Watchmaker Genomics is an early-stage life science company headquartered in Boulder, Colorado (USA), and with facilities in Cape Town, South Africa. Our team is passionate about innovation and values collaboration, creativity and scientific rigour. We believe that the intersection of biology, engineering and computer science presents exciting opportunities to develop novel technologies that promote research and improve human health. Watchmaker specialises in the design, development and production of DNA- and RNA-modifying enzymes that enable high-growth applications in genomics, molecular diagnostics, personalised medicine, and synthetic biology

Watchmaker is inviting applications for the full-time position of Research and Development Scientist based in Cape Town, South Africa. This position reports to a Principal Scientist, and will be responsible for supporting a research program focused on the development and characterisation of novel, proprietary products for a range of genomics applications. This individual will be responsible for executing and documenting experimental protocols and will work closely with the broader scientific and commercial teams.

The successful candidate will thrive in a dynamic, fast-paced working environment and contribute directly to our company culture and success. The position provides an opportunity to grow and develop as a scientist and gain valuable experience in the conceptualisation, development and commercialisation of biotechnology products.

  • Design, plan and perform molecular biology experiments including: PCR and qPCR; next-generation sequencing; plasmid vector design and construction; enzyme characterisation.
  • Accurately document details of all experiments in an electronic lab notebook; meticulously analyse and interpret data; and regularly present results and project status updates to managers and peers for discussion.
  • Contribute meaningfully to an international team responsible for the launch of commercially successful genomics products.
  • Systematically and methodically formulate, trouble-shoot and optimise biochemical reactions.
  • Identify opportunities for internal process improvement.
  • Participate in customer collaborations and product support.
  • Contribute to conceptualising and inventing innovative technologies for the genomics market.
Skills and Requirements

The candidate should have a PhD (or equivalent experience) in molecular biology, biochemistry or a related discipline. Experience in the following areas is highly desirable: next-generation sequencing (NGS); PCR and qPCR; gene cloning; and recombinant protein expression and purification. Knowledge of DNA- and RNA-modifying enzymes and experience in the analysis of NGS data would be advantageous.

The following skills and experience are requirements for the position:

  • Demonstrated ability to plan, execute, troubleshoot, and interpret high quality experiments.
  • Track record of successfully proposing and executing research projects.
  • Excellent organisational skills and meticulous attention to detail.
  • The ability to multitask, perform consistently under pressure and work without supervision.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and an ability to work as an effective member of a team.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Excellent personal task management skills with a high level of self-motivation and initiative.
  • A creative and disciplined approach to problem-solving.
  • PhD, or MSc with 3 years relevant experience.
Application Procedure

Please provide a letter of motivation and curriculum vitae including the following:

  • Current physical address, email address and mobile phone number
  • The names and contact information of two references who are able to assess your suitability for the position in terms of the specified requirements