Research Scientist sought - Vacancy now closed

Biotangents (Edinburgh), founded in 2015 and awarded “Best Start-Up of 2020” by IHS Markit Animal Health, are developing diagnostics for infectious diseases of livestock, with first product launches in 2021. Currently a team of 10, we are seeking a Research Scientist to join our innovative growing team and contribute to the development and application of our nucleic acid diagnostic platform technology.

The opportunity

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.

  • Position: Research Scientist

  • Contract type: Permanent, full-time

  • Salary range: £33,000-£36,000 per year, commensurate with experience

  • Location: Flexibility between remote working and working at our Penicuik site will be needed as part of COVID-19 preventative measures

  • Desired start date: As soon as possible

The role

Your role will be to plan, undertake and critically analyse experiments with the aim of optimising the performance of our nucleic acid diagnostic platform technology as we apply it to different disease targets.

You core duties will be to:

  • Plan, undertake and critically analyse laboratory experiments.

  • Be proactive and inventive in devising solutions to technical challenges.

  • Work to rigorous Quality Assurance standards.

  • Work within, and contribute to, our quality management system, supporting our goal of achieving ISO 9001 accreditation.

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

  • Embody our core values of proactivity, pragmatism, fairness and integrity.


Our dynamic working environment will allow you to develop skills in isothermal nucleic acid amplification techniques, RT-qPCR, nucleic acid purification and diagnostic test design and optimisation. 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 project management, manufacturing, collaboration with external partners, writing grant and patent applications, and others. You will have the opportunity to expand your role into quality assurance and laboratory management. Guidance, support, and the opportunity to develop your skills will be available throughout this process.

Candidate experience

You must meet the following requirements:

  • A minimum of a PhD with a focus on molecular biology, synthetic biology, biochemistry or a related subject, or an MSc with professional experience or training in molecular biology in an academic or industry R&D setting.

  • Previous working experience within a Quality environment within the pharma, biotechnology or medical device industry.

  • An excellent understanding of molecular biology, including factors influencing DNA and RNA interactions.

  • Excellent molecular biology laboratory skills, including practical experience of nucleic acid extraction and qPCR (quantitative PCR).

  • Excellent attention to detail.

  • Dedication to quality and safety.

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

  • Experience in developing, optimising and troubleshooting a new laboratory assay.

The following would additionally be desirable:

  • A sound understanding of the effects of various biochemical factors on the thermodynamics of nucleic acid interactions and enzyme kinetics.

  • Experience in diagnostic assay development.

  • Experience in molecular diagnostics.

  • Familiarity with isothermal amplification methods.

  • Excellent understanding of regulatory and accreditation systems, and quality management.

How to apply

Applications comprising a CV and cover letter should be sent to Dr Andy Hall-Ponselè at We will only consider applicants able to demonstrate the right to work in the UK, and you should explain in your application how you can evidence this.

The vacancy will remain open until we secure the right candidate.

About Biotangents

Biotangents aim to be the premier company for portable infectious disease diagnostics. We have an advanced technology for detecting infectious diseases, using a unique isothermal amplification of DNA concept. Developed entirely in-house over the past four years, and using machine learning algorithms to guide its adaptation to specific disease targets, we are using our technology, called Moduleic Sensing™, to develop portable diagnostic tests for various infectious diseases of livestock. Having developed Moduleic Sensing™ initially as a laboratory diagnostic test, we are now working to incorporate it into a portable device to bring advanced diagnostics directly to the point of need. By directly facilitating earlier disease diagnosis, treatments can be applied more effectively, and the spread of the disease can be reduced.