ASCUS Lab | Lab Technician (part-time)

We are delighted to announce that we are looking for a new Lab Technician to join the ASCUS Lab team. This is an exciting opportunity to join the core team of this growing organisation and to work directly on the development of the facility and delivery of our lab programme of art-science workshops and courses.


ASCUS Lab is an exciting and ambitious new project that has seen ASCUS Art & Science renovate an old lab at Summerhall to bring it back to life. We are delighted to have received support from the Wellcome Trust through their People Award scheme to fund both this position as well as the initial stages of developing and setting up this new space.

Full Details

ASCUS Lab Technician
£16,000 pro rata
3 days per week (22.5hrs) for 6 months
(this is a freelance contract position with possible extension pending funding)
Reporting to:
Dr James Howie (Lab Director)
Working closely with:
ASCUS Lab Management and community
Working hours are flexible based around ASCUS Lab programme of activity (22.5 hours a week, consisting of working some evenings and Saturdays – when Lab Open Sessions and Workshops/Courses are running)
We ask that applicants are available on a full time basis for the two weeks of the Edinburgh International Science Festival (1st – 16th April)
How to apply:
Please email your CV, and covering letter to, articulating your interest in and suitability for the role. This should include relevant previous experience doing microscopy, microbiology and DNA analysis work, along with previous experience presenting and delivering workshops to public audiences. Relevant practical laboratory work experience and a HND/Bachelor’s degree in a science related subject is essential for this role
12pm Monday 28th November 2016
Interviews will be held on Monday the 5th December
Start date:
Immediate start

For this project we are looking for someone with a scientific background (preferably in the following areas: microscopy, microbiology and DNA analysis) and previous experience working in labs. This is an opportunity for someone interested in working in a dynamic and creative environment with a small core team and a team of passionate volunteers, helping us to build and support our ever expanding art-science community. The role of the ASCUS Lab technician will be to work with management in continuing to develop and maintain the ASCUS Lab facility. This will include overseeing and implementing good Health and Safety practice in the lab at all times as well as working both independently and with partners to develop a programme of workshops that combines the artistic with the scientific. This is a front facing role and would suit someone who likes working with a diverse range of individuals as well as presenting and sharing science and creative ideas with public audiences.

The Lab technician key responsibilities:


  • Trialling practical activities;
  • Running demos and lab taster sessions using existing lab equipment;
  • Working with management team in developing lab courses/events/workshops for artists, scientists and the general public;
  • Writing reports, reviews and summaries;
  • Coordinating work in the laboratory to ensure efficient and appropriate use is made of all equipment;
  • Work with lab members in allocating space for ongoing experiments and ensure that all H&S protocols are strictly adhered to;
  • Preparing risk assessments, COSHH and Safe Systems of work when necessary;
  • Liaising with management and members to discuss timetables, equipment requirements and work plans;
  • Record keeping, e.g. of training sessions completed by lab members etc;
  • Disposing of waste materials in line with ASCUS Lab waste disposal procedures and UK regulations;
  • Looking at ideas for future development of the lab facility and programme;
  • Supporting the work of management and members during lab programme activities and members sessions, giving technical advice to management and members where necessary;
  • Supervising lab activity during lab membership sessions;
  • Following and ensuring that all health and safety procedures are understood and followed correctly;
  • Maintenance:

    • Testing and managing repairs of equipment and laboratory apparatus;
    • Preparing equipment, chemicals and making up solutions before courses/workshops/events – over a wide range of lab resources including setting up microscopes, experiments and required lab equipment and resources;
    • Ensuring the laboratory is appropriately stocked and resourced including organising and proper storing of chemicals and equipment;
    • Updating inventory and associated records on receipt of new Lab donations and orders;
    • Obtaining materials/consumables by local purchase;
    • Preparing and submitting Lab purchase orders as required;
    • Ensuring that equipment is properly cleaned by lab users and that chemicals and other materials are appropriately stored;
    • General Laboratory cleaning: cleaning bench surfaces, floors and fixed equipment (laboratory sinks, emptying/supervising the emptying of sink traps);
    • Carrying out health and safety checks on laboratories, prep rooms and stores;
    • General:

      • Attend and participate in staff and ASCUS Lab Community meetings and training as appropriate;
      • Main point of contact for Lab users during ASCUS Lab Open Sessons;
      • Main point of contact for ASCUS Lab partners in development and delivery of Lab programme of activities;
      • Work to support and grow an active and engaged ASCUS Lab Community;
      • Developing workshops and actvities for artists, scientists, members of the public and ASCUS Lab Community;
      • Delivering workshops and activities that are both creative, educational and fun;
      • The post holder may be required to assist in other duties as they arise;

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