Lab staff wanted for NHS Test and Trace service

Date: October 5, 2020

We have received a request from NHS Test and Trace as it is expanding its network of laboratories in the continued effort against COVID-19.  With the winter months ahead, increasing laboratory capacity will be essential.  This expansion has resulted in a number of roles from junior positions utilising a broad skill base, through to senior positions requiring experienced specialists or those able to oversee entire laboratories.  The Testing centres are open to part-time contributions.

The following advice is for University of Leeds staff only, as part of a nationwide campaign. Staff and PGRs based in partner universities should speak to their own line managers and supervisors or follow internal processes.

You are not under any obligation to offer to support this, but if you wish to consider if you could help, or if you feel this might offer an opportunity for your own career development, please read on.

If you are interested, please discuss the opportunity and secure approval from your line manager and liaise with HR (if you are staff) or primary supervisor and Faculty Graduate School (if you are a postgraduate researcher (PGR)).

In all cases you must inform Dr Steve Rose:

  1. that you have registered your interest
  2. if you are selected and what dates you will be at the laboratories, %fte agreed, etc and any subsequent changes
  3. when you stop and return to the University of Leeds

The University has agreed the following terms, should Staff or PGRs be selected to work at a laboratory:

For staff

  • periods up to 28th February 2021 to Alderley Park will be facilitated on a secondment basis
  • periods extending beyond 28th February 2021 and/or involving other Test Centres will need further discussion to identify best mechanism to support this e.g. whether you will need to take on employment directly with the laboratory

For PGRs

Please carefully consider any impact that working at, and commuting to/from the test centres may have on your studies. You must discuss this with and secure approval from your supervisor and Faculty Graduate School as you will need to understand what you are permitted to do and understand the implications for your period of study. For international PGRs, there may also be visa restrictions to consider. Subject to the above;

NHS Test and Trace is looking for individuals who:

  • have lab management experience and / or are a HCPC registered biomedical scientist;
  • have experience working in a lab setting (academic, clinical or industrial), regardless of level; or
  • have a degree or postgraduate qualifications in a biological discipline
  • or are a current student with some previous lab experience, particularly in virology, microbiology, or biomedical sciences and seeking part time employment.

Roles across the UK are available, including the nearest centre to Leeds at Alderley Park, Cheshire.

If you are interested in a temporary, permanent, full-time or part-time lab role within the Test and Trace Programme, please register your details here.

Please note, this is a central database held on behalf of the Test and Trace Programme. The programme will use this to match candidates to suitable roles as and when they become available, which may include matching for roles offered directly by third party suppliers such as Lighthouse Labs and specialist workforce agencies.

Roles will be for between 1 – 18 months depending on the requirement, with competitive market rates of pay available.

All roles are fully funded; staff with substantive roles will be offered secondment terms; PGRs would be contracted directly with laboratories; and fixed term contracts are also available.

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