Vacancy Details: Genomic Pipelines – Automation Team Research Assistant (ATRA)

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Earlham Institute

Earlham Institute is a vibrant, contemporary research institute and registered charity, working in an area of rapid technological development and innovation.

Earlham Institute is strategically funded by the BBSRC to lead the development of a skill base in bioinformatics and a genomics technology platform for UK bioscience. The Institute is located on the Norwich Research Park, together with its partners: the John Innes Centre, the Institute of Food Research, The Sainsbury Laboratory, the University of East Anglia and the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. The research park has an excellent reputation for research in plant and microbial sciences, interdisciplinary environmental science and food, diet and health, to which Earlham Institute contributes strengths in genomics and bioinformatics. Close links exist between the NRP partners and new opportunities for collaboration in exciting new initiatives are under development. The NRP recently received £26M of government investment to facilitate innovation and further develop infrastructure to attract science and technology companies to the Park to enhance the vibrant environment and realise economic impact from research investment.

Earlham Institute is a UK hub for innovative Bioinformatics through research, analysis and interpretation of multiple, complex data sets. It hosts one of the largest computing hardware facilities dedicated to life science research in Europe. This has been boosted recently by an e-Infrastructure grant to expand the data storage capacity to a multi-petabyte unit, deploying a high performance cluster and large-memory server enabling the allocation of processes requiring several terabytes of computing memory.

Earlham Institute’s state of the art DNA sequencing facility operates multiple complementary technologies for data generation that provide the foundation for analyses furthering our fundamental understanding of genomes and how they function. We aim to be at the forefront of technological advances and are developing and implementing technologies to generate and analyse new types of data. We also develop novel platforms to provide access to computational tools and processing capacity for multiple academic and industrial users and promoting applications of computational bioscience. Earlham Institute has one fully owned subsidiary, Genome Enterprise Ltd (GEL) via which it offers genomic and bioinformatics services on a trading basis and works with commercial providers on a partnership basis. Earlham Institute also receives specific funding to enable knowledge exchange programmes which are supported across the institute teams.

disability confident employer

Advancing gender equality in science, engineering and technology.

Post Number1003295
Job TitleGenomic Pipelines – Automation Team Research Assistant (ATRA)
Closing Date9 Aug 2017
GradeSC6
Starting Salary£30,750 - £37,750
Hours per week 37
Months Duration Indefinite
Main purpose of the job The Automation Team Research Assistant (ATRA) will assist the automation of High Throughput Genomic and DNA Foundry pipelines at Earlham Institute. They will help with the delivery of next generation library construction and DNA foundry automation as new and existing protocols need to develop. Genomics and DNA foundry work will be planned in an environment of changing technologies and procedures will need to be automated by the team in order to deliver high quality data for multiple projects.

The ATRA will work closely with the rest of the Group to deliver scheduled high throughput and/or novel techniques in sequencing and the DNA Foundry. The ATRA is a specialist Research Assistant and will be required to transition complex, and cutting-edge laboratory processes onto our installed base of liquid handling robotics platforms, as well as develop and refine existing current systems and ensure the smooth running of the high-throughput aspects of the wet lab. National Capabilities at EI working with the NGS library construction team.
The ATRA will ensure efficient, effective and safe operations of the automation they are responsible for. They will train RAs on using automated protocols until they are handed over for production.

Their work will support Earlham’s strategic science programmes and the National Capability in Genomics and Single Cell, and DNA foundry.
EI runs a number of outreach and training programmes, including hosting automation workshops and the post-holder would have input into training users from other laboratories and be active in demonstrating EI’s high-throughput competency and capability.
Department Genomics Pipelines Group
Advert Text The Automation Team Research Assistant (ATRA) will assist the automation of High Throughput Genomic and DNA Foundry pipelines at Earlham Institute. They will help with the delivery of next generation library construction and DNA foundry automation as new and existing protocols need to develop. Genomics and DNA foundry work will be planned in an environment of changing technologies and procedures will need to be automated by the team in order to deliver high quality data for multiple projects.

