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Clinical Embryologist

GCRM - The Fertility Partnership

Belfast, United Kingdom

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GCRM- Belfast

GCRM-Belfast is part of The Fertility Partnership, a group of national and international clinics specialising in assisted conception. The Fertility Partnership is the largest provider of IVF in the UK and has some of the highest success rates in Europe.


Main purpose

To ensure the delivery of all embryology and andrology services for the assessment and treatment of infertility.

As part of the embryology team, an embryologist will be expected to perform all routine day to day activities in the embryology and andrology laboratories. Supervise junior embryology and technician staff if required and ensure appropriate laboratory protocols and standard operating procedures are followed at all times.

The post holder’s roles will also include clinical liaison and routine clinical decision making within the embryology laboratory. 


Main Job Tasks and Responsibilities


  • Analysis of semen samples and assessment of their suitability for treatments.
  • Preparation of fresh and cryopreserved semen for in vitro fertilisation (IVF), intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and intrauterine insemination (IUI) using swim-up and discontinuous gradient techniques, as appropriate.
  • Assessment, preparation and cryopreservation of epididymal sperm and testicular biopsies.
  • Preparation, assessment and injection of oocytes using ICSI.
  • Handling and manipulation of oocytes and embryos to facilitate assessment of fertilisation, early cleavage and blastocyst development.
  • Selection of embryos for immediate uterine transfer and cryopreservation of supernumerary embryos.
  • Polar body, blastomere and trophectoderm biopsy for PGS/PGD.
  • Communication with external providers of genetic testing for PGS/PGD cases.
  • Thawing of frozen embryos during subsequent natural or artificial cycles.
  • Ongoing assessment of culture conditions and quality control of culture media and consumables.
  • Completion and computation of records in accordance with the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority and RQIA regulations and compliance with their guidelines.
  • Consultation with medical and nursing staff during assessment of ongoing and past treatment cycles.
  • Involvement in patient and staff education and support meetings.
  • Communicate with patients about aspects of their treatment including fertilisation results and embryo survival after thaws.
  • Assisting the Laboratory Manager in the development and implementation of new laboratory services as required.
  • Collaboration with the Person Responsible and Laboratory Manager, to ensure that all laboratory procedures and policies comply with the requirements of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act (1990), the HFEA Code of Practice and all other relevant legislation and guidelines.
  • Undertaking any other duties or responsibilities as may be determined by GCRM-BELFAST following consultation between GCRM-BELFAST and the post holder.


Communications & Relationships


  • The post holder works as part of a multi-disciplinary team within the GCRM-BELFAST.  On a daily basis there are scheduled meetings to discuss patient management; embryology, medical, nursing and scientific staff all participate.  A weekly review of patients who have completed treatment has additional input from administration staff.  Ad hoc discussions regarding individual patients are also conducted.
  • The post holder is expected to play a part in in-house teaching, information, research and audit presentations.  Team meetings are held regularly and all staff are expected to attend whenever possible.
  • All embryology staff have daily contact with patients, both in person and by telephone.   Embryologists are responsible for:
  • Informing patients undergoing treatment of immediate embryology issues.
  • Informing patients undergoing treatment of updates on embryo development
  • Giving both specific and general advice to patients within the remit determined by GCRM-BELFAST
  • Advising patients when, and how many embryos will be thawed during frozen / thawed cycles
  • Informing patients how many embryo have survived thawing
  • Informing patients whether embryos are suitable for cryopreservation or should be discarded
  • Making appointments for patients to produce semen samples


The above tasks will involve giving bad news, when, for example, all eggs have failed to fertilise or embryos did not survive the freezing and thawing process.  The embryologist must give this information sensitively and ensure that distressed patients have understood the information given. 

Experience Required:  2-4 years clinical experience would be desirable. Polar body, blastomere and trophectoderm biopsy skills for PGS/PGD would be desirable An Embryologist must have the skills, knowledge and experience detailed in the National Occupational Standards for Clinical Embryology; including: An understanding of the biology and scientific evidence underpinning clinical embryology practice. An understanding of the work of related disciplines. An appropriate level of clinical experience. An appropriate level of supervision and management skills. An understanding of prevailing legislation. An understanding of, and ability to, apply quality assurance and monitoring of laboratory performance. The ability to communicate effectively with colleagues, patients and other disciplines.
Education Required:  A 1st class or upper 2nd class degree in a life science. Attainment of either the ACE certificate in clinical embryology or the new scientific training programme (STP) in Reproductive Science. A postgraduate qualification is desirable but not essential. Qualification or training as an ICSI practitioner would be desirable. Registration with the Health Professions Council as a Clinical Scientist (Embryology) is desirable.
Closing Date:  29 March 2019

Contact: Recruitment
GCRM - The Fertility Partnership
Belfast, United Kingdom
Informal Enquiries:
Applications: Online Submission Link

Date Added: 28 February 2019    

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