Senior Staff Scientist

Are you an experienced, pragmatic and forward-thinking Scientist looking to contribute towards solving real global health challenges? If so, this may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity - and we are looking for someone like you!

Due to an acceleration in exciting, scientific growth here at the world-famous Wellcome Sanger Institute, the DNA Pipelines Research and Development team is looking for a Senior Staff Scientist. The focus of this role will be to work with faculty and operational partners to design and deliver innovative high throughput workflows.

About the Role

As a Senior Staff Scientist you will be joining an experienced team, which takes a collaborative approach to project delivery and works in partnership with Scientific Programmes and other Sci-Ops groups to deliver strategic goals.

As part of your role, you will:

  • Deliver complex high-throughput processes
  • Provide expert advice and mentor and coach junior members of the team
  • Develop and implement optimal solutions to lead the evolution of our processes
  • Build relationships across DNAP, Sci-Ops and Scientific Programmes in order to foster new ideas and grow our science
  • Work closely with external collaborators to bring in new technology, ensuring that the Institute keeps pace with the latest developments

About You

You will be an experienced molecular biologist and entrepreneurial thinker with a track record in initiating concepts and project managing them through to completion, within agreed budget constraints, timescales and quality standards.

You will have hands-on experience with:

  • NGS library construction and sequencing, both long read and short read technologies
  • Extensive experience with nucleic acid extraction processes and their underlying chemistries
  • PCR primer design - comprehension of important parameters when designing PCR primers (both single plex and multiplex)
  • Experience with PCR optimisations (i.e. reagents, thermal cycling conditions)
  • Sample QC - familiarity with methods for QC in genomics labs i.e. tapestation, bioanalyser, nanodrop, qubit, qPCR and the limitations of each.
  • Innovating new processes or parts of processes by identifying areas of proposed workflows for improvement

You will have the ability to work collaboratively, communicate effectively and influence a range of internal stakeholders at all levels. You will also be comfortable working independently and prioritising your workload to meet objectives effectively and efficiently. You will have strategic awareness and the ability to support large-scale projects in a complex, ever-changing environment. You will be agile in response to changing requirements with a focus on efficiency and continuous process improvement.

About Us

DNA Pipelines (DNAP) is a core facility within Scientific Operations (Sci-Ops) at the Wellcome Sanger Institute consisting of multidisciplinary teams whose primary function is to generate high-quality data and resources by translating ambitious experimental ideas into pipelines in order for our research faculty to deliver the Institute’s scientific goals. In addition to this, DNAP have collaborated with external organisations to deliver genomic sequences for the world-leading data resource UK Biobank, and supporting public health by taking a leading role in the COG-UK consortium, sequencing SARS-CoV-2 genomes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The DNAP R&D team is tasked with taking ideas from concept, through to design, validation and implementation of these ambitious pipelines. We work collaboratively with partners across the wider institute to ensure we understand the faculty science which is being supported, and colleagues in the operational teams to ensure that we build pipelines which are robust and fit for purpose at the scales required.

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Athena Swan
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Working Families
Salary per annum
46,000 - 55,900 dependent on experience
Full Time, Part Time, Flexible Working
Full Time
Contract Type
Closing Date
04 September 2022
Job Reference

Essential Skills

Technical Skills:

  • Ph.D. degree in a biological science (or significant experience in the field).
  • A recognized expert with considerable and demonstrable proficiency in molecular biology and a clear track record in the field.
  • Knowledge and experience of next generation library construction and sequencing, both long read and short read technologies.
  • Proven ability to independently develop and optimize new scientific methods for use in a high throughput environment.
  • Expert knowledge of Nucleic acid extraction and understanding of how different chemistries can be applied to achieve project aims e.g. high or ultra-high molecular weight DNA extraction.
  • Excellent analytical and troubleshooting skills.
  • Excellent organizational and record keeping skills 

Other information

Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis and the role may close when a successful appointment has been made. 


Please apply with your CV and a cover letter outlining your suitability for the role using the criteria set out above and in the job description.