Internal Only – Technical Specialist

Cardiff University


This post is currently open to employees of Cardiff University only.  Please do not apply if you do not have a current contract of employment with the University.

Internal Only – Technical Specialist
Division of Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neurosciences
Cardiff University School of Medicine
College of Biomedical and Life Sciences

This is an exciting opportunity for a Technical Specialist to join a new team in supporting research in Mental Health disorders.  The post will be based at Cardiff University in the Division of Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neurosciences, ranked first in the UK for research environment in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework assessment for Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience.  The role holder will be based in the Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics core laboratory team, whose purpose is to support and facilitate research throughout the Division.  

This post is funded by the National Institute of Health in the US and is a collaboration between University of North Carolina (UNC), Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS), Cardiff University, and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.  The aim is to collate and exome sequence DNA from 150,000 participants of diverse ancestries who have a major psychiatric disorder diagnosis.  The successful applicant is expected to project manage consented samples that are received into the laboratory from Europe, Africa and South Asia and to attend meetings with project leads, senior management teams and international research collaborators.  The role holder will project lead within the laboratory, making sure received samples are verified, where DNA samples are obtained, samples are QC and plated to Regeneron’s explicit specifications and then shipped to Regeneron for genomics analyses.

You will be based in the Hadyn Ellis Building, Maindy Road, Cardiff.

This post is full time (35 hours per week), available immediately, and is fixed term until 31st August 2025.

For informal enquiries please contact Ngoc-Nga Vinh, Operational Manager (Laboratory) on [email protected]

Salary: £29,762 – £34,314 per annum (Grade 5).  Appointments to roles at Cardiff University are usually made at bottom of scale unless in exceptional circumstances.

Cardiff University offers many excellent benefits, including 45 days annual leave (including bank holidays), local pension scheme, a cycle to work scheme and other travel initiatives, annual increments within the pay scale, and more.  It is an exciting and vibrant place to work, with many different challenges and is a proud Living Wage supporter.

Closing Date: Tuesday, 21 March 2023

External applications are currently not being considered for this post.  If the decision is made to open the post to external candidates, the strapline at the top will be removed and you will be given ample time to apply – please check back periodically for details.

Please be aware that Cardiff University reserves the right to close this vacancy early should sufficient applications be received.

Cardiff University is committed to supporting and promoting equality and diversity and to creating an inclusive working environment. We believe this can be achieved through attracting, developing, and retaining a diverse range of staff from many different backgrounds.  We therefore welcome applicants from all sections of the community regardless of sex, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, trans identity, relationship status, religion or belief, caring responsibilities, or age.  In supporting our employees to achieve a balance between their work and their personal lives, we will also consider proposals for flexible working or job share arrangements.

Job Description

Job Purpose
To support the University within the Division of Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neurosciences (researching mental health disorders for the WeSeq research project) carrying out supporting work, providing advice, guidance and support, and leading projects within this area.

Duties and Responsibilities

Key Duties
•    Provide professional advice and guidance on receiving samples, sample processing, shipment and traceability according to HTA guidelines, deal with processes and procedures to internal and external customers, using judgement and creativity to suggest the most appropriate course of action where appropriate, and ensuring understanding of complex and conceptual issues.
•    Investigate and analyse specific issues within sample curation and processing, creating recommendation reports, supported by advances within the field of genomics.
•    Ensure that the provision of samples, sample processing and data generated is delivered to the institution, proactively changing the delivery according to customer requirements.
•    Collaborate with others in order to make recommendations for developments of established processes and procedures.
•    Establish working relationships with key contacts, developing appropriate communication links with the University’s Schools/Directorates and outside bodies as required.
•    Create specific working groups from colleagues across the University to achieve divisional objectives.
•    Supervise specific project teams on an occasional basis to accomplish key objectives.
•    Develop and deliver training within sample curation, isolation of DNA where required, qualification and quality control for further genomic analyses.
•    Undertake a variety of administrative duties to support the Division.
•    Instruct and guide other employees across the University within sample processing and curation as required.

General Duties
•    Ensure that an understanding of the importance of confidentiality is applied when undertaking all duties.
•    Abide by University policies on Health and Safety and Equality and Diversity.
•    Perform other duties occasionally which are not included above, but which will be consistent with the role.

Person Specification

Essential Criteria 

Qualifications and Education
1.    Degree/NVQ 4 or equivalent Professional membership/experience.

Knowledge, Skills and Experience
2.    Substantial experience of working within a laboratory which should include:
– Evidence of demonstrable knowledge of key advances within specialist discipline including use of automation for nuclei isolation, QC and management of precious samples under HTA guidelines.
– Extensive experience in sample curation and project management.
3.    Able to demonstrate professional knowledge within specialist discipline (such as nucleic acid isolation, robotic automation, QC, and sample curation) to give advice and guidance to internal and external customers.
4.    Ability to set up standard office systems and procedures and make improvements as appropriate.   

Customer Service, Communication and Team Working
5.    Ability to communicate conceptually detailed and complex information effectively and professionally with a wide range of people.
6.    Evidence of ability to explore customers’ needs and adapt the service accordingly to ensure a quality service is delivered.

Planning, Analysis and Problem solving
7.    Evidence of ability to solve expansive problems using initiative and creativity; identifying and proposing practical solutions and resolving problems with range of potential outcomes.
8.    Evidence of ability to work unsupervised to deadlines, planning and setting priorities for own work and that of others and monitoring progress.

9.    A willingness to undertake further training and development.

Desirable Criteria

10.    Postgraduate/Professional qualification.
11.    Experience of working in a Higher Education environment.

Additional Information

IMPORTANT: Evidencing Criteria

It is School of Medicine’s policy to use the person specification as a key tool for short-listing. Candidates should evidence that they meet ALL of the essential criteria as well as, where relevant, the desirable. As part of the application process you will be asked to provide this evidence via a supporting statement.

Please ensure when submitting this document / attaching it to your application profile you name it with the vacancy reference number, in this instance for this post, 16178BR.

If candidates do not provide written evidence of meeting all of the essential criteria then their application will not be progressed. The School of Medicine welcome the submission of CVs to accompany evidence of the job-based criteria.

Job Category

Health, Management & Executive, Medical & Dental

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