Principal Scientist (Mass Spectrometry)

Cambridge, UK

Owlstone Medical has a new position available as Principal Scientist within our analytical science Department. As Principal Scientist, you will use your expertise in Mass Spectrometry to provide leadership at all stages of the method development and validation processes for targeted and untargeted analysis of biomarkers.

Accountabilities & Responsibilities

  • Lead development of a fit for purpose TD-GC-Q-Exactive method for untargeted biomarker discovery
  • Lead method validation activities to ensure the analytical method and procedure are robust and suitable for the intended use
  • Lead activities of knowledge transfer and including training of new users
  • Establish a fit-for-purpose quality control strategy for analytical data generated by the untargeted biomarker discovery method
  • Define and implement instrument preventative maintenance activities and schedules
  • Provision of subject matter expertise in Mass Spectrometry method development to programmes and wider company including, where appropriate, collaboration with other subject matter experts.
  • Technical management of research activities for Departments and Programme to include the consultation and review of technical requirements specification, experimental briefs, plans, study protocols and reports.
  • Ensuring that a quality technical solution is delivered using the applicable Owlstone technical processes, tools, and standards.
  • Provision of mentorship and development of the technical team in partnership with the relevant Line Managers
  • In addition to this, you will also be expected to play an active role in the success of the department. This could include acting as a technical reviewer for other projects, running or contributing to development seminars and deputising for more senior staff as required.


The following competencies form the core strength of analytical science department, you will be recognised as a thought leader of the below competencies and will be able to critically evaluate, adapt and add to them, as necessary. You will be recognised as an exemplar and mentor by other senior professional and will be expected to demonstrate a practical application of them in complex situations as well as draw upon examples where others have sought your guidance in their application.

  • Research - The ability to conduct, objective, logical, and systematic method of analysis of phenomena devised to permit the accumulation of reliable knowledge
  • Protocols – The ability of how to follow and validate protocols and understanding of the importance to spot, raise and resolve nonconformities and track through to a root cause analysis of any outside tolerance deviations
  • Data Management- Understanding the pertinency of the data collection, data entry and verification process and data management systems
  • Dissemination of Findings – The ability to report results using the various dissemination formats available for different target audiences. Understands the importance of clear communication adapted in a manner suitable for the audience
  • Analytical Concept - The understanding of the rationale, theory, and subject matter in a particular scientific discipline to allow the appropriate application within an analytical role. (e.g Applying knowledge of basic chemical concepts and theories to set research questions with appropriate confidence limits, choose correct analysis technique and proficient instrument operation).
  • Facilities and Safety – Has the ability to assess the appropriateness of laboratory function against business deliverables and justify/implement the change when required. Also understands the importance of compliance to processes that are there to identify and mitigate workplace hazards
  • Pre-analytical – Has the ability to design, implement and evaluate the appropriateness of sampling methodologies and sample preparation
  • Analysis – Has the ability to perform routine and non-routine analysis and understands when the applied technique is fit for purpose and what associated quality control activities are required to ensure that the technique remains within established ranges and limits. When technique deviates from those established ranges and limits will be able to effectively troubleshoot.
  • Critical evaluation of data – Has the ability to evaluate and ensure the accuracy of data as well as spot real and non-real trends to provide an answer with confidence limits to either fulfil a customer contract or research question


Education & Training

  • PhD in analytical chemistry or equivalent discipline

Experience/ Knowledge


  • Experience of GC-MS method development
  • Technical Knowledge of high-resolution accurate mass data
  • Experience of instrument maintenance and repair
  • Experience of user training and management


  • TD-GC-MS method development
  • Metabolomics or other Omics experience
  • Development of methods in a CRO
  • Working in ISO 17025 environment

Professional Skills

  • Leadership
  • Stakeholder management
  • Influencing
  • High Attention to detail
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Flexible approach to changing priorities


About Owlstone

Owlstone Medical has developed a breathalyzer for disease

Every time you breathe out there are hundreds of chemicals on your breath - some are tell-tale markers of disease that our microchip chemical sensor technology is able to detect.

Our vision is to change the way we currently diagnose and monitor serious disease; we aim to become the global leader in the non-invasive detection of cancer, infectious disease and inflammatory disease. The key is detecting diseases earlier, when treatments are more effective, where more lives can be saved. There is no better example than cancer, where if detected early the chances of survival can be as good at 95% but at late stage drop to about 5% - unfortunately there are still far too many people detected at late stage.

The Owlstone group also commercialises a range of highly innovative products based on its proprietary FAIMS chemical sensing technology in other markets including Scientific, Industrial Process Control, Military and Homeland Defence.

Owlstone is an equal opportunity employer and we will consider all qualified applicants for employment without discrimination on any characteristic protected by law including but not exhaustive to; grounds of disability, sex or sexual orientation, pregnancy or maternity leave status, race or national or ethnic origin, age, religion or belief, gender identity or re-assignment, marital or civil partnership status.

Due to the nature of our business, all employment is subject to satisfactory references being obtained and attainment of a Baseline Personnel Security Standard (BPSS) check.

We offer a relaxed, friendly, flexible and international working environment with a great team-spirit. You will be rewarded with a competitive salary package that includes future share options and your work will have a clear impact on people’s lives. If you want to experience the buzz of an expanding company set to succeed on a global scale, Owlstone may be the place for you.

We do not accept applications from agencies outside of our preferred supplier list. If you are concerned that your application has not been received by Owlstone Medical, please contact us using

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