Ocean Career: Cefas Ecotoxicology Laboratory Technician

An opportunity exists for a Laboratory Technician—Ecotoxicology in the Radiological and Chemical Sciences (RACS) Group. The work area comprises a diverse team of scientists who provide high quality analytical support, data interpretation and scientific advice to a comprehensive portfolio of internal and external contracts for UK and international customers.  

The role will be laboratory based. The main purpose of the post will be to assist with maintenance, calibrations, and routine checks of various laboratory equipment. The role also includes upkeeping of lab cultures such as microalgae and small invertebrate species (i.e. mussels).

The work carried out in the ecotoxicology department includes a wide range of in vitro and in vivo assays investigating both acute and chronic endpoints using algae, freshwater and marine invertebrates. Part of the role will be to support experimental studies and routine procedures to determine the impact and risk of toxicants and stressors on the aquatic environment.

The team is involved in monitoring programs for contaminants and as such the role will also require assisting in sample preparation and analysis for determining specific biomarkers to assess effect of contaminants in fish.  As a Laboratory Technician, the post holder will be involved in day-to-day laboratory operations working to best laboratory practice. Maintaining an excellent health and safety culture is important, so a key part of the role would be to undertake safe and smooth operations and contribute to continuous improvement.  

This valuable role underpins our key ecotoxicological projects and programs including monitoring programs and research projects. 

Job description

Your main duties and responsibilities will include, but are not limited to:

  • ensure cleanliness and tidiness of the laboratories 
  • maintaining, calibrating, cleaning and testing of the equipment 
  • maintaining cultures of laboratory test organisms as required 
  • supporting scientific investigations and experiments 
  • recording data and presenting to senior staff 
  • contributing to reports, reviews and summaries 
  • keeping up to date with relevant scientific and technical developments 
  • carrying out risk assessments 
  • ordering and maintaining stock and resources 
  • ensuring compliance with relevant Health and Safety requirements and Quality Procedures, including rigorous adherence to relevant CoSHH and process Risk Assessments 

Full training will be provided. 

In addition, Cefas reserves the right to ask staff to take on additional duties and responsibilities which are commensurate with their grade. Team Leaders and management will have a discussion with staff to explain the changes that are to be made. A new job description will be issued if required.

Person specification

The following are essential criteria required for this role and you must be able to demonstrate your skills and experience in the following areas:

  • Effective team working is essential to this role, as is the ability to work independently and use your own initiative
  • Proven interest in science and environmental issues
  • We need highly self-motivated and enthusiastic person with a positive attitude to learning new skills and to continuous improvement
  • You must have good verbal and written communication skills
  • It is essential that you are methodical, organized, have the ability to multitask whilst maintaining focus, have sound problem-solving skills, and excellent attention to detail
  • You will need to be flexible and possess the ability to organize your own workload to meet deadlines
  • Prior experience in a science or technical work environment would be beneficial
  • A good understanding of laboratory environment
  • Attention to detail and organization
  • Ability to learn practical techniques and apply knowledge

As a laboratory technician you may need to work irregular hours to fit in around the work of others using lab space and to meet project deadlines. 


We'll assess you against these behaviors during the selection process:

  • Delivering at Pace
  • Working Together
  • Communicating and Influencing

Technical skills

We'll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:

  • Good IT skills are essential with experience of standard Microsoft applications such as Excel and Word.


Alongside your salary of £23,811, Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science contributes £6,428 towards you being a member of the Civil Service Defined Benefit Pension scheme. Find out what benefits a Civil Service Pension provides.

  • Generous annual leave entitlement - Cefas offers 25 days' annul leave on entry (rising to 30 days over first 5 yrs) for full-time new entrants to the Civil Service Employees receive 8 public holidays a year, plus an additional day to mark the late Queen's birthday
  • Access to learning and development tailored to your role
  • A working environment that supports a range of flexible working options
  • A working culture which encourages inclusion and diversity
  • Eligible to join the Civil Service Pension scheme - more information can be found on the CSP website Home - Civil Service Pension Scheme
  • Staff recognition vouchers
  • In-year award scheme

Closing Date: July 22, 2024

Learn more about this opportunity and how to apply.

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