Cell Culture Laboratory Technician Apprentice – The Pirbright Institute – Woking

Vacancy description

The role is based at the Pirbright Institute, The Pirbright Institute, Ash Road, Pirbright, Woking, GU24 0NF

The Pirbright Institute delivers world-leading research to understand, predict, detect and respond to viral disease outbreaks. We study viruses of livestock that are endemic and exotic to the UK, using cells cultured by the central services unit (CSU). The apprentice post would be part of this vital team and will learn many transferable skills.

Accountability, responsibility and duties;

(90%) Responsible for supporting the cell culture team which will include:

  • Maintaining cell lines using aseptic technique.
  • Using microscopy to monitor the growth of cells.
  • Accurately recording and reporting data.
  • Accurately following methods for cell culture production.
  • Assisting in the maintenance of the cell bank database including the storage in liquid Nitrogen.
  • Maintaining essential laboratory equipment such as incubators, microscopes, water systems and pipettes.
  • Trained to complete pipette calibration and maintain calibration records
  • Verification of temperature sensors.
  • Prepare primary cells from tissue samples.
  • Responsible for ensuring enough sterile tools and glassware for completion of daily tasks.
  • Maintain training record to demonstrate competency in cell culture methods.
  • Follow good laboratory practice related to Safety, behaviour and hygiene.
  • Support antibody production and purification when required
  • Support media production when required.

(10%) Responsible for Personal Health & Safety, which will include:

  • Maintaining electronic training records
  • Taking ownership of personal Health and Safety responsibilities and compliance with institute Risk and Assurance procedure and policies
  • Following Biosafety procedures and notifying supervisor if procedures are not followed.
  • Trained to support Cell Culture Specialist working within the Restricted Area

Future prospects

The apprenticeship lasts 24 months, and on completion of the apprenticeship; a successful candidate would have gained the necessary experience to work as a Laboratory Technician in many academic/medical/biopharmaceutical industries.

Desired skills

Reliability under pressure, customer focussed, diplomatic, enthusiastic, energetic, intellectually engaged, time management skills, decision-making and problem-solving skills.

Qualifications required

The preferred candidate will have 5 GCSEs ‘Grade C and above’- must include at least double science, maths and English

A-Level in Biology or Science related discipline is desirable.

Personal qualities


  • Must be over the age of 18
  • Evidence of excellent oral and written communication skills.

Training to be provided

  • Level 3 Subsidiary BTEC Diploma in Applied Science
  • Level 2 Functional Skills (English & Maths), if required


37 hours Monday – Friday (Monday through Thursday 08.45 to 17.15, Fridays 08.30 to 16.30. 25 days holiday plus bank holidays and privilege days)


£15,075 per annum (24 month fixed term contract)

37 Mon - Fri|
£15,075 per annum