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Senior Scientist

Ministry for Primary Industries
Job Category:
Science and Environment
Wellington - Upper Hutt
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Posted Date:
Closing Date:
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AHL Senior Scientist Mbovis.doc (Word, 290KB)
Job Specification

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Job Description

Senior Scientist M.Bovis – 2 Year Fixed Term

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) provides a range of services to ensure New Zealand is protected from biological risk, the food New Zealand businesses produce is safe and suitable for us all to consume, and our natural resources are sustainable!

In July 2017, the bacterial infection Mycoplasma Bovis was found in cattle in the Oamaru area of the South Island. With the support of farmers, industry bodies and local communities, MPI is working hard to locate the disease, contain it and eradicate it from New Zealand. 

We have established a new directorate specifically to support M.bovis eradication. The purpose of the directorate is to sustain the intensity of work over a longer term, and allow the response to transition to a core service delivery model that can be managed in a sustainable way. 

The role of Senior Scientist is to provide high quality advice and supervision for biosecurity diagnostic testing, investigation and response testing for M.Bovis.

As the Senior Scientist you will be required to check and supervise diagnostic testing on a daily basis – determining appropriate test requirements for submission based on case information and reviewing results for technical validity and quality. You will deliver high quality technical advice to external and internal stakeholders and offer training and mentoring to junior members of the team.

Diagnostic testing at the AHL involves work with high risk and exotic organisms carried out in a high containment PC3+ laboratories requiring expert knowledge in biocontainment and biosafety procedures.

Do you have what it takes to be successful in this role?  Can you demonstrate the following expertise, skills and qualifications;

  • PhD or equivalent in a relevant scientific field
  • Veterinary or diagnostic microbiology background
  • Experience working in a diagnostic laboratory
  • An advanced technical knowledge of laboratory and diagnostic methods.
  • Experience in the field of molecular biology, ideally with diagnostic experience in real-time and conventional PCR assays
  • Experience working within PC3 containment laboratory
  • Preferably experience of working within a quality management system.
  • Excellent attention to detail.
  • Ability to lead scientific projects
  • Highly developed communication, relationship management, negotiation and interpersonal skills


  • Knowledge of farming industry
  • Experience delivering scientific presentations to a variety of audiences
  • Project management

At MPI we are open to requests for flexible working on hiring. Please talk to us at interview about the flexibility you need and we will explore what's possible for the role.

To view the position description and/or apply for the role (submitting a cover letter and current curriculum vitae), visit the MPI Careers Site. For tracking and reporting purposes, all applications must be submitted through our online careers portal.

To arrange a confidential discussion about the role, please contact Hana Zawodny on or 04 830 1534.

To apply for this role you must hold the right to work in New Zealand or be eligible to obtain it – click here to find out more about work visa eligibility and options.

The successful applicant must be able to obtain the relevant security clearance. Please visit for more information.

Applications for this role close on 22 November 2018.

MPI is an equal opportunity employer and committed to providing a working environment that embraces and values diversity and inclusion. Your unique talents and experience will help us deliver exceptional services to New Zealand. In return you'll enjoy an inclusive and flexible working environment in a diverse team of people while you're growing your career. We actively encourage applications from any background.

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