Advanced Research Assistant - Germ Free/Gnotobiotic Facility

Salary in the region of £26,693 - £32,299 (dependent on experience) plus excellent benefits

Fixed term for 3 years

We are seeking a motivated and experienced Advanced Research Assistant at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, under the leadership of Dr Trevor Lawley (  We are expanding the germ free/gnotobiotic capability for controlled-microbiome studies and are looking for an Advanced Research Assistant to work closely with Dr Trevor Lawley and other members of the Sanger Institute, to provide technical support.

This is an exciting opportunity for the successful candidate to join a dynamic team investigating the role of the microbiota in human health and a variety of diseases, such as autoimmunity, infections and cancers, using genomics, microbiology and model organisms. There is a strong translational focus to the lab with the goal of developing novel, microbiome based diagnostics and therapeutics.

The successful candidate will provide technical assistance within the germ free/gnotobiotic facility by carrying out daily tasks and responsibilities such as:

  • providing food and water for the animals and organising special diets if needed
  • carrying out regular observations and health checks
  • making sure that animals are clean, comfortable and behaving as expected
  • keeping up high levels of hygiene for each animal
  • controlling heating, lighting and humidity
  • monitoring the weight and growth of animals
  • keeping accurate records and inputting data onto computer systems.

In addition, you will provide research assistance to senior managers and the facility team to develop and implement protocols and set up scientific studies and breeding in the expanding germ free/gnotobiotic facility. You will carry out both routine and more bespoke laboratory protocols and procedures as required in a consistently efficient, accurate and precise manner and support for the day to day operation of laboratory and resolving minor issues. You will need to follow strict legal controls which exist to make sure that animals used in research are well looked after and humanely treated. 

You will be required to participate in weekend/public holiday rota (approximately 1 weekend in 4) to ensure the RSF is satisfactorily maintained at all time.

Job Reference

Essential Skills

  • Degree in Biological Sciences, or equivalent qualification or experience 
  • Holds a Personal Home Office Licence Modules 1 - 3
  • Experience of working in an animal facility
  • Institute of Animal Technology Certificate or equivalent 
  • Awareness of A[SP]A and Refinement, Replacement & Reduction 
  • Ability to keep neat and accurate records 
  • Effective at communicating and liaising with others
  • Computer-literate
  • Experience of contributing to and following SOPs
  • Knowledge of meaningful Health and Safety legislation 
  • Ability to work independently and within a group but be able to recognise when to seek help 
  • Good written and oral communication skills 
  • Ability to keep good up-to-date records 
  • Ability to test and implement new approaches and techniques 
  • Ability to work to a schedule and successfully manage and prioritise multiple competing projects
  • Experience with core molecular and microbiology techniques

Ideal Skills

  • Experience of working with Germ Free/Gnotobiotic model organisms
  • Experience in microbiology and growing microbes
  • Holds a Personal Home Office Licence Module 4 
  • Familiarity with Individually Ventilated Cages/Isolators 

Other information

The Wellcome Sanger Institute is a charitably funded research centre and committed to training the next generation of genome scientists. Focused on understanding the role of genetics in health and disease and a world leader in the genomic revolution, our mission is to use genome sequences to advance understanding of human and pathogen biology in order to improve human health. We aim to provide results that can be translated into diagnostics, treatments or therapies that reduce global health burdens. Our science is large-scale and organised into Programmes, led by our Faculty who conceive and deliver our science, and supported by our Scientific Operations teams responsible for all data production pipelines at the Institute.

Our Campus: Set over 125 acres, the stunning and dynamic Wellcome Genome Campus is the biggest aggregate concentration of people in the world working on the common theme of Genomes and BioData. It brings together a diverse and exceptional scientific community, committed to delivering life-changing science with the reach, scale and imagination to pursue some of humanity’s greatest challenges.

Our Benefits: Our employees have access to a comprehensive range of benefits and facilities including:

  • Group Defined Contribution Pension Scheme and Life Assurance
  • Group Income Protection
  • Private Health Insurance
  • 25 days annual leave, increasing by one day a year to a maximum of 30
  • Family friendly environment including options for flexible and part-time working, a childcare voucher scheme, Campus Nursery and Summer holiday club
  • Two days paid Employee Volunteering Leave a year
  • Employee Discount Scheme
  • Campus Gym, tennis courts, cricket pitch and sports hall plus a range of dining facilities
  • Active Campus Sports and Social Club
  • Free Campus Bus Service

Genome Research Limited is an Equal Opportunity employer. As part of our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion and promoting equality in careers in science, we hold an Athena SWAN Bronze Award and have an active Equality, Diversity and Inclusion programme of activity. We will consider all applicants without discrimination on grounds of disability, sexual orientation, pregnancy or maternity leave status, race or national or ethnic origin, age, religion or belief, gender identity or re-assignment, marital or civil partnership status, protected veteran status (if applicable) or any other characteristic protected by law. We are open to a range of UK-based flexible working options including part-time or full-time employment as well as flexible hours due to caring or other commitments.

Please include a covering letter and CV with your application.  Closing date: 12th August 2018.