• Belfast
  • £ 52,026
  • Contract
  • vet98
  • caroline.beck@premiere-agency.com

Veterinary Research Officer
£52, 026

Hours – Full time – 37 per week

Main Duties

The Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) is required to provide the most efficient and cost effective testing facilities to deliver diagnostic and statutory testing which it carries out for its principal customer the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs(DAERA).

DSIB virology provides a statutory and diagnostic service for DAERA the farming community and commercial customers, testing samples received for the presence of viruses, viral antibodies, suspect epizootic diseases and notifiable diseases including Johne’s disease. The DSIB virology section is also an approved designated laboratory for testing bovine tissue samples for the presence of BVDV as part of the compulsory BVD virus eradication programmes in the Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland; Scotland.

DSIB also operates the AFBI Cattle Health Scheme which provides framework for voluntary eradication and disease control programmes. Benefits of this scheme include improved disease control, improved profitability, advice on biosecurity and certification of herd health status with regard
to bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD), infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR), leptospirosis, neosporosis and Johne’s disease.

The duties of the post are likely to include the following:

1. Herd Health Programmes
The person will be expected to play a key role in the promotion and delivery of a range of laboratory-based herd health initiatives. These include primarily the AFBI Cattle Health Scheme which is provided to herd owners for assistance in the control of the main non-statutory diseases of cattle (as above) and testing in support of local and national BVD eradication programmes, as well as the provision of advice on biosecurity and certification of cattle health status for these diseases.

2. Animal Disease Diagnosis and Surveillance
This work includes animal disease diagnosis and surveillance and participation in statutory and other testing programmes carried out by AFBI on behalf of a wide range of customers including private veterinary surgeons, poultry farmers, government departments and other organisations.

Components of the work will include the scheduling, interpreting and reporting the results of wide range of diagnostic tests including clinical chemistry, bacteriology, virology, serology and parasitology to private veterinary practitioners and other customers. The person will also be expected to provide veterinary and scientific input to the effective and efficient running of the relevant laboratory work areas.

3. Management
Assisting senior management in the management of staff and other resources as required. This may include contributing to the preparation of business plans, staff reporting, management of budgets and where necessary ensuring compliance with health and safety, biocontainment and other relevant legislation. This may also involve troubleshooting laboratory queries where required.

4. Technology/Knowledge Transfer
Undertaking technology/knowledge transfer and representational duties as required. These will include presenting at local, national or international veterinary, agricultural and other scientific meetings and preparing advisory articles, disease surveillance reports, scientific and other publications.

5. Veterinary and Scientific Advice
The person will be expected to provide expert veterinary and scientific advice on animal disease matters to veterinary practitioners, farmers, industry and government.

6. Other Duties
Veterinary Research Officers may be required to carry out duties other than those listed above, according to AFBI’s business need including as part of the Institute’s response to a major epizootic disease, food- chain or other emergency. They may also be required to teach university or other students, and to carry out duties under the Animal Scientific Procedures Act.

The person may be required to travel locally, nationally or internationally in order to perform the duties of the posts. They may also be required to occasionally work outside normal office hours, particularly in relation to animal disease or food chain emergency incidents.

The above is not meant to be an exhaustive list but to provide a good indication of the main duties of the post. The emphasis on particular duties will vary over time according to business needs.


Specific Experience Required

  • A veterinary medicine degree registerable with RCVS and experience to include 2 years’ experience working in production animal veterinary practice in the last 10 years
  • Experience of working in a laboratory environment would be beneficial
  • Effective communication skills
  • Ability to work successfully as part of a team
  • Self motivated
  • Ability to work flexible working hours
  • Good IT skills to include use of MS Word and MS Excel.