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                           University of Oxford

                  Malaria Genomic Epidemiology Network (MalariaGEN)

Job title:            DNA Processing and Archiving Technician
Grade:                Grade 5: Salary £21,681 - £25,888p.a.
Reporting to:         Dr Kirk Rockett, MalariaGEN Research Manager

Malaria is one of humankind’s most persistent and deadly foes, causing debilitating illness in
approximately half a billion people each year. The greatest burden of the disease falls on African
children – over a million die each year of malaria. Successful vaccine development relies on a
greater understanding of the genetic and immunological responses that determine the severity of
an individual patient’s malaria, and ultimately whether they live or die. The mapping of the
entire human genome and recent advances in molecular technologies now mean that it is
possible for scientists to look at genetic information from entire populations. This information
can be used to identify critical mechanisms of protective immunity against malaria that will help
explain why some people survive malaria, others die of the disease, and some are infected but do
not become ill.

An exciting new initiative, the Malaria Genomic Epidemiology Network, (MalariaGEN), which
is based in Prof. Kwiatkowski’s laboratory in Oxford University, draws on the expertise of
scientists from more than 17 countries. One consortial project is to genotype more than 10,000
samples to generate billions of genotypes using the latest genomic and epidemiological
knowledge and technology. Central to this is a major DNA extraction and quality control
programme of more than 30,000 samples across the consortium as a whole.

This position forms part of a pipeline in the archiving and quality control of 1000’s of DNA
samples received from the Malaria group’s partner sits around the world. The successful
applicant will form part of the DNA handling team.
       The post-holder will be expected to:
                 Assist in the receipt of samples form oversears.
                 Check and catalogue samples.
                 Perform volume and concentration measurements.
                 Prepare samples for storage and further processing.

Key relationships
The Project Director, Prof. Dominic Kwiatkowski, has overall responsibility for the
MalariaGEN programme. The post-holder will work closely with the Project Director and
MalariaGEN Research Manager on defining the projects to be achieved and the development of
any new processes. On a day-to-day basis the post-holder will form a member of the DNA
handling team, lead by the Laboratory Manager Anna Richardson.
Key tasks

  DNA handling
   Assist the Laboratory Manager in receving DNA shipments
   Check shipment manifests
   Process the samples for volumes and concentrations and prepare samples for storage.
   Prepare samples sets for genotyping
   Perform whole-genome amplification of DNA samples
   Help perform genotyping of samples.

   Contribute fully via meetings, reports, and discussion to the aims and objectives of the
     MalariaGEN teams' scientific efforts;
   Ensure that the MalariaGEN Research Manager and other team members are kept up to
     date with progress and difficulties in the research projects.
   Be responsible with others for the daily housekeeping of the laboratory area and general
     maintenance tasks including reagent stock control of laboratory consumables and
     collecting goods from stores;
   Perform any other comparable duties as may be required to ensure the efficient running of
     the laboratory.
   To be responsible with others for the biological safety of the laboratory.
   Maintain confidentiality regarding research data when interacting with non-collaborating
   Contribute as appropriate to the publication of research findings in high quality journals.

Education and training:
   Attend appropriate scientific seminars and meetings and remain up to date with
      developments in the field of genotyping research;
   Participate in the education and training of other staff as necessary and appropriate;
   Once trained the post holder's performance will be monitored to ensure that the required
      standard of accuracy and efficiency is maintained.
   To participate in the Centre's public engagement programme to engage the
      general public with the scientific work of the Centre. This will cover
      areas such as science festivals, workshops and talks for schools, and will not normally
      involve more than a couple of days a year.

General responsibilities:
    Act at all times in the interests of the Centre to ensure good laboratory practice.
    Be accountable for their professional conduct within the project.
    Undertake such other duties as may be required from time to time that are commensurate
      with the grade and responsibilities of this post.
    Ensure that work in the laboratory is conducted safely and, in particular, persons
      undertaking work do so using appropriate safety procedures and in the dedicated areas.
    Conduct themselves with due regard to the University Equal Opportunities and Data
      Protection policies.