The ATRA will work closely with the rest of the Group to deliver scheduled high throughput and/or novel techniques in sequencing and the DNA Foundry. The ATRA is a specialist Research Assistant and will be required to transition complex, and cutting-edge laboratory processes onto our installed base of liquid handling robotics platforms, as well as develop and refine existing current systems and ensure the smooth running of the high-throughput aspects of the wet lab. National Capabilities at EI working with the NGS library construction team.
The ATRA will ensure efficient, effective and safe operations of the automation they are responsible for. They will train RAs on using automated protocols until they are handed over for production.

Their work will support Earlham’s strategic science programmes and the National Capability in Genomics and Single Cell, and DNA foundry.
EI runs a number of outreach and training programmes, including hosting automation workshops and the post-holder would have input into training users from other laboratories and be active in demonstrating EI’s high-throughput competency and capability.
Key relationships Internal: Genomics Pipeline Group – All members of the Genomics Project Mgt and Pipeline teams, including the Head of Genomic Pipelines. The Pipeline Informatics Group delivering genomics annotation and bioinformatics services.
The teams providing the DNA Foundry. The Technology Development Team leader and team members. EI’s Science and Research Groups. EI’s communications and outreach team. EI’s Advanced Training Groups. EI’s Director(s) and business support colleagues on quality and Health and Safety Issues.
External: Collaborator and Customers. NBIP colleagues, Health and Safety co-ordinators, Next Generation sequencing Suppliers, and other stakeholders. Engaging with industry partners and robotics platform solution providers, especially Perkin Elmer. Working with participants of training courses in implementing and running robotic liquid handling systems for NGS applications.
Main Activities & ResponsibilitiesPercentage
Transition complex manual laboratory processes to automated robotic systems to increase sample throughput and/or precision in liquid-handling operations and provide continuous improvements and extensions to current systems.30
Generate Next Generation libraries or DNA Foundry constructs when needed as part of the production team. 30
Develop and deliver training for staff to ensure efficient operation of any new process. Develop and deliver training to external users as part of a wider outreach program in conjunction with equipment vendors.10
Responsibility for the efficient and safe running of the laboratory, including all aspects of health and safety, including undertaking daily maintenance, and monthly quality control and calibration of laboratory equipment. Any issues arising are to be reported to the Automation Team Leader. Advisory role for other wet lab groups working in the Genome building.10
Ensure sufficient electronic records are maintained on all activity and experiments undertaken and LIMS updated in a timely manner and that all Standard Operating Practices (SOPs) are current and followed by the teams.10
Assist with investigation into process quality control issues, trouble shooting or any area where the team needs support to achieve the desired result.5
As agreed with line manager, any other duties commensurate with the role. 5

Education & QualificationsRequirementImportance
Degree in relevant scientific subject or A Level Biology with extensive experience in relevant laboratory or service environments.Essential
PhD or Degree in Molecular Biology or equivalent experience.Desirable

Specialist Knowledge & SkillsRequirementImportance
Proficiency in operating automated lab equipment (especially the use of robotic liquid handling systems).Essential
Hands on experience of working with next-generation sequencing technologies.Desirable

Relevant ExperienceRequirementImportance
Excellent knowledge of DNA technology.Essential
Experience in library construction platforms and protocols.Desirable

Interpersonal & Communication SkillsRequirementImportance
Demonstrated ability to work independently, using initiative and applying problem solving skillsEssential
Excellent oral and written communication skillsEssential
Excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to work as part of a teamEssential
Promotes and strives for continuous improvementEssential
Excellent time management and organisation skillsEssential

Additional RequirementsRequirementImportance
Promotes equality and values diversityEssential
Must be able to travel and work a non-conventional work pattern at times.Essential
Willingness to embrace the expected values and behaviours of all staff at the Institute, ensuring it is a great place to workEssential
Able to present a positive image of self and the Institute, promoting both the international reputation and public engagement aims of the InstituteEssential
Ability to maintain confidentiality and security of information where appropriateEssential