RNA Scientist - Night Shift

Req ID:  65341

Cambridge, GB, CB2 0BA

For 70 years, Charles River employees have worked together to assist in the discovery, development and safe manufacture of new drug therapies. When you join our family, you will have a significant impact on the health and well-being of people across the globe. Whether your background is in life sciences, finance, IT, sales or another area, your skills will play an important role in the work we perform. In return, we’ll help you build a career that you can feel passionate about.

Job Summary

As part off the UK Government’s National Testing Strategy for COVID-19, a new testing centre has been established in Cambridge through a collaboration between AstraZeneca, GSK and the University of Cambridge.  The COVID-19 Cambridge Testing Centre, located on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, opened in April, and is making a significant contribution to the national testing effort.  The high-throughput testing laboratory was purpose designed and is equipped with state-of-the art automation and innovative scientific processes.   

The Cambridge COVID-19 Testing Centre is required to continue its testing operation into 2021.  To support this continued operation, Charles River has been asked to join the collaboration and we are now seeking to recruit over 200 scientists to support the continued lab operation across a range of roles.  Staff in the laboratory will be required to work a shift pattern, that enables continuous operation of the centre 24 hours a day. 


We are seeking RNA Extraction Scientists on the night shift for this project located in Central Cambridge. 

The role is based on a fixed term contract ending Tuesday 27th April 2021 with competitive salary packages and set shift patterns as specified below.  

Pattern 1: Tuesday – Friday : 11.30pm - 6.30am 
Pattern 2: Saturday – Monday : 11.30pm - 6.30am


Scientists will work in teams to prepare samples with a validated COVID-19 method. All roles will require:

•    Work in BSL2 laboratory (Biosafety Level 2) 
•    Work with human biological specimens.
•    Work with samples which may contain SARS-Cov-2.
•    Working and communicating across a fast-paced cross organisational team.
•    Strictly following SOPs.


This role will involve fully automated RNA extraction workflows and volunteers should be comfortable performing this while using PPE.  This role will require individuals to work in teams of two-three to operate Beckman I series robotics to perform automated magnetic bead RNA extraction procedures and track sample through the LIMS system. 

Further Responsibilities include: 
•    Accurate data analysis of results, highlighting and reporting any anomalous results
•    Helping to programme the robotic platforms as needed, ensuring that the protocols are correct and fit for purpose 
•    Maintenance of bench space, ensuring that the area is kept clean, tidy and free from potential contaminants
•    Engagement with a remote data analysis team to monitor instrument performance and QC and respond in real time to troubleshoot and resolve any issues.  

The following are minimum requirements related to this position:

•    Educated to at least degree level within a life sciences discipline with specific molecular biology focus 
•    Proven track record in working on RNA extraction studies
•    Further experience in using and programming automated liquid platforms is highly desirable 
•    Strong data management skills are essential, you will need to be able to interpret and collate various data sets
•    Attention to detail, able to work meticulously and with accuracy 


About Discovery
Discovery from Charles River is industry-proven in the successful development of novel therapies, with over 350 patents and 80 preclinical drug candidates delivered to our sponsors in the past 17 years. Backed by more than 650 scientists, our comprehensive, integrated portfolio employs the latest technology and platforms to provide chemistry, biology, and pharmacology services that support clients from the earliest stages of hit identification all the way through to IND. Our client-focused, collaborative approach creates true partnerships that anticipate challenges, overcome obstacles, and move us forward together on the journey of getting new drugs to market.


About Charles River
Charles River is an early-stage contract research organization (CRO). We have built upon our foundation of laboratory animal medicine and science to develop a diverse portfolio of discovery and safety assessment services, both Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) and non-GLP, to support clients from target identification through preclinical development. Charles River also provides a suite of products and services to support our clients’ clinical laboratory testing needs and manufacturing activities. Utilizing this broad portfolio of products and services enables our clients to create a more flexible drug development model, which reduces their costs, enhances their productivity and effectiveness to increase speed to market.


With over 17,000 employees within 90 facilities in 20 countries around the globe, we are strategically positioned to coordinate worldwide resources and apply multidisciplinary perspectives in resolving our client’s unique challenges. Our client base includes global pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology companies, government agencies and hospitals and academic institutions around the world. And in 2019, revenue increased to $2.62 billion.


At Charles River, we are passionate about our role in improving the quality of people’s lives. Our mission, our excellent science and our strong sense of purpose guide us in all that we do, and we approach each day with the knowledge that our work helps to improve the health and well-being of many across the globe. We have proudly supported the development of ~85% of the drugs approved by the FDA in 2019.