Work for CHAP

Working with us here at CHAP, you will have the chance to carve out your own career in the exciting agri-tech sector. See below for our current vacancies.

National Reference Collection Technician, CABI


Contract:              12 month Fixed Term Contract
Hours:                   Full Time
Location:              CABI
Reporting to:       Capability Liaison Manager


Crop Health and Protection (CHAP) Ltd is one of four UK Agri-Tech Centres launched under BEIS supported by Innovate UK in 2015. As a unique, independent nexus between UK government, researchers and industry, CHAP builds innovation networks to identify and accelerate the development of cutting-edge solutions to drive transformative change in sustainable crop productivity.


About the Role

The key function of this role is to provide support to the National Reference Collection (NRC) resource hosted within the CABI Genetic Resource Collection at the Egham laboratories.  The successful applicant will join a team of specialists and support staff involved in the identification, testing, characterisation and preservation of microorganisms. The role will require a range of aseptic microbial techniques including sub-culturing microorganisms, cryopreservation, and lyophilisation as well as molecular techniques such as DNA isolation in addition to database management. Previous experience and proven capability in laboratory work especially microbial techniques is essential.


Key Responsibilities
  • Culture collection management and maintenance.
  • Growth, storage and removal of cryopreserved and lyophilised fungi, bacteria and yeast.
  • Interaction with customers and processing paperwork related to supply and safe storage of isolates following GDPR guidelines where applicable.
  • Isolation and purification of microorganisms, predominantly fungi, bacteria and yeasts.
  • Preservation of microorganisms using lyophilisation and cryopreservation techniques.
  • Maintenance of necessary supplies and general housekeeping for operation of the NRC.
  • Work in accordance with standard operating procedures and culture collection guidance.
  • Work in accordance with DEFRA’s plant health policies (relating to plant pathogens).
  • Follow due diligence checks and biosafety measures when supplying cultures to external researchers.
  • Undertake DNA extractions and further molecular processing (including but not limited to PCR’s & sequencing preparation reactions).
  • Manage internal and public databases relating to the collection.
  • Other technical activities to be undertaken for delivery into CHAP’s work-flow or projects, as required by the Delivery Team.


Candidate Profile
  • Knowledge and understanding of a broad range of laboratory techniques (required).
  • Skilled in microbiology procedures including aseptic technique, culturing, and use of microscopes (required).
  • Skilled in molecular biology.
  • Experience of working in research and/or commercial laboratory environment with a focus on microbiology.
  • Good oral and written communication skills (required).
  • Experience in techniques used in the preservation of microorganisms and culture collection operation.
  • Experience of database management.
  • Experience of working with plant pathogens and/ or entomopathogens.
  • Experience with microscope slide preparation and identification.
  • Preparation of media and reagents (required).
  • Experience in the morphological identification of fungi.
  • Experience working with plant pathogens or other licensed biological material.
  • Experience in culture collection operation.
Skills, Qualifications and Experience:
  • Degree or equivalent in Microbiology or Biological Sciences.
  • Competence in the MS Office suite of software.
  • Experience with practical research projects.
  • Formal training in the shipment of hazardous substances.


Personal Characteristics: 
  • Ability to work as part of a team.
  • Self-motivated and able to work with little supervision.
  • Good organisational skills and ability to manage large workloads effectively.
  • Flexibility & adaptability.


For more information and an informal confidential discussion please e-mail your CV and covering letter TO officemanager@chap-solutions.co.uk


Please send all enquiries to officemanager@chap-solutions.co.uk

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