Job summary

The Cytogenetics Group is one of the five research groups in the Radiation Effects Department of the Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards Directorate (RCE). The Radiation Effects Department carries out research and delivers advice on the biological effects of radiation and selected chemical agents, and on appropriate response to incidents. The Cytogenetics Group carries out research into biomarkers to quantify ionising radiation exposures. The group also provides a biological dosimetry service unique in the UK.

This position is for a skilled, and motivated individual without necessarily requiring previous laboratory skills or experience but having a strong interest in biological sciences. The postholder will provide support to senior scientists whilst developing their own skills and experience to become an independent scientist. The successful candidate will support and contribute towards existing and future research projects across a number of topics related to biological dosimetry, as well as supporting routine operations in accordance with standard operating procedures.

Please note this role is lab-based.

Job description

The job holder will be required to carry out the following responsibilities, activities, and duties:

  • Laboratory work and scientific functions. These will involve biological laboratory work and compilation of data for analysis. The main methods used in the job will be blood cell culture, chromosome analysis, cellular assays of DNA damage.
  • The use of various fluorescent and light microscopes during analysis.
  • Preparation of datasets from experimental studies and suspected radiation exposure cases that will be incorporated into peer reviewed scientific publications or individual exposure assessment reports.
  • Support of the chromosomal dosimetry service as and when cases arrive.
  • Support and contribute to the wider research interests of the group, currently including radiation-induced cataract, clinical patient radiosensitivity and Lynch Syndrome.
  • Use of specialised laboratory equipment including sophisticated automated and fluorescent microscopes that require computational skills, manual dexterity, and general laboratory skills.
  • Routine stock checks and maintenance checks on specialised laboratory facilities and confirmation of the satisfactory operation of safety and warning systems.
  • Ordering of laboratory supplies using MaPS online ordering.
  • Training in and contribution to radiation and wider emergency response, according to the needs of the organisation.
  • The duties/responsibilities listed above describe the post as it is at present and is not intended to be exhaustive. The Job holder is expected to accept reasonable alterations and additional tasks of a similar level that may be necessary.

    Person specification

    It is important through your application and Statement of Suitability of 1000 words that you give evidence and examples of proven experience of each of the following criteria:


  • A minimum of 2 A levels, one of which must be in a science subject (or equivalent experience)
  • Basic IT skills or qualifications
  • Excellent communication skills, including writing of reports; making scientific and more public-facing presentations, and an ability to form and maintain productive and working relationships:
  • Excellent management and planning skills, including good time management and ability to prioritise, work under pressure and work to tight deadlines.
  • Ability to meet deadlines and strong problem solving and analytic skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and an ability to work effectively both autonomously and within a team.
  • Desirable

  • Some experience in biological laboratory or experimental work
  • Awareness of radiobiology and radiation protection
  • Awareness of UKHSA and its goals as an organization
  • Awareness or experience with data analysis
  • Benefits

  • Learning and development tailored to your role
  • An environment with flexible working options
  • A culture encouraging inclusion and diversity
  • A with an average employer contribution of 27%
  • Range of health and wellbeing support
  • 26 days annual leave allowance increasing to 32 days after a 10-year service.
  • Any move to UKHSA from another employer will mean you can no longer access childcare vouchers. This includes moves between government departments. You may however be eligible for other government schemes, including Tax Free Childcare. Determine your eligibility at

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