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COVID Test Processor: OpenCell – Jersey, UK

OpenCell was founded in 2018 by Helene Steiner and Tom Meany to provide biotech labs to companies in London. Since the outbreak of the COVID crisis we have developed custom high throughput qPCR labs dedicated to COVID diagnostics in shipping containers. We deploy rapid response labs and teams to points of need to help defeat COVID.

The Role: 

We are processing COVID tests on the island of Jersey in a fast-paced custom-built molecular diagnostic laboratory. We use robotic liquid handling to optimise processing time and careful RT-qPCR assay design and quality control to ensure sensitivity and accuracy. The role requires you to be comfortable with working in a biosafety cabinet with good aseptic technique. You need to be comfortable with manual liquid handling, using single and multichannel pipetting with a deep understanding of molecular biology processes and RNA extraction techniques. You need a solid understanding of qPCR. You should have a reasonable computing ability (comfortable with Windows and mac and with some knowledge of R or Python). Having programmed a liquid handler before is a big plus (e.g., opentrons, Analytik Jena, Cybio, Kingfisher, Andrew or other). 

The average hours are 39/week and these are split over 3 shifts of 6 hours per day. You should be comfortable with working at least one night shift per week. 

You need a team player mindset and a willingness to learn. You also need a passion to help others and awareness that your work is helping keep a community safe and healthy. 


We offer accommodation and cover travel costs (flight or ferry) to and from the Island. The accommodation is self-catering cottages with access to an on-site BBQ, gym, pool, and restaurant. You will have a private room and bathroom and shared living room and kitchen/dining area with one other person. 

About the Island:

Jersey is a small and breathtakingly beautiful island. It has some of the best surfing in the world. Due to its low population and proactive Islanders, it has one of the lowest rates of COVID in the world. Life is peaceful with nature, great food, and a happy welcoming community. 


We provide £20/ hour alongside accommodation and travel cost. The normal hours are 39/week and we provide overtime and additional pay for night shifts.

How To Apply:

Email info@opencell.bio with answers to the following questions in no more than 100 words/ question and attach your CV: 

  1. Have you worked in a BSL cabinet previously, if so what did you do, and how often?
  2. Have you worked with DNA/RNA extraction previously? If so, what do you do and how frequently?
  3. Have you performed any qPCR experiments before? If so, describe them and how many.
  4. Have you designed/ordered primers before? If so, what software and how many times?
  5. Have you ever programmed a liquid handling robot before? If so, what model, how (e.g. GUI or script), and how many times?
  6. Have you worked in fast-food restaurants, supermarket, or factory? If so, please describe your role.
  7. Are you eligible to work in the UK with a valid passport at least 6-month expiry?
  8. When would you be available to start work?
  9. What is your phone number, email address, and current location (e.g. Manchester, UK)
  10. Would you be available to work in Jersey for at least 3 months?

We are female-led and gender-neutral. We are proud of our diversity and welcome applications from diverse people. It’s what makes our company different.



Lio Tariman

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