Microscopy Analyst in Gloucestershire

Chemistry & Biochemistry Department

The Department is grouped into Sections dealing with Food Composition, Biochemistry, Chromatography and Microscopy.  The work of the Department encompasses nutritional composition analysis for food labelling and other purposes, authenticity and allergen testing, analysis for a wide range of potential chemical contaminants including pesticides and illegal dyes, problems with food packaging materials and the identification of foreign bodies reported from food.


Microscopy Section

The Microscopy Section is a small team of analysts carrying out a wide range of work with food structure, food packaging and foreign bodies reported from food.  The largest area of work is foreign body identification, dealing with a wide range of foreign bodies reported from food products by consumers.  A rapid turnaround service is offered to food manufacturers and retailers to enable them to respond quickly to consumer complaints.  Other activities involve studies of food structure, troubleshooting problems with food packaging materials, and the identification of a wide range of samples, some of them non-food materials, for H.M. Revenue & Customs.


Job purpose

The post will involve the use of a wide range of microscopy and micro-analytical techniques including light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, X-ray microanalysis and FT-IR spectroscopy.  The person appointed will be expected to work both on their own and as part of a team, taking responsibility for the identification of individual foreign body samples and preparing a report on each sample.  The post-holder may also be expected to deputise when necessary for the Microscopy Section Administrative Assistant, involving booking-in of samples, sending off reports and preparation of invoices.  The post, which is available immediately, would suit a candidate with an investigative frame of mind and an interest in the imaginative application of analytical techniques. Experience of microscopy techniques and a basic understanding of quality control procedures would be useful.


Duties and Responsibilities:

  • To undertake microscopic investigations of glass fragments and other foreign bodies, food packaging and food structure and other materials using light and scanning electron microscopy, X-ray microanalysis and FT-IR analysis after appropriate training and carry out other technical operations in accordance with the position as instructed.
  • Interpret analytical data.
  • Prepare technical reports on foreign body identification and other samples for food industry clients.
  • If required, to book in samples and send out reports
  • To work in a safe manner in accordance with departmental policies.
  • To work in accordance with the Client’s Management system.
  • To keep neat and orderly records of results and other relevant information.


Qualifications and Competencies

  • Science degree and a broad scientific background
  • Lab experience is desired but not essential.


Key Skills

  • Good with scientific equipment in general
  • Specific microscopy experience desirable, but not essential
  • Investigative, problem-solving turn of mind.
  • Ability to work on own or as part of a small team
  • Ability to work well under pressure.
  • Ability to write clear, concise reports for non-scientific clients
  • Organised, methodical approach to work




GL55 6LD


£15,000 to £20,000

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