RSSL: Lead Scientist - Next Generation Sequencing

In RSSL we are customer focused, science led and results driven. The RSSL DNA and Protein laboratory performs a wide range of analytical analyses for a variety of food, pharmaceutical and healthcare companies and supports Mondelez research and innovation.

This role specifically takes a lead in building capability for RSSL’s Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) service offering for pathogen identification and authenticity of food products at RSSL. The role will provide technical direction and possible managerial responsibilities within the DNA and Protein laboratory. in ensuring that complex projects are performed and supervised effectively and accurately within agreed timescales and to appropriate quality standards.

This role has a strong focus on DNA analyses method development and project management. The main tasks are:

Cooperate with partners on NGS set up at RSSL with regards to WGS of bacteria, food authenticity and Micro-ID.
Develop PCR and RT-PCR methods for food authentically (meat, fish), allergens, and GMO
Run Sanger Sequencing analyses.
Be the MDLZ expert for sequencing and work on food safety with our microbiology experts
Support the food authenticity offering
Run routine analyses in the DNA and Protein department.

In addition the candidate will get involved in allergen analyses with ELISA and protein characterisation (e.g. SDS-PAGE, Bioanalyzer)

The position holder will coach and train junior members of the team as required.

Responsibilities will also include frequent client contact, networking with the scientific community outside RSSL, and administrative support for laboratory management.


Provide high quality customer service at all times by ensuring effective organisation of assigned workload, integrity of analytical data generated and timely/accurate provision of results.
Provide Technical direction within own area of expertise across departments.
Detailed knowledge and hands on experience of using of Whole Genome Sequencing, using the Illumina system.
Understanding of bioinformatics, and its applications in Whole Genome Sequencing
Perform a range of analysis using techniques such as PCR, RFLP, SDS-PAGE, RT-PCR, Sanger sequencing with ABI 3130 , ELISA assays independently
Perform complex method development and design validation protocols.
Perform maintenance and troubleshooting of lab equipment. Identify new lab equipment for the department.
Perform data checking and provide interpretation of results for routine testing.
Generate certificate analysis or external interpretive reports.
Expert user of specific instrument software and proficient in the use of generic and specific software packages require for the role: Laboratory’s LIMS system, Q-Pulse.
Provide training and supervise junior staff in routine activities and methods and interpretation. Responsible for a portfolio of projects within their technical area of expertise

Reading Scientific Services Ltd (RSSL) is a cutting-edge Contract Research Organisation (CRO), providing research, analysis and consultancy to the food and pharmaceutical sectors. Whether we are creating new products, validating medicines or solving investigations, we take pride in being a leader in our field, serving clients from across 60 countries.

In 2019, we’ve been recognised as Enlightened Employer, Women in Business and Thames Valley Tech finalists and in 2018 one of our family earned the Food & Drink Federation’s Scientist of the Year. Enriched by our parent company Mondelēz International, our diverse team includes 23 nationalities from 300 members, creating a family feel as we strive towards our mission of “Science Enhancing Lives”.


Education and Experiences:

Educated to Degree or PhD in a relevant scientific discipline , preferably biochemistry, chemistry or food chemistry
Excellent understanding of PCR technologies, related method development, and insight into whole genomic sequencing
Scientific understanding and ability to independently conduct biochemical analysis, method development and evaluation of new technology in relevant area.
Strong verbal and written communication skills in English, with the ability to network with external clients and internal teams.
Meticulous attention to detail, well organized and strong team working ethos. able to organise own work and others to maximise output
Ability to deliver projects/work within tight timescales and ability to motivate and mentor junior scientific staff.
Technical credibility to develop good working relationships with internal and external clients.
Ability to problem solve and to plan resources to maintain consistent workflow in delivery of projects.
Excellent organizational skills, including time management and priority setting.
Project management and planning skills,able to manage project teams and leading resourcing allocation.
Computer literate in standard MS office applications
Extended experience of using Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) and associated MiSeq package, developing and validating methods with these technologies
Analytical Project management across groups or departments
Good knowledge of laboratory quality and accreditation systems (GMP/UKAS)
Good theoretical and practical knowledge of whole genomic sequecing

We pride ourselves on having a high performing and collaborative culture where we offer support and development to enhance your career and develop your knowledge and skills.

In return for your commitment, drive and enthusiasm, we offer an attractive benefits package within a highly successful International business that offers financial rewards and resources, including bonus scheme, contributory pension, life assurance, generous holiday allowance and a flexible benefits programme.

Please be aware that this role may require handling of materials that may contain chemicals, solvents and allergens, and the appropriate protective wear will be supplied.


Application Instructions: 

To apply for this role please visit RSSL's careers pages and select this vacancy:

Application Closing Date: 
29 February