Principal Scientist


Principal Scientist – 18 months Long Term Temp role

Leamington Spa

Very competitive Salary


The Principal Scientist will lead the day to day operational and technical delivery of two lab lines conducting the ultra-high throughput next generation sequencing of positive Covid samples for the assessment of variants, from sample accessioning of positive samples cherry-picked from the qPCR testing lines, RNA to cDNA conversion, amplification, next generation sequencing DNA library preparation, QC, pooling and subsequently genome sequencing through to data delivery.

The Principal Scientist will operate at a lab level to ensure all technical and scientific processes, equipment and resources are in place and provide the lead focal point for operational delivery of science to staff cohort.

You will be accountable for lab quality assurance, requiring a strong focus on critical thinking and problem-solving to guarantee processes are carried out according to the lab’s Standard Operating Procedures.

As the final point of escalation for scientific matters, an integral part of the role will be to effectively deal with any escalated risks and issues that occur during a set shift.

The Principal Scientist will be required to provide daily reporting and support business strategies and KPIs.

This role will require you to be as the Principal Scientist :

ü  The technical expert and leader of all science in the operational departments

ü  Lead the operational delivery of multiple lab lines conducting an end-to-end patient testing process, from sample receipt, accessioning, sample prep, RNA extraction, through to delivery of PCR data

ü  Achieve agreed KPI’s on sample throughput delivery, quality and Health & Safety

ü  Ensure compliance with quality standards, ensuring lab processes are carried out according to the Standard Operating Procedures

ü  Motivated, high-performing shift of approx.

300-400 staff across multiple lab lines


  • Accountable for the performance, welfare and engagement of several large teams across multiple lab lines
  • Development and upskilling of lab staff to ensure high-functioning, flexible teams, spanning across all required technical areas and soft skills.

    This will include ongoing staff development through the Training Academy
  • Support the design and implementation of scientific assays where appropriate
  • Ensure all lab activities, Standard Operating Procedures and equipment are fully compliant and maintained
  • Accountable for the successful flow of the end-to-end process across both lab lines, achieving key Turnaround Targets for each line
  • Act as a mentor and final escalation point for any technical and scientific issues, and determine correct means of resolution, including technical issue investigation and process efficiency improvements
  • Direct line management of approx.

    4-6 Associate Principal Scientists, including managing performance, development, engagement and welfare and the probation and appraisals processes
  • Support the design and implementation of scientific assays where appropriate
  • Oversight of and support to on-going recruitment and development of senior lab staff, ensuring optimal staff capability to fulfil the end-to-end patient testing process
  • Champion Health and Safety, ensuring that all lab lines are following safe and defined processes

Skill and Capability Requirements:


  • BSc or MSc Biomedical Science / Life Science
  • Significant experience of working within a genomics lab setting, including experience of handling RNA & DNA samples 

    • Extensive exposure to an automated processing line for sample processing incorporating liquid handling platforms and associated technology
    • Strong evidence of technical troubleshooting of scientific/lab processes and/or data/output analysis
    • Significant experience in molecular biology, including PCR, next generation genetic sequencing including library preparation
    • Experience of QPCR methodology or end-point PCR for the purposes of QC assessment
    • Significant managerial experience dealing with large, diverse teams and performance issues, including direct line management and lab team lead experience
    • Demonstrated capability to build a new lab-based team and rapid scale up of operations
    • Experience of maintaining documents and working within laboratories accredited to ISO15189:2012 / ISO17025:2019
    • Ability to solve complex problems under pressure and use initiative to promptly make informed decisions
    • Knowledge/performance of Risk Assessments


  • Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC Registered)
  • PhD Biomedical Science / Life Science
  • Experience of working within shift-based operations
  • Experience of working with a Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS)
  • Working with pathology IT
  • Strong project planning and management skills

    • This job description is not exhaustive and will be subject to periodic review in association with the post-holder.



* For a full Job Spec please call Vanessa on 0203 750 0575 Ext 302.

Insignia Recruit and our clients are equal opportunities employers, value diversity and are strongly committed to providing equal employment opportunities for all employees and all applicants for employment.

Equal opportunities are the only acceptable way to conduct business and we believe that the more inclusive our environments are, the better our work will be


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