Team Lead - Rearing Development (2 year FTC)

25 Oct 2023

About Us

We are a team of passionate individuals from 15 countries, developing ground-breaking biological technologies designed to sustainably, and safely, control arthropods that transmit diseases and destroy crops. We do this work to improve lives and livelihoods around the world in the face of the growing threats that arthropods pose to human health and the global food supply.

Whilst what we do relates to developing insect control technologies, our organisation is about people and in its service to people.

We are strongly committed to a set of values and principles and foster a culture of trust, respect, creativity, and accountability. Click here to read about our principles, and click here to read our CEO’s blog on trust and our corporate culture.

Purpose of the Job

As a Team Lead for Oxitec, you will join a dynamic project dedicated to the research and development of our self-limiting technology in cattle ticks.

As one of the first Oxitec team members in our new Scotland hub, you will be a self-starter who will work alongside the Program Lead to establish a new team, set up our new lab space and get research up and running in line with project timelines.

Your primary focus will be to help grow and train a small team of scientists and technicians, who will be working alongside our partner organisation – the Roslin Institute – to generate data on cattle tick biology and develop rearing methods that will enable large-scale production of high-quality ticks. Other duties will range widely from equipment procurement and lab set up, to tick handling.

To be a successful candidate, you will have extensive experience of leading highly technical and specialized teams, managing multiple work streams in parallel and communicating progress to senior management. You will take a hands-on approach to generating and interpreting data, working closely with your team as well as our engineering department to test, improve and validate new tick rearing prototypes. You will have a self-starting attitude, show strong organisational skills, and demonstrate original thinking and attention to detail.

Excellent communication skills and an enthusiasm for Oxitec’s mission will be essential.


Your key responsibilities will involve leading the team that will develop tick rearing methods, alongside the strain development team. You will be responsible for ensuring that laboratory spaces are fully compliant with required regulations and equipped in a way that meets all of the project needs, developing novel and innovative rearing systems, and nurturing respectful relationships with our partner organisations.

Working under the guidance of a Group Lead as well as the Program Lead you will: 

  • Manage and direct the work of a small team (1-3 direct reports) responsible for testing tick rearing methods;
  • Work closely with partner organisations and maintain strong and collaborative relationships with them;
  • Provide clear communication regarding outcomes of processes, experiments, and planning with the Program Lead;
  • Work closely with the engineering department to ensure rapid feedback on rearing development;
  • Report data in meetings throughout the company, to audiences with various technical knowledge, and write clear and concise reports for internal and external review;
  • Have a clear understanding of the commercial impact of the work and responsibilities and strive to optimise performance;
  • Support the team’s compliance to established procedures, regulations and health and safety;
  • Train staff as required in line with SOPs and training records;
  • Provide occasional weekend support as part of a rota within the R&D team;
  • Travel to the Oxitec headquarters in Oxfordshire as required, and depending on project needs.

Skills, Experience, and Education Requirements

  • Previous experience in a leadership/mentorship role is essential;
  • Demonstrated people management, technical and organisational abilities appropriate for the role are essential;
  • An MSc or PhD in a relevant discipline (e.g. entomology, biology, biochemistry, bioengineering) or associated industry experience is essential;
  • Experience with animal husbandry and/or colonies of invertebrates is desirable;
  • Previous experience with establishing a laboratory and procedures is desirable;
  • Excellent written and oral communication is essential to communicate with a wide variety of stakeholders including junior and senior staff members;
  • Track record of scientific diligence including valuing careful generation and recording of data;
  • Strong attention to detail, with excellent timekeeping standards and responsiveness; and
  • Proficiency in R/R Studio, Python, or Excel and experience in using statistics is desirable.

Behavioural Requirements

  • Committed to and passionate about the Oxitec mission and values;
  • Diligent and organised;
  • Comfortable working independently and within a team;
  • Adaptable and flexible, thriving and being resilient in an environment of change and ambiguity;
  • Responsive to the needs of an international business working across different time zones, adapting working patterns in-line with business requirements;
  • Decisive and assertive with a driven and proactive approach;
  • Positive, humble, co-operative and professional;
  • Work with a sense of urgency and solves things promptly;
  • Resilient and persistent in an innovative and constantly changing environment;
  • Empathetic, with the ability to build effective relationships quickly; and
  • A team player who believes the success of us all depends on us working together.