Research Scientist sought


  • Position: Research Scientist

  • Salary:

    • Grade I: £25,000-£28,000

    • Grade II: £30,000-£33,000

  • Location: Penicuik, Midlothian.

  • Desired start date: 1 April 2022

  • Application close date: 13 March 2022

Position overview

We are seeking a laboratory-based Research Scientist to join our innovative growing team of 17 and contribute to the development and application of our nucleic acid diagnostic platform technology.

Medical diagnostics is going through a step-change as isothermal molecular technologies offer the potential for rapid point-of-care tests to replace time-consuming centralised PCR-based testing. Successful development and commercialisation of these rapid solutions requires combining innovations in bioinformatics, molecular biology and engineering. The successful candidate will gain experience and expertise in the multiple facets of this field while working in an innovative and sociable multidisciplinary team. It is an exciting opportunity for the right individual to work as part of a small team in a fast-paced environment and help refine a ground-breaking technology with a clear market need.

You will receive a competitive salary, plus additional benefits including pension, flexible hours and a clear progression structure through to Senior Research Scientist. This is a permanent position based on a 37.5-hour week.

The role

Reporting to our Senior Research Scientist (Grade I) or our Head of Laboratory R&D (Grade II), your role will be to plan, undertake and critically analyse experiments involved in the development of our bovine mastitis diagnostic products. Experiments are expected to focus primarily on isolating bacterial nucleic acids from milk samples and on using isothermal amplification to detect those nucleic acids. Within the role, there will be extensive opportunity to develop and expand upon your own skill set and abilities.

To enter as a Grade II Research Scientist, candidates are expected to be able to work with a substantial degree of independence in the laboratory, to be capable of routinely planning and analysing experiments, and to contribute novel experimental ideas. A Grade I Research Scientist will be provided with more day-to-day supervision on these aspects.


  • Work closely with the Senior Research Scientist and other members of the laboratory R&D team to ensure that experiments are well planned and well executed.

  • Develop automatable sample preparation methods to isolate nucleic acids from milks.


  • Conduct nucleic acid extraction, qPCR and other laboratory procedures with care and attention to detail.

  • Prepare biological reagents for experiments.

  • Process experimental data.

  • Work to Quality Assurance standards.

  • Work within and contribute to our quality management system.

  • Work to rigorous standards of health and safety, including writing risk assessments.

  • Present findings and data at internal and, where relevant, external meetings.

  • Plan and critically analyse laboratory experiments (Grade II).

  • Contribute new ideas and novel solutions in response to emerging R&D opportunities and challenges (Grade II).


Biotangents is a fast-paced and agile business. Commercially led, the flat structure and pace enables quick decision-making capability and the opportunity to influence and direct the business. Our team need to be able to facilitate change in a positive manner, influence and collaborate in a friendly and open environment, and recognise and develop potential within the team. We are looking to develop an open, honest can-do environment and are committed to driving for a fast-paced effective team culture.

Our dynamic working environment will allow you to develop skills in isothermal nucleic acid amplification techniques, RT-qPCR, nucleic acid purification, diagnostic assay design and optimisation and assay manufacturing. Thanks to our small multidisciplinary team and the diverse set of challenges you will encounter, you will have the opportunity to gain experience in a range of areas outside of your core role, such as bioinformatics, project management, quality management systems, and others. Guidance, support, and the opportunity to develop your skills will be available throughout this process.

Candidate requirements

You must meet the following requirements:

  • For Grade I: A minimum of an MSc with a focus on molecular biology, synthetic biology, biochemistry, microbiology or a related subject, or a BSc with professional experience or training in molecular biology in a research or industry setting.

  • For Grade II: A minimum of an MSc with two year’s professional experience in an R&D laboratory environment or a PhD with a focus on molecular biology, synthetic biology, biochemistry or a related subject.

  • Excellent laboratory technique.

  • Familiarity with molecular biology methods.

  • Ability to follow complex protocols.

  • Excellent attention to detail.

  • Good organisational and time management skills.

  • Dedication to quality and safety.

  • The ability to communicate well and work effectively in a team.

  • The ability to work independently where required.


The following would additionally be desirable:

  • A degree in biochemistry or microbiology.

  • A good understanding of molecular biology, including factors influencing DNA and RNA interactions.

  • Experience in assay development, molecular diagnostics or nucleic acid extraction techniques.

  • Experience working under a quality management system in industry or in a regulated environment.

  • Familiarity with isothermal amplification methods.

  • Experience in microbiological culturing.

We look for the following interpersonal skills in our team:

  • An ability to demonstrate behaviour which embodies our core values of proactivity, pragmatism, fairness and integrity.

  • Strong decision-making capabilities, deadline-driven.

  • An active listener.

  • A propensity to overcome challenges in inventive ways.

  • A commitment to continuous improvement.

  • A capability and willingness to participate in continuous learning.

  • A willingness to “pitch in” and get involved.

  • To be ambassadors of Biotangents.

  • The ability to work under pressure and maintain a positive manner.



How to apply

Applications comprising a CV and cover letter should be sent to Marina Freijo Mata at We will only consider applicants able to demonstrate the right to work in the UK, and your application must confirm that you are able to do this.

About Biotangents

Founded in Edinburgh in 2015 and awarded “Best Start-Up of 2020” by IHS Markit Animal Health, Biotangents are developing diagnostics for infectious diseases of livestock and launched our first product in 2021. We combine machine learning bioinformatics, customisable biology workflows and advanced microfluidics to deliver the next generation of veterinary diagnostics that enable vets and farmers to take rapid action to treat and prevent disease and enhance the sustainability of livestock farming. Using technology that detects specific nucleic acid (DNA or RNA) sequences characteristic of a given disease, we offer diagnostic laboratories molecular quality results with a simple protocol and vets and farmers rapid and reliable diagnostic results at the pen-side.