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Research Scientist - Microbiology

  • Closing date 30 Nov 2021
  • Type Full-time
  • Duration Permanent

The Supplant Company is a University of Cambridge start-up, a graduate of the Y-Combinator accelerator program, and is backed by major VCs in the US and Europe. We are an innovative and dynamic ingredient company, creating products to address major health and environmental challenges in the global food system, and beyond. Our core product, Supplant™ sugars from fiber, allows the creation of food products that are better for people and planet.

The company is seeking a Research Scientist - Microbiology with a background in fungal and yeast culture to join the strain development and fermentation R&D team. The role also offers an opportunity for an ambitious and capable individual to learn bioreactor / fermentation theory and undertake bioreactor operation, as well as gain knowledge of fermentation process scale-up.

Our preferred candidate will have: i) 2+ years’ experience in aseptic microbiology culture techniques gained in an academic, clinical or industry setting, ii) an understanding of protein biochemistry and molecular biology methods and, iii) worked on, and taken responsibility for, individual projects with a strong desire to learn new, and develop existing, skills.

The role will be based at the company’s offices and laboratory on the Cambridge Science Park, Cambridge, UK. The anticipated salary for the role is £26,000 - £32,000, dependent on the extent to which the candidate meets the requirements outlined in the job description and experience.


As Research Scientist - Microbiology you will report to the Senior Scientist - Molecular Biology and your key duties and responsibilities will be to:

  • Culture and phenotypical characterise of a range of microorganisms, but primarily filamentous fungi, in liquid and on solid media.
  • Monitor culture parameters including pH, biomass / growth, protein production and enzymatic activities.
  • Purify enzymes from culture broths and provide samples to Process Development colleagues.
  • Work with molecular biology and strain development scientists to correlate results from culture experiments with genetic modifications introduced into the strains.
  • With senior scientists, plan, design and efficiently execute microbiology projects, accurately recording results and sharing findings with clarity.
  • Assist with presenting the team’s results both in writing and orally to update R&D colleagues and senior management.
  • Proactively contribute to the development of the company’s Intellectual Property portfolio.
  • Ensure all work is performed in line with company’s SHE policies and play an important role in the continuous improvement of Biological & Microbiology safety processes in the company’s laboratories.

Ideally, you will have completed a degree in microbiology, biology or biochemistry (or related subject); those with equivalent technical experience are also encouraged to apply. You will also have a track record of working in a laboratory environment, preferably in an industry research setting.

Candidates should have / be:

  • Educated to degree level, or equivalent, with a life science and/or microbiology background.
  • A good understanding of microbial culture including considerations of factors influencing sterility / contamination, microbial growth and protein production.
  • Demonstrated practical ability to grow fungi and yeasts in liquid and solid media. Experience of working with filamentous fungi is particularly favoured.
  • Basic understanding of molecular techniques including DNA extractions and PCR.
  • Proficiency with techniques such as design of experiments and statistical approaches to maximise information generated from the minimum number of experiments.
  • Ability to plan, execute, interpret results and report / present own work in the context of the team’s and company’s activities.
  • Analytically minded, excellent attention to detail and strong diagnostic skills, with experience of technical report preparation and delivering presentations to various audiences.
  • Hard working, self-directed and flexible; able to re-prioritise and project manage several technical and time-constrained projects simultaneously, delivering results against tight deadlines. Prepared to put in extra hours when then are really needed.
  • Working knowledge and training in various aspects relating to SHE, particularly biological safety.
  • Evidence of ability to work effectively with individuals from diverse backgrounds and cultures.
  • Passion for disruptive technologies, products and making a difference.
  • Salary: £26,000-32,000 for the right candidate, dependent on experience and extent to which the job specification is met.
  • Significant opportunities to grow with the business.
  • Work on the prestigious Cambridge Science Park.
  • Company pension plan (Royal London).
  • 31 days holiday / year (including Bank Holidays).
  • Full-time – 37.5 hours / week.

This is a unique opportunity to join the team at a very exciting stage of the company's growth.

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