Postdoctoral Scientist (African Swine Fever Vaccinology)

Salary: Band D; from £32,684 to £35,104

Hours: 37 hours per week

Contract Type: Fixed term/Full time

Contract Length: Fixed Term to March 2024

Closing Date: 14 May 2021

Interview Date: TBC

Job Reference: 21P-45

Postdoctoral Scientist (African Swine Fever Vaccinology)

Organisation position and purpose:      

African swine fever virus is a high consequence transboundary viral disease of pigs that has resulted in the deaths of millions of pigs and wild boar across Europe and Asia. In order to combat this disease the postdoctoral scientist will be responsible for delivering the scientific objectives of a research project focused on mapping interactions between African swine fever virus and host proteins, with a particular focus on the interferon and autophagy pathways. The position is part of a pan-European consortium to develop an African swine fever virus interaction map, to improve our understanding of the replication and immune evasion strategies of this devastating virus. The postdoctoral scientist will be a pivotal member of the African swine fever (vaccinology) group that is based at The Pirbright Institute and would suit a scientist with an interest and expertise in viruses and host pathogen interactions, particularly someone with knowledge and skills in molecular and cellular virology.


Main duties and responsibility

Responsible for delivery of scientific objectives of the research project, which will include:

  • Identifying ASFV genes that interact with the interferon and autophagy pathways
  • Generating and characterising recombinant ASFV deletion mutants
  • Defining mechanisms by which ASFV genes manipulate host responses.


Responsible for preparation of oral and written reports and publications, which will include:

  • Maintaining accurate records of experiments and results
  • Preparing presentations for internal and external audiences
  • Preparing publications                                                                                                                                   

Responsible for maintaining Health and Safety and Biosafety Standards:

  • Comply with biosafety regulations for working with SAPO4 virus in high containment laboratory
  • Maintain Health and Safety Standards


This job description is only an outline of the tasks, responsibilities and outcomes required of the role. The jobholder will carry out any other duties as may be reasonably required by his/her line manager. The job description and personal specification may be reviewed on an ongoing basis in accordance with the changing needs of The Pirbright Institute.

All employees shall actively participate in the Institute-wide quality assurance system in conjunction with the Institute’s Quality Manager. Employees are also expected to safeguard their own health and safety and security by following policies and all employees are responsible for the Health and Safety and security of staff under their management.


Personal specification

 The post holder should have good time management and decision making/problem solving skills. The post holder must also show reliability under pressure, be ethical, creative, collaborative, and engaging.


Specific requirements


  • A PhD or equivalent in a relevant branch of biosciences
  • Evidence of excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Experience of in virological research


  • Experience of research in host pathogen interactions
  • Experience of working in containment, particularly with viruses (CL2 or above)
  • Evidence of networking skills with the ability to build effective collaborative relationships

Due to the nature of the work we do, all successful applicants will be required to go through a comprehensive screening process including reference and qualification checks, financial and security clearances.

We would like to encourage all overseas applicants to consider the Tier 1 Global Talent Visa route. This has been designed for eligible, scientific researchers to work and live in the UK, subject to certain criteria. Please see for further information under the link:


What we offer

  •  Generous Group Personal Pension Scheme and life cover (subject to age and earnings)
  • 25 days annual leave per annum, pro rata, plus 10.5 public and privilege days
  • Pirbright gym with subsidised membership
  • Pirbright social club
  • Pirbright Lifestyle Hub (employee discount site)
  • Cycle to work
  • Subsidised staff restaurant
  • Childcare allowance
  • Free onsite parking

 This offer is subject to receipt of the final funding agreement.

Apply now