Vacancy Details

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Laboratory Assistant

Summary Information for vacancy - reference IRC695


Scottish Government


£15792 - £17632 Per Annum


City of Edinburgh, Scotland

Closing Date

29 June 2011

Interviews start

Not specified




Not specified

Pay frequency


Appointment Terms

Fixed-term contract

Working Arrangement

Full time,Part time,Job share

Travel required


No of vacancies


Field of work

Operational Research

Brief Description

Applications are invited for a three year fixed term appointment for a Laboratory Assistant post based in Virology & Zoology at SASA, Roddinglaw Road, Edinburgh.

Vacancy description

You will primarily be working in a small team in our Virology Laboratory. This work involves virus testing in support of the Scottish Seed Potato Classification Scheme, including registering samples and virus testing of leaf samples by bioassay and ELISA. The latter involves a wide range of duties: e.g. preparation of ELISA buffers, washing and drying ELISA plates, homogenising samples and application of samples and reagents to ELISA plates. Work also involves the removal and treatment of eyeplugs from potato tuber samples submitted for post harvest tuber testing. It may also include routine support for investigative work: e.g. planting, harvesting and washing tubers, leaf sampling and virus testing.


Essential Criteria

1. Judgement and decision making skills on all aspects of the day to day running of a laboratory
2. Organisational skills - have the ability to plan and organise work to meet agreed deadlines
3. Numeracy - the successful candidate should be competent in basic figure work including calculation of percentages
4. Communication skills, both written and oral
5. Team working

Desirable Criteria

1. Laboratory bench skills, experience or understanding of diagnostic work; particularly serological test methods such as ELISA
2. General analytical techniques
3. Experience of experimental design
4. Basic knowledge of Botany, Microbiology, Plant Virology or Plant Pathology



You must hold a minimum of 5 SCE Standard or Ordinary Grades or equivalent including English and a subject which clearly indicates competency in figure work such as: - Mathematics, Accounting and Finance, Arithmetic, Book-keeping. Passes must be at grade 1-3 or A-C.



Self Management:  you will be required to maintain a consistent approach and accept responsibility for your actions. Being open and responsive to constructive feedback about performance is critical to your development and you will be expected to work closely with colleagues as a mentoring approach to training is adopted within Virology & Zoology. You need to be able to accept and embrace change and working in a team environment, be aware of your personal impact on others.

Team Working:  You must be capable of building & maintaining good working relationships with colleagues and value the contribution of other team members and be open to different points of view. You must be able to accept constructive feedback from more experienced colleagues, but we also value the contributions of others who see things from a different perspective and encourage all team members to make a contribution to improve the performance of the team.

Customer Service: . You will work closely with internal customers to develop good working relationships with clearly defined standards of service. You will contribute to the quality system operated within SASA and take responsibility to measure and continuously improve your performance. You will be helpful, friendly and professional with customers, seek and behave with impartiality, fairness and consistency.

Specialist Scientific Competence: As a Laboratory Assistant in a Plant Virology laboratory, you will have experience of standard laboratory techniques and knowledge of plant virology/plant pathology is desirable. The post holder will be required to develop an understanding of serological methods, how they work and when they should be applied. You will have proven experience in numeracy and knowledge of basic statistics would be advantageous. You are also required to take responsibility and show initiative in areas of quality improvement.

Further information

CRB check required - No

Regulated by OCSC - Yes

Reserved for existing civil servants - No

Reserved for UK nationals - No

How to apply

For further information and to apply online please visit Completed applications must be submitted by 29 June 2011. We welcome applications from all suitably qualified people and aim to employ a diverse workforce which reflects the people of Scotland.

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Professional Skills for Government

The Professional Skills for Government (PSG) competency framework is a structured way of thinking about jobs and careers for Civil Service staff at all grades. It sets out the skills you need to do your job well as a member of the Civil Service, no matter what grade you are or where you work.