Laboratory Scientist

UK Health Security Agency
Not Mentioned
United Kingdom
28 Feb 2024

About the job


UKHSA Porton Down, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP4 0JG

About The Job

Job summary

We pride ourselves as being an employer of choice, where Everyone Matters promoting equality of opportunity to actively encourage applications from everyone, including groups currently underrepresented in our workforce.

UKHSA ethos is to be an inclusive organisation for all our staff and stakeholders. To create, nurture and sustain an inclusive culture, where differences drive innovative solutions to meet the needs of our workforce and wider communities. We do this through celebrating and protecting differences by removing barriers and promoting equity and equality of opportunity for all.

The Research department at Porton plays an important role in preparing for and coordinating responses to potential healthcare emergencies, including possible acts of deliberate release.

In addition, the department undertakes both basic and applied research into understanding infectious diseases and manufactures a number of healthcare products, including vaccines and therapeutics.

The Research department at Porton performs a range of research activities, including high containment level work. The department’s work covers a broad range of projects involving the development and evaluation of interventions into a range of infectious diseases e.g. TB, meningitis, anthrax and plague.

Job Description

The post holder will play a key role in an internationally recognised team contributing to global TB vaccine and drug initiatives. The team are responsible for the delivery of the scientific and technical activities associated with the use of advanced in vivo models of M. tuberculosis infection for the evaluation of novel TB vaccine strategies and therapeutics.

The post holder will assist with the evaluation of novel vaccines and therapeutics in the following ways:

  • Using immunological techniques such as ELISA, Flow cytometry and PCR.
  • Using microbiological techniques such as plating of bacteria/tissue samples and
  • counting CFUs.
  • Using the above techniques in a containment level 3 environment.
  • Assisting with the preparation for individual studies
  • Assist with data analysis and presentation

In addition, the post holder will assist with on-going pandemic by contributing to SARS-CoV-2 tasks as directed by line manager.

Please note: This is a NOT a Biomedical scientist post.


This is a Lab based role at Porton Down, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP4 0JG

*Please be aware that this role can only be worked from within the UK and not overseas. Relocation expenses are not available.*

Working Pattern – Full Time.

Job Description

Key Responsibilities:

  • Utilise a range of methods/assays/techniques in support of activities associated with the project aimed to ensure project targets are met.
  • Take responsibility for the control and stockpile of reagents for their own area of the project.
  • Assist the project team to identify, evaluate and adapt new technologies where appropriate and to ensure that the project operates to a high scientific standard using current methods.
  • Supply data to agreed time-scales to enable the preparation of project reports, presentations and publications.
  • To perform any other duties required by the Line manager commensurate with grade.
  • To ensure that the project team undertakes work in accordance with the Code of Safety Practice and to work within any Quality Systems that are applicable to the site.
  • To maintain health and safety competence to the national occupational standard ‘Make sure your actions reduce risks to health and safety’ (NOS HSS1).
  • To fulfil the requirements of UKHSA Values and Behaviours commensurate with grade.
  • To comply with all UKHSA policies and procedures.

The above is only an outline of the tasks, responsibilities and outcomes required of the role. You will carry out any other duties as may reasonably be required by your line manager. The job description and person specification may be reviewed on an ongoing basis in accordance with the changing needs of the division and UKHSA.

Person specification

Essential Criteria:

It is important through your application and Statement of Suitability of 1250 words that you give evidence and examples of proven experience of each of the following criteria:


  • Degree/equivalent qualification or suitable experience.
  • Experience of safe working practices.
  • Experience in relevant methods acquired through previous employment, placements or taught course.
  • An understanding of and commitment to equality of opportunity and good working relationships.
  • Willing to undertake security clearance and/or vaccinations as required.
  • Skills for communication on complex information and administrative matters, requiring developed interpersonal and oral/ written communication skills.
  • Problem solving skills and ability to respond to sudden unexpected demands, changes in workload and working in difficult environments. Calm and methodical approach.
  • Ability to work on own initiative and organise own workload with minimal supervision working to tight and often changing timescales.


  • Some postgraduate experience in relevant methods: qPCR, ELISA, CL3 work, basic laboratory techniques.
  • Good knowledge and practical familiarity with essential techniques for project which are basic microbiology, basic molecular biology, CL3 work, RNA extraction, isolation of cells from blood samples.
  • Experience of having worked within a regulated environment (e.g. ISO9001).


Working for the UKHSA

For more information on the UKHSA please visit: UK Health Security Agency - GOV.UK (


  • Learning and development tailored to your role
  • An environment with flexible working options
  • A culture encouraging inclusion and diversity
  • A Civil Service pension with an average employer contribution of 27%
  • Range of health and wellbeing support

Any move to UKHSA from another employer will mean you can no longer access childcare vouchers. This includes moves between government departments. You may however be eligible for other government schemes, including Tax Free Childcare. Determine your eligibility at Childcare Choices , 30 Hours Free Childcare, Tax-Free Childcare and More , Help with Costs , GOV.UK

Things you need to know

Selection process details


You will be required to complete an application form. This will be assessed in line with the advertised essential criteria – please do provide evidence of how you meet this.

If you are successful at this stage, you will progress to an interview.


This competition will involve an interview via Microsoft Teams.

As part of the process, candidates will be invited to interview which will involve an in-depth discussion of your previous experience and professional competence in relation to the criteria set out in the Person Specification.

Your Statement of Suitability should outline your skills, experience, and achievements, providing evidence of your suitability for the role, with reference to the essential criteria (outlined in the person specification section).

You will also be asked to provide information within the ‘Employer/ Activity history’ section of the application form. This is equivalent to the information you would provide on a CV, setting out your career history.

The Success Profiles framework will be used to assess and recruit the most suitable candidate. The following behaviours will be used at the interview:

  • Changing and Improving
  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Working Together
  • Delivering at Pace

For further information on the selection process, please refer to the attached Candidate Pack.

Expected Timeline:

Advert close: 23:55hrs on 16th of November 2023 – unfortunately, late applications will not be considered. Once this job has closed, the job advert will no longer be available. You may want to save a copy for your records.

Shortlist: TBC

Interviews: TBC

Please note these dates could be subject to change.

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.


Successful candidates must undergo a criminal record check.

People working with government assets must complete baseline personnel security standard (opens in new window) checks.

Nationality Requirements

This job is broadly open to the following groups:

  • UK nationals
  • nationals of the Republic of Ireland
  • nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK
  • nationals of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and family members of those nationalities with settled or pre-settled status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS) (opens in a new window)
  • nationals of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and family members of those nationalities who have made a valid application for settled or pre-settled status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
  • individuals with limited leave to remain or indefinite leave to remain who were eligible to apply for EUSS on or before 31 December 2020
  • Turkish nationals, and certain family members of Turkish nationals, who have accrued the right to work in the Civil Service

Further information on nationality requirements (opens in a new window)

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code (opens in a new window) sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles (opens in a new window) .

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

Apply and further information

This vacancy is part of the Great Place to Work for Veterans (opens in a new window) initiative.

Once this job has closed, the job advert will no longer be available. You may want to save a copy for your records.

Contact point for applicants

Job contact :

Recruitment team

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