Research Assistant/Research Scientist x3  –Entomology/ Microbiology/ Biological control


Bionema Limited is an established leading independent research organisation, dedicated to the product development, testing and commercialisation of bioinsecticides. We utilise naturally occurring beneficial organisms to address the increasing demand for chemical-free crop protection products.

We are experts in the development of bioinsecticide products for the enhancement of food security, and the reduction of harmful chemical pesticides in crop protection. The company offer a complete set of pre-commercialisation services related to bioinsecticides trials, development and implementation, including consultancy, analytical and R&D solutions, glasshouse testing and field trials, aimed at increasing the efficiency of bioinsecticide application and guaranteeing product quality.

We are looking for a Research Assistant/Research Scientist to work on the development of biocontrol agents for the control of   agricultural, horticultural and forest insect pests. The successful candidate is supposed to play an active role in the life of the Bionema Limited R&D and commercialisation Team. The post-holder must have completed a Master’s degree in bioscience/agricultural science/PhD in Agriculture or a related field. He/she will also have a strong research background in biocontrol industry and commercial biopesticide formulation. There is an expectation that the candidate has fieldwork experience (GEP/EPPO) and will be able to undertake fieldwork for periods of time. Good writing and communication skills are essential, and experience in quantitative data collection and analysis. In addition to an excellent salary the benefits that come with this job include a defined benefits pension scheme, annual leave and excellent training and development opportunities.


  • Lead the development and implementation of a research programme focused on the development of biocontrol of pests and diseases in agriculture, horticulture, and forestry sectors.
  • Develop formulation and integrate with existing integrated (IPM) pest management systems.
  • Use of molecular tools to identify microbial species (i.e., nematode, bacteria, fungus).
  • Investigate the role of IPM in different cropping systems.
  • Design and manage experiments, perform statistical analysis and interpret and publish results in scientific and popular press, technical reports, at conferences and to stakeholders.
  • Actively pursue external funding opportunities with the objective of developing critical mass in the area, by building a dynamic team of post-doctoral researchers and post-graduate students.
  • Develop and maintain active collaborative contacts with other national and international scientists, research groups and institutions.
  • Supervise and mentor postgraduate students, Internship, visitors through the Bionema collaboration with national and international universities.
  • Carry out such other duties as may be assigned by the Chief Scientific Officer from time to time.

Person Specification

Note: The ‘Essential’ qualifications, skills and knowledge outlined below are ‘must-have’ which will be used in the shortlisting process.



  • Candidates must have a post graduate in agricultural science, applied entomology, invertebrate pathology, microbiology and molecular biology, or a related discipline.
  • Significant experience in working with microbial control agents (fungi, nematodes, bacteria) for the crop pest control.
  • Master in Agriculture Bioscience/PhD in a relevant discipline.


  • Postdoctoral research experience in biological control/applied entomology/ biology/ microbiology/ molecular biology.
  • Relevant industry experience.



  • Use of cutting edge microbial control agents and molecular biology techniques.
  • Microbial control agents and applied entomology.
  • The role of biocontrol agents for control pest and disease.
  • Assist in project management to ensure successful delivery of all outputs.
  • Production, formulation and application of biocontrol agents.
  • Maintenance of insect culture for laboratory and field experiments.
  • Conducting bioassays using biocontrol agents in laboratory and glasshouse.
  • Conducting efficacy trials for product development according to GEP/EPPO guidelines.
  • Wider knowledge of the role of biocontrol agents for pest and disease control.


  • Understanding of biocontrol agents and their use in agriculture, horticulture and forestry sectors.
  • Use of microbial indicators for product quality assessment.
  • Experience in enzyme assays, respiration methods, PLFAs.
  • Bioinformatics and advanced statistical techniques.
  • Relevant Industry experience.



  • A demonstrable ability to conduct research in line with the objectives of the project.
  • Excellent laboratory, glasshouse and field skills.
  • Excellent ability to plan, organise and schedule work effectively and to lead research programmes.
  • Excellent one-to-one and group communication skills (farmers, students, colleagues, stakeholders).
  • Good team working skills.
  • Track record of publications in high quality peer-reviewed, international journals.
  • Capacity to successfully develop collaborative research links with National and International research organizations.
  • Strategic awareness, innovation and change management skills.
  • Engaging and consultative leadership skills that demonstrate best practice in people and programme management.
  • Writing of SOPs and protocol preparation according to EPPOR guidelines.
  • Keeping records of experiments.
  • Knowledge of data recording and statistical analysis.
  • Evidence of planning skills to contribute to the research project.
  • Good communication skills both written and oral.
  • Computer literate, with proficiency in the use of MS Office, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook
  • Good interpersonal skills and the ability to work as a part of a team.
  • Strong organisational skills.
  • Team building and problem solving skills.
  • Attention to detail and a high level of accuracy.
  • Willingness to work flexible hours including overnight absences.
  • Willingness to work outdoors in cold and wet conditions when necessary.
  • Enthusiastic, hard-working, punctual, reliable, trustworthy and willing to participate in professional development activities.


  • A track record of communicating and networking with growers/farmers, greenkeeper, stakeholders, and policy makers.
  • Record of successful research grant writing.
  • Aptitude for multidisciplinary approaches.

Behaviour Competencies


  • Ability to work as a part of a team, including consulting, collaborating and building relationships with key stakeholders.
  • Self-disciplined, organised and methodical.
  • Strives for high quality of work and demonstrates commitment to the programme.
  • Ability to communicate effectively to enable knowledge and technology transfer.

What we offer

  • Annual leave + bank and public holidays.
  • Pension scheme to which the company contributes.
  • Excellent continual professional development opportunities, both internal and external, as a part of our training commitment.
  • Bionema is committed to the principle of equal opportunity in employment.

Working Hours

Normal hours of work are 37 per week. A flexible approach to work is needed as there will be a requirement to work overtime (evenings and weekends) during busy periods.

Candidate should

  • Proof of eligibility to work in the UK
  • Flexibility – overnight stay will be required on occasion

How to Apply

To apply for this position, please send your CV and a covering letter outlining your current salary, confirming that you are eligible to work in the UK, and identifying how you meet the job criteria.

Interview date: 16th April 2017

Informal enquiries should be directed to: Dr Minshad Ansari

Advertising will remain live until the post is filled.

Applications to be sent to Meraj Syeda, Institute of Life Science 1, Swansea University, Singleton Park, Swansea, SA2 8PP, United Kingdom or email by 5.00 pm on Friday 20thMay 2016. If you require further information on this position, contact Meraj Syeda as above.