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Development Scientist - Automated Platforms


Oxfordshire £35k – £42k
permanent Job Ref: 6771


We have an exciting opportunity to join a growing start-up in Oxford. Currently in ‘stealth mode’ the company is at a key stage of growth and requires additional support in the lab. As the Automation Scientist you will be responsible for implementing the company’s cell based high-throughput screening platform. To be considered, you must have previous experience in developing automated platforms in another biotech or pharma company, and have hands-on experience in cell and/or biochemical high-throughput screening.

Position summary:

This is an exciting opportunity to have a real impact on the development of the high-throughput automation platform. As an automation scientist you will be responsible to implement the company’s cell based high-throughput screening platform and your duties will include:

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Assemble, implement and validate new automation equipment, including the development of standardised operation procedures and maintenance systems
  • Interact with scientists across the company to develop and optimise cell culturing protocols and cell-based assay protocols on the automation platform ensuring optimal efficiency & performance
  • Troubleshoot high-throughput automated workflows as required
  • Write, debug, and deploy code for integrating laboratory automation devices
  • Design, plan, and execute complex R&D experiments ensuring that deliverables are successfully met within timelines
  • Develop and implement a system for large data-set acquisition, collation, processing, and analysis to generate high quality information for experimental inferences
  • Document research findings clearly in an electronic lab book
  • Along with team members, provide routine laboratory maintenance, including participating in equipment upkeep, cleaning rotas and laboratory consumables stock management
  • Ensure that laboratory health, safety and quality procedures are followed
  • Select, follow, and adapt experimental protocols and generate laboratory SOPs
  • Support the preparation of laboratory risk assessments and maintenance of health and safety protocols
  • Participate regularly in group meetings and prepare and deliver presentations to project team and internal stakeholders


  • Master or PhD in Life sciences, Computing, Engineering and related fields scientist

Experience in one or more of the following areas:

Essential Experience:

  • Two or more years’ experience in developing automation platforms in the pharmaceutical or similar industry
  • Experience of developing, implementing & optimising complex protocols on liquid handling automation platforms
  • Proven experience in cell and/or biochemical high-throughput screening approaches and ability to troubleshoot screening problems
  • A proven track record in the application of data processing and statistical methods to large biological data sets

Desirable experience:

  • Experience in culture media and small molecule screening
  • Experience working with adherent mammalian cell cultures
  • Experience with high content imagers and related image analysis systems
  • Understanding of state-of-the-art assay and automation technology platforms
  • Experience of applying DoE (design of experiments) practice to multi-variable experiments
  • Ability to code in a programming language (e.g. SQL, R) would be a bonus

Skills and personality traits:

  • Advanced problem-solving skill
  • Excellent communication skills both written and spoken
  • Good time management and organisational skills
  • Able to multitask
  • Initiative
  • Happy in a growing team

Salary £35k - £42k

Job Ref: 6771