Higher Scientific Officer-Antimicrobial Resistance: UK

At the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), our diverse team of over 2,000 skilled and committed professionals come together to achieve a vital goal: to safeguard animal and plant health for the benefit our environment, the UK economy and for all of us who live here.

By joining us you will be part of an organisation with a wide range of vital priorities. Together, we conduct research into bacterial, viral and parasitic diseases and vaccines, facilitate the international trade in animals, identify and control endemic and exotic diseases, and tackle the threat presented by Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) at national and international levels.

Joining the Department of Bacteriology, you will become a member of a dedicated team that supports our vital AMR work, both in the UK and abroad. You will:

  • Be an experienced Microbiologist with expertise in determinative bacteriology and antimicrobial susceptibility testing.
  • Undertake laboratory-based projects and investigations, with a particular focus on developing and applying molecular and phenotypic techniques. Specifically, you will identify and conduct genotypic and phenotypic testing of bacteria that is of public and veterinary health importance.
  • Use a variety of methods in your investigations, including PCR, microarrays, whole genome sequencing, and susceptibility testing by disc diffusion and MIC determination.
  • Visit low and middle-income countries for up to one month at a time, in order to support the AMR Reference Centre’s ‘One Health’ approach to capacity development. While in these countries, you will conduct capability assessments and deliver training in antimicrobial susceptibility testing and molecular techniques. You may also participate in field-based work and sample collection to develop local capacity in the surveillance and monitoring of AMR.
  • Contribute to the creation of reports and publications that will document your investigative findings, and detail other activities of the Reference Centre. You will also draft concept notes and funding proposals.
  • Develop materials and protocols such as Standard Operating Procedures that will be used by the Reference Centre.
  • Deliver one-to-one and classroom-based training in antimicrobial susceptibility testing and molecular techniques to UK-based colleagues.

This is a valuable opportunity to contribute to the field of Antimicrobial Resistance on a worldwide scale, supporting capacity development in low and middle-income countries. You will therefore excel in this position if you have the flexibility to travel, and to work irregular hours. As your work may take you to farm premises, feed mills, abattoirs, hatcheries and post mortem facilities, you must adhere to restrictions on contact with outside and domestic animals such as rabbits and rodents. You may also not live on premises where there are pigs, poultry or domestic livestock. A driving license would be preferred, and you will enjoy working in collaboration with a variety of stakeholders. Crucially, you will have a higher degree (or equivalent) in microbiology or a relevant subject, and you will have experience of working in a laboratory performing AMR phenotypic and molecular typing tests. Safety and biosecurity are very important in this role, so you will have experience of assessing risks and applying controls. With the confidence to share your knowledge in a training capacity, you will have a good knowledge of determinative bacteriology, Enterobacteriaceae and fastidious bacteria. If you also have an awareness of computerised analysis of high-throughput sequencing data, that would be beneficial but it is not strictly necessary.

Inclusion, support and the development of our people matter to us. In addition to truly meaningful work, you can look forward to a career built on high-quality training, opportunities for progression and professional mentoring and coaching.

It’s also our goal to support the personal wellbeing of everyone in APHA. Our benefits include generous annual leave, a contributory pension, staff bonuses and recognition, salary sacrifice benefit options, and an employee discount scheme. We also offer flexible working.

Further details:
Share this opportunity