You will provide technical expertise, support and guidance in research support. You may supervise a number of technical staff but even where you do not directly supervise staff you will still be expected to act as a role model and coach others as appropriate.
You will need an in-depth understanding of the research questions, techniques and experimental protocols. You will be able to use your in-depth knowledge to advise on procedures, diagnose and resolve problems, and proactively suggest solutions to issues which arise. You may need to operate out of normal working hours to accommodate experimental procedures.
In order to flexibly use resource you may be offered the opportunity to work in different areas of the department or wider university.
Main Duties and Responsibilities
Developing COVID-19 Assay
- Providing technical support for Prof Tucker, members of the Tucker group and his collaborators in Biosciences and the Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences in developing a COVID-19 assay
- Handling chemical and biological reagents and preparing buffers and reagent mixes
- Using various experimental protocols and running laboratory equipment (e.g. PCR thermal cyclers)
- Contributing to discussions about the assay results, and making suggestions for future experiments
- Assisting in carrying out experimental work with group members and research collaborators
1. You will be responsible for assisting in managing the experimental and laboratories.
2. You will use your in-depth knowledge of methods and procedures to advise on techniques and experimental procedures being used by researchers and/or students. This will involve communicating with colleagues at a range of levels and inexperienced students.
3. You will need to be able to diagnose and resolve problems and suggest solutions in regard to techniques and experiments.
4. Carry out specialist technical and experimental procedures which will need you to use your judgment to assess the correct technique to use, and to consider how these may be improved, referring to your manager for approval on any proposed changes.
5. You will need to maintain accurate records of all techniques and experimental procedures you carry out, and for any other research activities you may be involved in including results.
6. Ensure compliance with legislation relevant to the area of research/activity.
7. Comply with and promote the operating procedures for the area, including the classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures regulation.
8. You may contribute to internal and external audit procedures and to regulatory inspections.
Health and Safety duties
1. Proactive support for health and safety within the laboratory. This may include being required to look after a communal area as part of your duties. Comply with all current rules and ensure all required assessments are in place, approved and up to date.
2. Fully understand the safety aspects of equipment operation and be able to demonstrate/train staff (at all levels) on the correct usage of the equipment.
3. Ensuring that regular maintenance processes are carried out and that appropriate records are maintained.
4. Reporting any breaches or non-compliance with H&S procedures to the relevant manager(s).
5. Upholding the correct waste disposal stream as governed by College and local policy for laboratory.
6. Upholding the correct waste disposal stream as governed by College and local policy for the laboratory.
7. Postholders may be asked to undergo training as a First Aider.
General Administration and Organisation
1. Ensuring all records are accurate and kept up to date.
2. Proactively maintain stocks of consumables, and when required generate purchase order requisitions using University systems.
3. Receipt and correct storage of consumables/equipment and chemical reagents.
4. Ensuring that the facilities are maintained in a clean, functional and safe condition, reporting any problems through the appropriate channels.
5. Ensuring that PAT testing, calibration of equipment and locally and centrally held equipment inventories are up to date and maintained.
6. Adopt a proactive attitude to assisting with and implementing carbon reduction and energy saving measures.
7. Maintain a technical support based teaching laboratory website (how to guides for the preparation of materials, practical setup guides), and keeping these up to date as and when session requirements or protocols change or maintaining relevant research lab databases/records.
1. In collaboration with the relevant manager the post holder will take an active role in the training and mentoring process for junior or newly appointed staff.
2. Supports equality and values diversity, moderates own behaviour to avoid unfair discriminatory impact or bias on others.
3. Any other duties as may reasonably be required.
- Extensive relevant workplace experience, equivalent professional qualification or a degree in Chemistry.
- GCSE level 2 (A*- C) or equivalent level 2 qualification in mathematics and english.
- In-depth practical knowledge of relevant technical and scientific methods.
- Extensive experience of similar laboratory based work, together with familiarity with a wide range of laboratory equipment.
- Positive service attitude and shows courtesy in dealing with others.
- Ability to organise and manage own work load and demonstrate flexibility in terms of work practices/requirements.
- Ability to work under minimal supervision but function as part of a team.
- Knowledge of current legislation relevant to the role.
- Knowledge of current H&S policies and ability to uphold same.
- Proficiency in commonly used software packages.
- Understands the importance of equality and diversity in the workplace
- Ability to identify and respond to equality and diversity issues in line with relevant policies and procedures
You will provide specialist expertise in your area and provide advice and support to a range of customers. You may supervise staff; even where you do not have supervisory responsibilities you will be expected to act as a role model for other staff. You may be involved in budget monitoring.
Planning and organising
You will be required to work independently on daily, weekly and monthly tasks but also on projects with medium-longer-term horizons without daily supervision. You will ensure that you have the resources required, which will require planning ahead and procurement of goods.
Problem solving and decision making
You will be able to research, modify and adapt protocols after consulting relevant manager, and prepare for research experiments. You will be able to uphold Health and Safety procedures. You will need to be confident in identifying problems, breaking them down and implementing solutions. Although you will work under the direction of more senior staff you will be able to carry out your work with a large amount of autonomy.
Internal and external relationships
This role will be advising and supporting research staff and/or students, and with external contacts such as company representatives.
Our values and behaviours
For informal inquiries please contact Professor James Tucker, email: J.Tucker@bham.ac.uk or Katherine Webb, email: K.B.Webb@bham.ac.uk
Valuing excellence, sustaining investment
We value diversity and inclusion at the University of Birmingham and welcome applications from all sections of the community and are open to discussions around all forms of flexible working