Head of Scientific Test

Location Royal Leamington Spa
Discipline: Lab
Salary: ££65000 per annum + 10% Retention Bonus
Contact name: Nathan Mccarron

Job ref: RLS003_1635587514
Published: about 1 month ago
Startdate: ASAP

Fixed Term Contract

We're currently seeking a Royal Leamington Spa-based Head of Scientific Test to work within a state of the art, high output diagnostics laboratory environment as part of the UK's NHS Test and Trace programme.

As well as playing a vital role in supporting society's return to a more normal way of life by helping to break the chains of COVID-19 transmission, you will also gain invaluable experience and exposure to some of the country's most highly skilled individuals in the scientific community.

This represents a once in a lifetime opportunity to go above and beyond to support public health, while also extending your already accomplished technical skills and positioning your Scientific career for further success and growth.

Your responsibilities:

As Head of the new Scientific Test Team you will have the opportunity to shape and fully evolve a diverse team, leading from start-up through to a fully integrated arm of the Development and Innovation Group. The primary function of the scientific test team is to ensure the elimination of known risks to patient test outcome in the successful deployment of changes in a high throughput diagnostic environment. At this level you will take ownership for formalisation of test strategy and establishing test policy through to execution. This leadership position presents a unique opportunity to play a vital role in the development of new immerging diagnostic technologies in one of the largest diagnostic laboratories in Europe.

You will:

  • Responsible for unit, integration, regression and load-based testing strategies, interfacing between automated robotics and LIMS systems.

  • Monitor, manage and enforce quality gate processes that ensure defects or critical faults do not progress through to the live production environment putting at risk patient test outcomes.

  • Responsible for the test and re-commissioning of all serviced and repaired equipment on the diagnostic lines presenting formal reports to the quality team for sign off.

  • Ensure team adherence to change control and operational policies.

  • Responsible for ensuring the test team houses the right capabilities, drawing resource from a wide variety of disciplines.

  • Integrate into the technical innovation arm of the organisation, as a cross-functional team, forging strong bonds with technical support, development, and operations.

  • Identify skill gaps and train existing members within the team.

  • Take responsibility for talent recruitment, team specialisms and succession planning.

  • Drive business cases for training and CPD activities to support the test agenda.

  • Establish clear goals for team members, providing stability and professional coaching as the team moves from start-up to maturity.

  • Ability to lead a team of test scientists and engineers delivering projects over several different work streams.

Your experience:


  • Experienced in working in a high-pressured team where quality is paramount.

  • Familiar with clinical diagnostic test procedures and assays.

  • Background in software and automated equipment testing.

  • Deep understanding of test procedure and strategies needed to support continuous integration to meet business needs.

  • Flexibility and a willingness to embrace change.

  • Experienced in leading a team across multiple work streams.

  • Strong project planning and project management skills.

  • Able to work collaboratively across the broader organisation.

  • Experience or working knowledge of best practice in a regulated environment.

  • Accountable member of the team who is willing to take ownership.

  • Has a creative approach to problem solving, identifying opportunity during change with the ability to communicate this effectively to the team.


  • Experienced in working in DevOps procedures and working in an Agile Environment.

  • Science degree or equivalent industrial experience.

  • Worked within the ISO 15189:2012 quality framework.

Please note that as Head of Scientific Test, you are not required to have extensive experience across all of the desirable competencies described above, but applicants are expected to have relevant experience for the competency which they would oversee (for example an applicant for a role overseeing a PCR team would be expected to fulfil all the criteria in relation to PCR methods, but not necessarily the criteria related to RNA extraction). Please note you will also be required to pass BPSS clearance.

In return:

Please note, successful candidates will be required to spend an interim period of up to 4 weeks on day shifts in order to complete comprehensive onboarding training before transitioning onto your shift pattern. You will also be eligible for a 10% retention bonus (Paid at 9 and 18 months).

To learn more, please speak to our team.

You will also be joining a diverse and hugely welcoming team. Diversity at NHS Test and Trace is about reflecting the communities we serve, holding the principles of equality and inclusion at the heart of everything we do and all that we stand for, embracing differences, creating possibilities, and growing together. We aim to foster a culture where individuals of all backgrounds feel confident in bringing their whole selves to work, feel included and their talents are nurtured, empowering them to contribute fully to our purpose.

This is literally a once in a lifetime opportunity to join a team of highly skilled individuals, all focussed on delivering the best possible outcome.

Please be aware that BPSS (Baseline Personnel Security Standard) including a media check, is the required level of screening for all staff working at the Leamington Spa Laboratory.

If you're ready for a new challenge and want to be part of the team delivering this essential lab work, please apply today.

This job advertisement refers to an assignment with NHS Test and Trace. The Impellam Group is working in partnership with NHS Test and Trace so you will be employed on a fixed term employment basis with an Employing Agency within the Impellam Group and not directly employed by NHS Test and Trace. Employing Agencies belonging to the Impellam Group include SRG, Medacs, Lorien and Blue Arrow. Contractual employment terms and conditions will be set out by the Employing Agency.