- Strong theoretical and/or practical experience in microbiology and microbiota studies
- Understanding of and being able to conform to current Health and Safety and Ethics regulations
- Understanding of the General Data Protection Regulation
- Ability to take initiative in implementing project goals
- Excellent IT skills
- Experience in biomedical laboratory/industry based research
- Microbiology experience (culturing, phenotypic and DNA/RNA extraction and analysis)
- Previous experience with quality control processes and reporting
- Experience with microbiota studies including experience/knowledge of next-generation sequencing and the analysis of sequence data
- Experience of working with human study samples
Interpersonal & Communication Skills
- Excellent communication skills, both written and oral, including the ability to present complex information with clarity
- Excellent organisational, time management and record keeping skills
- Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to communicate and interact with the breadth of people visiting (patients, general public) and working (scientists and NHS staff) within the QI.
- Initiative and a desire to learn, to innovate and to move out of their comfort zone
- Demonstrated ability to work independently; use initiative and apply problem solving skills
- Promotes and strives for continuous improvement
- Mentoring and coaching skills and ability/willingness to line manage junior colleagues
- Promotes equality and values diversity
- Ability to work under time pressure and to tight deadlines
- Willingness to undertake any necessary training for the role
- Ability to travel to local destinations
- Willingness to work outside of normal working hours as and when required
- Attention to detail
Who We Are
Quadram Institute Bioscience
The Quadram Institute is at the forefront of a new interface between food science, gut biology and health, developing solutions to worldwide challenges in food-related disease and human health.
We are engaged in fundamental and translational food and health research, alongside clinical studies, endoscopy and industry, working together to become a leading international hub for food and health research, combining scientific excellence and clinical expertise, delivering impacts on patient care and accelerating innovation.
The Quadram Institute is a diverse and multicultural scientific community. We thrive on our international and European links, appointing staff from across the world. We expect this to continue post Brexit. However, any candidate who would like further information on current or anticipated immigration requirements can contact the HR Team on +44 (0)1603 450888 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gut Microbes and Health
The overarching aim of the Gut Microbes and Health Programme is to develop a mechanistic understanding of how gut microbes contribute to maintaining health throughout the life course. The programme of research is underpinned by two population-based longitudinal studies of very young and ageing/elderly East Anglia-based populations. The very young population study is designed to address the importance of maternal factors and vertical transmission of microbes in the development of the healthy infant microbiota. The elderly/ageing population study aims to determine how age-associated structural and functional changes in the gut microbiome contribute to declining mental health and cognitive impairment that leads to dementia.
Applications are invited for a Microbiome Research Technician to join the Gut Microbes and Health Programme at Quadram Institute Bioscience (QIB), based in Norwich, UK.
We are looking to recruit a Microbiome Research Technician to provide support to scientists working in the Gut Microbes and Health research programme. This position provides an exciting opportunity for a highly motivated and enthusiastic individual to join a dynamic, multidisciplinary research programme within the newly opened Quadram Institute located on Norwich Research Park.
The post will involve recruiting study participants and obtaining, cataloguing, storing and processing biological samples from human participants recruited into two long term studies of gut microbes and health. The postholder will work with other team members to recruit patients and process samples for downstream studies.
The ideal candidate:
To be considered for this role, candidates should possess a BSc or equivalent in biomedical science or a related field. They should also have strong theoretical and/or practical experience in microbiology and microbiota studies, and a good understanding of current health and safety and data protection legislation. Candidates should have excellent communication, time management and organisation skills and be able to work individually and flexibly across different research groups and with members of the public.
Salary on appointment will be within the range £24,815 to £30,270 per annum depending on qualifications and experience. This post is a fulltime post for a period of 4 months.
Please note, this post does not meet UKVI requirements to provide Tier 2 visa sponsorship.
We are committed to equal opportunities and welcome applications from all sectors of society. The Institute supports equality of opportunity within the workplace and expects all employees to share and display these values. To support our commitment, we have a range of family, faith and diversity friendly working arrangements to help all staff achieve excellence in their area of work.
As a Disability Confident employer, we guarantee to offer an interview to all disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria for this vacancy.
About the Quadram Institute:
The Quadram Institute is a new interdisciplinary research institute at the forefront of a new era in food and health research. Its mission is to understand how food and the gut microbiota are linked to the promotion of health and the prevention of disease. A partnership between Quadram Institute Bioscience, the University of East Anglia, the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and BBSRC, it brings together scientists and clinicians in a new state-of-the-art building. The Quadram Institute is based on the Norwich Research Park, one of Europe’s largest centres of life sciences and home of the John Innes Centre and The Earlham Institute.