Knowledge and skills:
The successful applicant will have knowledge of the standard laboratory techniques; experience
of DNA handling is desirable. Training will be available in all aspects of the work, especially in
the less standard protocols. A numerical aptitude and some experience of running software in a
Windows environment would be an advantage. The applicant must have an adaptable approach
to work and a willingness to tackle a variety of tasks. Line management support and trouble
shooting guidance will always be available, however, after training, an ability to work without
supervision, combining a structured and organized approach with enthusiasm will be vital. It
will be very important to have the ability to communicate with a wide range of people and to
enjoy working as a team player with a lively and motivated group of scientists.

Selection Criteria:
Applicants will be short-listed for the post on the basis of the selection criteria outlined below:

   A BSc degree in a biological subject.
   Experience involving high-throughput DNA handling techniques is desirable but not
   Able to demonstrate manual dexterity and respect for precision high-cost equipment.
   To be of a responsible nature with a methodical and careful approach to working in the
   Able to demonstrate ability to organise work-time efficiently and deliver results to required
    standard and schedule
   Ability to be self-starting and drive initiatives forward to completion.
   After training, ability to work without constant supervision.
   Flexibility to deal with a changing environment, to work under pressure and to be self-
   To be able to communicate results to the Team Leader, Group Head and colleagues.
   Proven ability to work collaboratively and in a team.
Working for the University of Oxford

At the University of Oxford, we’re naturally very proud of our understanding reputation for scholarship and
research. But we’re also proud to say that we’re one of the region’s biggest and best-established employers, with a
diversity of staff helping to sustain our success – from laboratory assistants, cleaners, technicians and secretaries, to
IT, finance and administrative professionals. Join us, and you can expect to find yourself working in a friendly,
open-minded atmosphere where your ideas will be welcomed, with an interesting and satisfying job to do, and with
plenty of opportunities to learn new skills, or maybe even get some extra qualifications.

As well as pay and other benefits such as generous holidays and excellent pension scheme, we may be able to help
you with:

        Training – We train our staff, both in the skills needed for starting the job, and to help them develop
         afterwards. If you don’t have all the skills we are looking for (e.g. computer packages), but you know you
         are a quick learner, its worth asking if training might be available.

        Working Hours – We may be able to be flexible about working patterns to help you combine work with
         responsibilities at home. Even for full-time jobs, we can often adjust starting and finishing times, or even
         sometimes consider term-time-only working: if this is important to you, let us know.

        Disability – If you have a disability, we have specialist staff who can help you to start and stay in work.

        Childcare – We have several subsidised nurseries for under-fives, a holiday play scheme, tax and national
         insurance savings schemes, and are looking to expand our facilities. For further information see

        Parenting – The University has a generous maternity leave scheme and also offers paternity leave to
         expectant fathers and partners, and adoption leave. It offers subsidised nursery places, and tax and
         National savings schemes. However, please note that there is a long waiting list for nursery places. It is
         particularly important to refer to the website for further information
          including up to date information about the length of the waiting list and alternative sources of information
         about childcare in the Oxford

        Cultural and Religious needs – We respect the cultural and religious lives of our staff. If you need time
         away from work, or special facilities, and can give plenty of notice for arrangements to be made, this will
         always be considered.

        Travel Arrangements – We offer an interest free-season ticket loan scheme for bus or train season tickets.
         Annual passes for Oxford Bus Company routes are available at discounted rates.

        Use of University Facilities – All University staff can use the study facilities provided by the University
         libraries and museums; join the University Club, a sports and social club which has its own bar, café, and
         reading room; and make use of the University Sports Complex and the Pulse fitness centre.

        Discounts – A number of discounts are available to University staff e.g. for insurance, holiday travel, and
         computer equipment.

The range of benefits is continuously reviewed and extended. For further information see

If you come from outside the area, you may be interested to know that as well as the famous tourist attractions such
as the ‘dreaming spires’ of all the lovely old buildings, the river and a number of attractive parks and gardens,
Oxford also has a busy shopping centre and a lively nightlife, particularly during term time. Housing is relatively
expensive within the city, but nearby areas such as Didcot or Bicester are more reasonable priced. Although car
parking is difficult during the day, there are good train and bus services, including several ‘Park and Ride’ routes;
and of course, lots of cycle paths.

