ATA Level 5 Laboratory Scientist Apprenticeship - MedImmune (Tissue Culture Team)

Cogent Ssc
£288.46 per week
16 Jun 2017
05 Jul 2017
Science / Research
Role Type
Start Date
We are currently looking for a highly motivated young scientist to join the Core Tissue Culture team at MedImmune Ltd, the biologics division of AstraZeneca in Cambridge. This represents a great opportunity to work in industry-leading laboratories at the cutting edge of drug discovery.

You will be responsible for the maintenance, cryopreservation, scheduling and supply of a variety of cell lines and primary cell types to research groups supporting exploratory new target projects, therapeutic projects and technology development. Using predominantly manual cell culture but also providing support for automated cell culture systems, you will help to advance research projects whilst adhering to correct procedures and health and safety guidelines.

You will receive training in all techniques, and will have your own mentor to provide help and advice during your time at MedImmune.

In addition you will be supported and funded to undertake an accredited degree course part-time whilst working.


General workplace Health and Safety

  • To be aware of and conduct work according to all current company policies and procedures e.g. Laboratory Code of Practice, Human Tissue Act, Health and Safety.
  • To understand and comply with risk assessments & control including Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) assessments and Safety Data Sheets
  • To demonstrate appropriate use of personal protective equipment (PPE) i.e. Lab coat, gloves

Laboratory Housekeeping

  • To maintain housekeeping in accordance with company Standard Procedures
  • To report faults and seek diagnostic advice to maintain equipment in good working order
  • To order and control stocks of laboratory supplies and consumables

Environmental Management

  • To understand the management and control of laboratory waste, the handling and disposal of chemical substances.


  • To understand, follow and apply quality procedures and Standard Procedures to meet the requirements of quality standards relevant to their work
  • To understand the impact of quality system on cell supply and use of cells throughout Research
  • Batch testing of reagents


  • To understand goals and tasks assigned and where you are unsure, to question others to gain clarity of these tasks and goals
  • To effectively communicate to others (verbally and in writing) the detail of your tasks/workload on a daily/weekly or monthly basis either on a 1-to-1 basis or in team meeting environments.

Team Work

  • To effectively work within a team and be able to deliver upon team goals as well as individual goals


To plan and supply quality cells to meet demands of Research groups at Medimmune Ltd

Laboratory techniques

  • Manual and automated cell culture
  • Cell counting
  • Cell cryopreservation
  • Reagent preparation
  • Mycoplasma testing using MycoAlert or similar
  • Prepare for and perform laboratory techniques following any specified methodologies

Role specific technical ability

  • To demonstrate technical competence in the use of specified instruments and equipment following Standard Procedures
  • Back up support for lead users of SelecT automated cell culture systems
  • ViCell cell counter
  • Incucyte imager
  • Equipment monitoring and calibration
  • Plating using multidrop within SelecT
  • Flourescence plate reader (Perkin Elmer Envision)

Role specific competencies

To perform role specific tasks within the Core Tissue Culture team

  • Cell culture and monitoring of cell proliferation
  • Media preparation
  • Reagent ordering, aliquoting and storage
  • Adjustment of seeding densities to meet confluency requirements
  • Analysis of cell growth
  • Comparison of manual and automated cell cultures
  • Generation of growth curves using incucyte


  • To complete documentation proficiently including relevant calculations
  • To understand error reporting and correction techniques e.g. for traceability
  • To demonstrate an understanding of the relevant good documentation practices. To keep accurate records of laboratory work undertaken and results
  • To contribute to the preparation of reports to a level commensurate with job role
  • Use of electronic laboratory notebooks when available in undertaking and recording laboratory tasks

Problem solving

  • To identify sources of error and how they can be reduced by demonstrating problem solving techniques
  • To demonstrate an open-minded approach e.g. more than one solution to a problem
  • To understand the importance to report errors and/or problems to Core Tissue Culture team members and demonstrate this in everyday working
Requirements and prospects Desired skills
  • Good oral and written communication skills
  • Good numerical and IT Skills
  • Excellent team player - ability to get along with colleagues and work as part of a team
  • Drive, enthusiasm and ambition with a can-do approach
  • Flexible attitude to work - ability to adapt to changing demands and requirements
  • High degree of integrity and trust
  • Ability to multitask
  • Problem solving skills
  • Demonstrate a progressive attitude towards developing their knowledge and skills
  • High attention to detail
Personal qualities
  • Motivated and enthusiastic
  • Have a passion for science and delivering results
  • A genuine motivation to drive own development
  • Be driven by a desire to make a difference to the lives of patients suffering with severe disease
  • Self-motivating with a desire to learn and push the boundaries of the role
  • Ability to deal with priority decision making
  • Excellent interpersonal and self- management skills
Qualifications required
  • Five GCSE's at grade C and above including Mathematics and English (or equivalent)
  • Will possess 3 A levels (or equivalent), two of which must be in a science subject (ideally biology) at grade B or above
Future prospects Because of the technical experience you will gain from this role, you will gain skills which many graduates have yet to develop. If you demonstrate practical ability in addition to problem solving ability there are limitless opportunities for progression within the Life Sciences sector. Apprentices may be eligible to annual wage increments subject to company budgets and satisfactory completion of goals.

Things to consider The individual will be working within a laboratory environment and must therefore adhere to site dress code procedures and personal hygiene standards during testing activities (e.g. correct use of PPE such as laboratory coats and glasses). The individual will be required to handle hazardous materials (e.g. chemicals, microorganisms) and so must adhere to the relevant procedures. The work pattern involves day and shift working dependent upon the needs of the business. Please see link for travel: