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HomeFarming NewsThe Department of Agriculture is hiring
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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The Department of Agriculture is hiring

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has a number of vacancies for laboratory analyst – chemistry.

The posts are located at Backweston Campus, Stacumney Lane, Celbridge, Co. Kildare.

Chemistry laboratory analysts will be assigned to work in the areas of food safety and food authenticity, and animal health, according to the job listing.

Depending on where they are posted, they will be engaged in the detection of unauthorised substances, contaminants and residues of pesticides and veterinary medicines in a range of different foods and other matrices and compositional analysis of dairy products.

They also may be employed in the area of environmental and consumer protection on the formulation of plant protection products licensed for use in Ireland or in animal health testing on clinical biochemistry and toxicology in food-producing animals, the department added.

Principal tasks:
  • Performance of sample preparation, extraction and clean-up and laboratory analysis, normally under the supervision of a senior laboratory analyst;
  • (ii) Performance of laboratory techniques to the ISO17025 standard. (iii) Responsibility for samples received in the laboratory. Recording sample information in a LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System); (iv) Support maintenance of laboratory accreditation to the ISO17025 standard and assist in method validation and project work.
Equipment and facilities:

(a) The work is heavily dependent on chromatographic techniques using various detection systems. A wide range of modern laboratory instrumentation and facilities are provided to perform the range of testing necessary. Examples of equipment used for chemical and residue analysis include, GC and LCMS (including triple quadruple and high resolution accurate mass systems), ICP-MS, ICP-OES, AAS, FTIR, HPLC various detection systems e.g. DAD, fluorescence), GC (FID) and biochemistry analysers;

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(b) Familiarity with the equipment and techniques listed at (a) is desirable but not essential.


All laboratories provide “extensive” training on the job relevant to the duties of the laboratory analyst.

Participation in additional training courses is encouraged. Laboratory analysts are encouraged to seek higher qualifications where relevant courses are available in 3rd-level institutes, the department adds.

Educational qualifications

On or before the closing date for this competition, candidates must:

(a) hold a qualification of at least an ordinary level degree (Level 7 on the National Framework of Qualifications) in chemistry, analytical chemistry, chemical and pharmaceutical science, or science with chemistry/analytical chemistry being a major component of the qualification.

OR: (b) hold a level 7 qualification that is acceptable to DAFM as being at least equivalent.

Essential requirements:
  • A good understanding of analytical chemistry techniques particularly chromatography;
  • Capacity for analytical thinking and interpretation;
  • Knowledge/Experience of a broad range of techniques and instrumentation; An ability to work on one’s own initiative;
  • Ability to work as part of a team;
  • The necessary computer skills to meet modern laboratory requirements;
  • Good interpersonal and communication skills.
Desirable requirements:
  • Experience of working in an accredited laboratory;
  • Experience in the use of chromatographic techniques, chemical and residue analysis equipment GC and LC MS (including single, triple quadrupole and high resolution accurate mass systems), ICP-MS, ICP-OES, AAS FTIR, GC, HPLC, and biochemistry analysers;
  • Experience of quality assurance systems;
  • Experience of laboratory information systems (LIMS);
  • Good basic knowledge of statistics;
  • Relevant postgraduate qualification;
  • Knowledge of health and safety legislation.
Competency framework

Candidates must demonstrate, by reference to specific examples from their career-to-date, that they possess or have the capacity to acquire the qualities, skills and knowledge required for the role of laboratory analyst – chemistry as identified in the following competency framework:

  • Specialist laboratory knowledge and expertise;
  • Teamwork
  • Analysis and decision-making;
  • Interpersonal and communication skills;
  • Drive and commitment and delivery of results.

The salary scale for this position, with effect from October 1st, 2020, is as follows:

Personal Pension Contribution – PPC

€33,897 €35,306 €37,545 €38,606 €39,617 €42,007 €43,550 €45,105 €46,693 €48,276 €49,862 €51,461 €53,074 €54,704 €56,284 €57,375 (LSI1)

How to apply

Application forms may be downloaded here. All sections of the form must be fully completed and one hard copy of your application form must be submitted.

Your application must be submitted no later than 4pm on November 4th, 2020 to;

Kemi Adeyemi,

Competitions & Recruitment Section,

Department of Agriculture, Food, and the Marine,

Eir Building,

Old Knockmay Road,


Co. Laois,


More information about the vacancies can be found here.

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