Diagnostic Scientist Jobs

Sector: Clinical

Sub-sector: Biotech/Life Sciences

Contract: Fixed-term contract

We're seeking highly skilled and experienced Diagnostic Scientist Leads to work within a state-of-the-art, high-throughput diagnostics laboratory environment as part of the UK's NHS Test and Trace programme.

The world was caught off guard by COVID-19 and as a nation, we are committed to preparing against future threats. The laboratory will be a global centre of excellence and a focal point to the National Institute of Health Protection (NIHP) capability to protect the nation from external threats.

This next-generation diagnostic laboratory represents an investment in the UK's epidemic response infrastructure for the future.

Not only will the laboratory be used to process COVID-19 tests and any future epidemics, but it will also provide a step-change to the UK's very high throughput diagnostic capabilities that will be deployed to address high clinical need or critical illnesses including cancer, cardiovascular, and metabolic diseases. This laboratory will have lasting benefits for the NHS, the country, and for our life sciences industries.

You will play a vital role in supporting society's return to a more normal way of life by helping to break the chains of COVID-19 transmission. You will also gain invaluable experience from some of the country's most highly skilled individuals in the scientific community, extend your already accomplished technical skills and position your scientific career for further success and growth.



As a Diagnostic Scientist Lead, you will be required to ensure diagnostic tests are performed according to the exacting accreditation standards in a very high-throughput lab.

You will need to maintain quality assurance and oversee specialist lab teams conducting the end to end lab processes from sample receipt, through RNA extraction to delivery of PCR data. This includes the ability to think critically and problem solve to ensure lab processes are performed according to lab SOPs and accreditation standards.

Diagnostic Scientist Leads will also be responsible for the effective identification and escalation of risks and issues. In addition, you will help manage the validation and deployment of new methodologies, as well as working with Shift Supervisors, Quality Managers and Health and Safety Managers to ensure the highest lab standards.

Key responsibilities will include:

  • Processing human biological samples in a Category 2 laboratory environment
  • Monitoring sample flow through each stage of the end-to-end process
  • Ensuring reagent supply and demand are optimised
  • Using a variety of both manual and automated molecular diagnostic methods to deliver robust diagnostic results
  • Ensuring complete sample traceability and reagent batch control in line with QC standards at each stage in the sample processing.

You will report to the chief laboratory scientists whilst supervising the development of less experienced lab staff in your area of competence.


Mandatory requirements

To be successful in this role, you must be an experienced laboratory based scientist with the following education, experience, and skills:


  • Relevant MSc degree qualification or higher / equivalent experience
  • Evidence of Continual Professional Development (CPD)


  • Experience of training and supervising staff in a laboratory setting
  • Experience in using a variety of molecular biology methods such as PCR and genome sequencing
  • Demonstrable experience of working within a time-pressured environment


  • Excellent communication and problem-solving skills.
  • Critical decision making at pace
  • Attention to detail.


Desirable requirements

The following education and experience are also desirable but not mandatory:


  • Higher-level degree/qualification e.g. PhD, Higher Specialist portfolio HCPC Registered to practise as a Clinical or Biomedical Scientist


  • Experience in laboratories working to ISO 15189 or ISO 17025
  • Operation of advanced diagnostic equipment, robotics or high-throughput equipment using biological material
  • Working with pathology IT
  • Working in a Category 2 laboratory environment


  • Knowledge of Quality Management Services
  • Knowledge/Performance of Risk Assessments
  • Liquid handling automation



As well as a competitive rate of pay (with a 20% uplift applied for night working and end of contract bonus), you'll receive comprehensive training on a range of advanced lab procedures and equipment, and work with high throughput molecular biology diagnostic tools.

This role will work on a shift pattern and will include day, evening and weekend shifts.

You will join a diverse and welcoming team. Diversity at NHS Test and Trace is about reflecting the communities we serve, holding the principles of equality and inclusion at the heart of everything we do and all that we stand for, embracing differences, creating possibilities, and growing together.

We aim to foster a culture where individuals of all backgrounds feel confident in bringing their whole selves to work, feel included and their talents are nurtured, empowering them to contribute fully to our purpose.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to join a team of highly skilled individuals, all focused on delivering the best possible outcome.

If you're ready for a new challenge and want to be part of the team delivering this essential lab work, please apply today.


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