Pay and Benefits
The salary offered for full-time appointment to this job will be in the range £21,681 - £25,888 (University Support
Staff Grade 5), depending on qualifications and experience. If you are appointed at a salary below the top of this
range, your salary will automatically be increased each year until you have reached the top point.
There is also an annual ‘cost of living’ salary review, which normally takes place in summer each year. Pay and
benefits for part-time appointments are worked out on a ‘pro rata’ basis.

For a full – time appointment, the annual holiday entitlement will be 38 days (including 8 public holidays). Your
hours of work are such as are reasonably required to carry out your duties to the satisfaction of your head of

The appointment is subject to satisfactory completion of a 6 month probationary period, during which the notice
period will be one month on either side. Once the appointment has been confirmed, the notice period will be three
months either side.

The post is available for three years in the first instance and will be funded by the Wellcome Trust.


The age of retirement for university appointments is 65. Staff are eligible to join the Oxford University
Superannuation Pension Scheme (OSPS) which is a contributory scheme. Subject to the Statement of Pensions
Policy, which will be issued to the successful candidate, the appointee will be deemed to be in membership of the
USS until such time as he or she gives notice in writing to exercise the right not to be a member of the scheme.

The Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics has a NO SMOKING policy.

How to apply

To apply, please write a letter of application and send a detailed CV and return it to:

Personnel Administrator
Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics
Roosevelt Drive
OX3 7BN or by fax to 01865 287516 or email to
By no later than 01 August 2008. Applicants received after this date will not be considered. Please make sure
you quote reference number H5-08-049-KR at the beginning of your application.
The list of duties and the ‘selection criteria’ for this job describe the sort of skills, experience, knowledge or abilities
which we are looking for. We will interview those
whose applications best meet these criteria, so it is very important that you should use your application to explain
how you can match them. Remember that you will have gained abilities, experience and skills from many aspects of
your life; some may come from education or work, and others from home or community life. Tell us about which
schools or colleges you went to and any qualifications you have. List employment, voluntary work, hobbies, or
family responsibilities which help to show you meet the selection criteria.

Please give the names, addresses and telephone numbers of two people you are prepared to give you a reference for
this job. If you have previously been employed, your referees should be people who have direct experience of your
work through closely working with you for a considerable period, and at least one of them should be your formal
line manager in your most recent job. Otherwise they can be people who know you from recent college, school, or
voluntary experience. It is helpful if you can tell us briefly how each referee knows you (e.g. ‘line manager’. ‘Work
colleague’, ‘college tutor’).

Your referees will be asked to look at the job details and tell us if, in their opinion, you could do the job. We will
assume that we can approach them at any stage unless you tell us otherwise when you apply. So, if you wish us to
ask for your permission before
approaching a particular referee, or to contact them only under your circumstances (for example if we are calling
you for a interview, or if we have made you a conditional offer), you must state this explicitly alongside the details
of the relevant referee(s).

Your appointment will be subject to (i) the return of a completed medical questionnaire which is acceptable to the
University, (ii) the provision of original documentation which indicates your right to work in the UK, and (iii) the
completion of an initial probationary period of 6 months.
Equal opportunities at the University of Oxford

As an Equal Opportunity employer, we positively encourage applications from people of different backgrounds. All
our jobs are filled in line with our equal opportunities code of practice, which helps us make sure that men and
women, people of different races, and those with disabilities are all treated fairly.

If you have any questions about equal opportunities at the University of Oxford, please visit our website at

Data Protection

All data supplied by applicants will be used only for the purpose of determining their suitability for the post, and
will be held in accordance with the principles of the Data Protection Act 1998 and the University’s Data Protection

                                         POLICY STATEMENT

      The policy and practice of the University of Oxford require that all staff are afforded equal
      opportunities within the employment and that entry into employment with the University and
      progression within employment will be determined only by personal merit and the application of
      criteria which are related to the duties of each particular post and the relevant salary structure. In all
      cases, ability to perform the job will be the primary consideration. Subject to statutory provisions, no
      applicant or member of staff will be treated less favourably than another because of his or her sex,
      martial status, sexual orientation, racial group, or disability.

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