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Senior Scientist – Process Development (Upstream)

Senior Scientist – Process Development (Upstream)


As a Senior Scientist (Upstream Process Development) you will be involved in a range of internal platform development and commercial projects, primarily focusing on improving and expanding capabilities for viral vectors production process.

You will work as a technical lead to specify and implement scalable processes for viral vector production in suspension-based mammalian cell culture. The position will involve extensive interaction with both internal and external stakeholders, and the ability to show commitment to scientific development and innovation are considered essential.

Prior experience of operating small- and large-scale bioreactors (ambr15, DASGIP 1L, 3L, 10L or equivalent) is absolutely required as is experience in developing and implementing associated process for mammalian production systems. The position will sit within the Process Development team and work closely with the viral vector teams, with a focus on Lentivirus, AAV and Adenoviral vectors.

The appointee will line manage 1-2 junior staff upon joining the team and, working with Group Leader, be responsible for expanding the USP capacity aligning with OXGENE’s business goal.


  • Lead, plan and conduct viral vector production in bioreactors ranging from 1L to 10L scale
  • Use of statistical approaches for process optimisation (DOE, QbD) at small scale (15-25ml) and translation of small-scale results to bioreactor scale production
  • Support technology transfer activities for commercial manufacturing
  • Define project goals and deliverables, in line with planned project objectives
  • To keep up to date with the scientific literature and developments in the field
  • Set an example to other colleagues, and train and mentor junior staff
  • Perform data analysis, author Standard Operating Procedures, and write technical reports
  • Support and contribute to protection and assessment of intellectual property
  • Promote and suggest implementation of new methods, technologies, and processes to ensure best practice
  • Ensure established quality standards for established processes

Essential Criteria:

  • A Ph.D, DPhil or MSc in Chemical Engineering, Biochemical Engineering, Biotechnology, Cell Biology, Biochemistry or other relevant degree
  • Previous industry experience applicable to the role
  • Extensive knowledge of subject area, and ideally an established network within academic and industry groups
  • An engineering mindset – good ability to utilise statistical approaches (in particular Design of Experiments) to optimize processes and procedures
  • Prior experience of preparation, maintenance and operation of bioreactors up to 10L scale or larger for mammalian cell culture (preferably viral vector production)
  • Understanding of bioreactor scaling parameters and experience of transitioning a process between scales
  • Highly developed interpersonal, written and verbal skills, including the ability to give presentations and to speak to groups
  • High-level attention to detail
  • Ability to work under demanding conditions, and to cope with shifting priorities

Desirable Criteria:

  • Previous experience of developing commercial suspension processes for viral vectors
  • Direct knowledge around rAAV, lentiviral or adenoviral vector manufacture
  • Understanding of GMP regulations and QbD principles and guidelines for process development
  • Previous experience of line management

This advert will close as soon as sufficient applications have been received. Please submit your application as soon as possible to avoid missing the opportunity.

We have offices in the UK and USA. This role will be located at The Oxford Science Park, just 4 miles south east of Oxford, with parking and good public transport links from Oxford. Our UK office address is: Oxford Genetics Ltd, Robert Robinson Avenue, The Oxford Science Park, Oxford, OX4 4HG.

25 days annual leave plus UK Public holidays and a day off on your birthday; Pension with salary exchange and employer contribution; Group life cover; Employee assistance programme; Business travel insurance; Private medical insurance with great wellbeing benefits as a benefit in kind; Glasses Vouchers; Long service benefits including annual leave rising to 30 days; Oxford Science park free parking and a friendly working environment in an exciting and expanding company.

Our Oxford offices benefit from kitchen facilities on each floor with freshly ground coffee, tea, fruit juices, fruit and biscuits.

Culture: A chance to make a difference in a promotion-from-within environment; 2 whole company communication presentation events each year; Fun Factor social events including regular science presentations; regular TGIFriday events; Annual 2-day Staff Away Days; additional social committee events; and a commitment to quality, health and safety.

Environment: Modern offices and laboratories with a friendly working environment in a diverse and expanding company.

Values: Employee values include scientific excellence, ambition, diversity, teamwork and fun.


By the start of employment, the successful candidate must have, and be able to demonstrate, permission to work in the UK.

Unfortunately, as a small company, we have very limited ability to sponsor employees under Tier 2 (General) of the points based system, and we are unable to sponsor Tier 2 work visas for international graduates / candidates.

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