Laboratory Scientist Apprenticeship (Protein Sciences) - Vertex Pharmaceuticals

Cogent Ssc
86-88 Jubilee Avenue, Milton Park, Milton, Abingdon, OX14 4RW
£16,500.00 annually
12 Jun 2019
10 Jul 2019
Science / Research
Role Type
Apprenticeship, Degree
Start Date
The Laboratory Scientist Apprenticeship will be embedded within our Biology Department where we undertake research to discover therapies for serious diseases. The Apprentice will be closely supervised and trained to initially undertake routine scientific tasks, including DNA preparations and DNA sequencing. With time and experience the apprentice will move on to undertake more complex scientific experiments.

The apprentice will need a character that is reliable and diligent, taking responsibility for the quality and accuracy of the work undertaken.

This role will involve working within the current Protein Sciences team who use various cellular systems to produce, purify and characterised the various proteins needed for our drug discovery pipeline. This includes understanding DNA vector (plasmid) motifs and construction and the different parts of genes that enable cells to make proteins. It will involve growing both mammalian, insect cell and bacterial cultures in flasks where these cells produce the proteins for us. The techniques involved here differ widely depending on the system that we select.

The apprentice will be imbedded within a wider organisation that is dedicated to drug discovery and benefit from the passion and knowledge of your colleagues. Regular discussions talks and presentations from our own scientists and those from outside of the organisation will allow you to learn about and understand disease biology, the drug discovery process and how medicines work.

Understanding and working to strict safety and ethical guidelines is paramount to this role. The apprentice will be expected to work both individually and as part of a laboratory team. With appropriate time, training and experience, they will be able to work with minimum supervision, taking responsibility for the quality, accuracy and recording of the work that is undertaken. They will be proactive in finding solutions to problems and helping identify ways to improve processes.

At the end of the Apprenticeship, the Apprentice will be able to:
  • Prepare for and perform laboratory tasks using the appropriate scientific techniques, procedures and methods relevant to the activities of the laboratory
  • Apply knowledge of underlying scientific principles in laboratory-based experimentation and implement new processes according to the literature or input from colleagues
  • Demonstrate and explain the principles of laboratory techniques and scientific experimentation to contribute to the development of scientific technical projects
  • Develop and apply a theoretical knowledge of the advanced science and technology required to progress in the job role and relevant area of specialism
  • Understand the business environment in which the company operates including personal role within the organisation, ethical practice and codes of conduct
  • Work safely within a laboratory environment, maintaining excellent housekeeping whilst following appropriate safety, environment and risk management systems
  • Promote and ensure the application of quality standards relevant to the workplace
  • Work autonomously to analyse, interpret and evaluate scientific data and present the results of laboratory work and problem solving clearly and concisely in written and oral form
  • Undertake continuous performance improvement within the scientific and technical environment
  • Use creative thinking and problem solving to challenge assumptions, innovate, make new proposals and build on existing ideas
  • Plan and prioritise tasks, review and evaluate progress against objectives and investigate alternative scenarios
  • Communicate effectively using a full range of skills: speaking to a scientific and non-scientific audience, active listening, professional writing, professional body language, scientific presentation
  • Demonstrate reliability, integrity and respect for confidentiality on work related and personal matters, including appropriate use of social media and information systems
  • Interact effectively within a wide, multi-disciplinary project team
  • Understand the impact of work on others
  • Manage time effectively, being able to plan and complete work to schedule
  • Able to handle change and respond to change management processes
  • Take responsibility for personal development, demonstrating commitment to learning and self-improvement

Requirements and prospects

Desired skills

  • Good oral and written communication skills
  • Good numerical and skills
  • Team Player: Work and interact effectively within a team
  • Drive, enthusiasm and ambition with a can-do approach
  • Good time management and ability to complete work to schedule
  • High degree of integrity and trust
  • Application of knowledge of scientific principles to solve complex problems
  • Ability to work in a diverse an equal environment

Personal qualities

  • Motivated and enthusiastic
  • Have a passion for science and delivering results
  • A genuine motivation to drive own development and boundaries of role
  • Be driven by a desire to make a difference to the lives of patients suffering with severe disease
  • Excellent interpersonal and self- management skills

Desired qualifications

You must have gained 80 UCAS points from a minimum of 2 A Levels including Biology and an additional Science or Maths (or equivalent e.g. BTEC).If no Mathematics A-level, candidates must have a GCSE at grade C (5) or above in the subject (or equivalent).

Future prospects

Because of the technical experience you will gain from this role, you will gain skills that many graduates have yet to develop. If you demonstrate practical ability in addition to problem solving ability there will be opportunities for progression within the Life Sciences sector.

On successful completion of the apprenticeship, candidates will be able to apply for further positions.

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, cells, radioactive isotopes) and so must adhere to the relevant procedures, controls and risk assessments.

The apprentice must be able to demonstrate the required attitudes, behaviours and interpersonal skills associated with the professional workplace.

The apprentice must be willing to commit an amount of personal time to study.

Vertex will allow the equivalent of 1 working day per week to be dedicated to study in support of your course.