Senior Scientist Bacteriology, New Zealand

Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is looking for a Senior Scientist with expertise in veterinary microbiology and passion for protecting New Zealand’s production, companion and native animals from exotic and emerging diseases. This  permanent position  is based in the Bacteriology and Aquatic Animal Diseases team within New Zealand’s National Animal Health Laboratory.

The candidate will be an integral part of the team, leading development, validation and conduct of diagnostic tests for a wide range of animal diseases, implementing new technologies, training laboratory staff, preparing and participating in biosecurity responses and collaborating with other scientists both nationally and internationally.

Key skills and educational requirements

  • a highly-motivated individual with an applicable PhD in biological sciences or post-graduate degree in veterinary science and experience in animal health diagnostics.  Experience in molecular techniques and bioinformatics will be an advantage.
  • an excellent scientific track record.
  •  a team player and collaborator, effective communicator, adaptable, able to learn quickly, resilient and capable of independent working.


This role represents an opportunity to develop and enhance your scientific leadership skills through direction and mentoring whilst driving innovation that will shape our future way of working.

Key responsibilities include:

  • Oversee and conduct detailed diagnostic investigations.  Liaise with MPI Incursion Investigators to obtain case histories and develop differential lists of pathogens. Determine appropriate routine and specialised laboratory/diagnostic test procedures to confirm diagnosis.
  • Provide scientific leadership including training and mentoring of laboratory staff in terrestrial animal diseases.
  • Develop and manage operational research projects designed to improve laboratory testing capability, to survey for animal diseases, and to understand pathogenesis and native species susceptibility.
  • Provide expert scientific advice to stakeholders.
  • Maintain currency of knowledge in diagnostics, scientific technology, prepare scientific articles, represent at scientific meetings and build collaborative relationships.

The successful applicant must be able to obtain a “Confidential’ security clearance.  Please visit for more information.

Please note, given this position is safety sensitive the preferred applicant/s for the position will be required to undergo a drug and alcohol pre-employment screening test. Further information on this process can be found on our careers site under the application process, on pre-employment checks page.

If you have any questions about this role, please contact Carly Birse – Senior Recruitment Advisor at

Applications for this role will not be accepted after 5pm Monday 9th April 2018

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