Research Scientist, Virologist

Research · Harwell, Oxfordshire
Department Research
Employment Type Full-Time

The Company


Vaccitech plc is a fast-growing biotech company. At only six years old we already have a development portfolio of nine programmes, including a partnered product that is in commercial production and that has seen more than 3 billion doses administered worldwide and an IPO behind us. We are a publicly listed clinical stage biopharmaceutical company that spun out of the University of Oxford’s Jenner Institute, one of the most prestigious vaccine research centres in the world. We discover and develop immunotherapeutic products and vaccines for the treatment and prevention of infectious diseases, cancer, and autoimmunity. Our achievements include co-inventing and jointly developing our COVID-19 vaccine candidate VTP-900, now Vaxzevria, which we assigned to Oxford University Innovation to facilitate the licensing of those rights to AstraZeneca. We run clinical studies to explore treatments for patients with HBV and HPV infections and are developing rapid and scalable manufacturing processes for our platforms.


In December 2021, Vaccitech acquired Avidea Technologies Inc. with exciting product candidates for oncology and autoimmunity based on the innovative SNAPvax platform, which has demonstrated unprecedented control over T cell induction. This gives us U.S operational presence in Maryland, complements Vaccitech’s established capabilities and reinforces our position as a fast-growing global leader in immunotherapies and vaccines. Vaccitech's UK headquarters has recently moved to a state-of-the-art facility in the UK's leading science and innovation campus at Harwell. We conduct research globally and have ambitious plans in the UK and US, where we will continue to grow our teams over the coming months and years.


The role



Vaccitech Ltd is seeking a Molecular Biologist/Virologist to join a team focused on therapeutic vaccines research and development. Specifically, we are looking for a Research Scientist with experience in viruses such as (but not limited to) adenovirus, adeno-associated virus, lentivirus, herpesvirus, with a strong molecular biology background as well as cell/virus culture experience. The successful candidate will participate in the development of new approaches to generate immunotherapeutics against infectious diseases and cancer. The Research Scientist will play an integral role in designing, interpreting and conducting laboratory studies in the context of discovery and preclinical research phases of novel therapeutic products. This involves both recombinant vector and antigen design as well as vector improvement/development, on our vaccine vector platforms. The Scientist will provide feedback and input into the overall research plan for the given objectives and will monitor the field for new techniques and approaches. The scientist will ensure that the studies, tests and procedures performed in the laboratory follow quality procedures for all aspects of work.

  • Give input to the strategy and develop and conduct laboratory work involved in the design, construction, growth, and evaluation of viral vector vaccine candidates
  • Keep up to date on the field of immunotherapeutics, and review and suggest new approaches, alternative laboratory methods, or new studies to improve the outcome of a given Vaccitech objective
  • Perform quality control assays on research-grade viral vectored vaccine preparations (physical titer, infectious titer, sequence verification, transgene expression)
  • Maintain and evaluate both mammalian and bacterial cell cultures for growth conditions, DNA purification and viral vector production, and interpret and present the data in a concise and orderly fashion.
  • Assist in studies to optimise the ability to manufacture viral-vectored vaccines, such as evaluation of alternative transfection systems, host or vector gene deletions or insertions, viral culture yield, systems for viral growth, etc.
  • Evaluate and perform analytic assays to determine the quality, yield, stability, etc. of specific candidates or of specific manufacturing process conditions as required
  • Assist in ordering supplies, making reagents and maintaining the laboratory in order to conduct necessary experiments.
  • Work under GRP (good research practice) conditions, with the appropriate requisite training and documentation
  • Participate in the development and conduct of laboratory meetings, and give presentations inside and outside the company as required
  • Attend at least one relevant scientific meeting/course per year to continue educational advancement.

Qualifications and experience required


  1. Master’s degree plus 4 years of laboratory experience, or a recent PhD, in virology/molecular biology
  2. Relevant work experience, with demonstrated experience in laboratory bench work with molecular biology and cell and virus culture systems
  3. Proficiency in designing experiments and conducting research using a variety of methodologies; e.g. design and cloning of mammalian expression cassettes, PCR, DNA sequence interpretation, ELISA, western blot, viral growth curves, viral titers, transfections, virus purification
  4. Excellent writing and communication skills; ability to understand and communicate scientific information; proficiency in Powerpoint, graphic displays and tables
  5. A self-starter with the ability to work in a fast-paced environment and adapt quickly to changing needs and priorities; proven ability to prioritise and manage multiple tasks simultaneously.


What we can offer you


Vaccitech is a great place to work. We encourage an entirely flat structure with an open-door policy to the senior leadership team. Our employees agree the culture and working environment is one of the best things about our business. As part of a small high growth business you will get the opportunity to be involved in many different areas and our rapid growth trajectory means you will have the opportunity to grow with us. We offer stock options to all employees, 25 days annual holidays increasing with length of service, an AXA Healthcare plan, Life Insurance and up to 5% pension contributions matched by the company.


Notice to recruiters


Vaccitech’s internal Talent Acquisition leads recruitment and employment for Vaccitech. Unsolicited resumes sent to Vaccitech from recruiters do not constitute any type of relationship between the recruiter and Vaccitech and do not obligate Vaccitech to pay fees should we hire from those resumes. Vaccitech operate a preferred list of recruitment suppliers, any and all equiries about joining us as a supplier should be directed to Vaccitech’s TA Team. We ask that external recruiters and/ or agencies not contact or present candidates directly to our hiring manager or employees.


Thank You

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  • Location
    Harwell, Oxfordshire
  • Department
  • Employment Type