Research and Development Manager / Director

Singer Instruments empower scientists in laboratories in over 60 countries to accelerate their research efforts on global challenges such as cures for cancer and solutions for renewable energies.

We’re looking for a Manager of Research and Development with the potential for immediate or timely growth to Directorship. You’ll join our growing R&D Team where you’ll be leading the delivery of a disruptive set of solutions in the life science sector. These are new additions to our product line, and a great chance to get stuck in at the beginning of a long-running effort that is crucial to our success.

Located in Exmoor on UK’s South West coast, Singer offers world-class culture and benefits. An the engaged team make great products!

The role

As the R&D Manager, you own the who, when and how of all new product development efforts. You will be running a rapidly growing, multi-disciplinary team of cross-functional team members spanning the full stack of robot development through architecture, mechanical design, software, firmware and industrial design. You are responsible for developing and nurturing the talent of members of the team and providing them with the support and guidance to develop their careers. You also ensure that the team delivers to a high standard and iterates rapidly and consistently on the products we are working on.

You collaborate with the Product Manager and lean on your Project Manager to ensure the team is tackling the highest value work at the right time. You have the freedom to identify and hire the right talent that helps your team achieve its goal within the context of the broader product and technology strategy. You work with our Lead Engineers in ensuring consistency of quality of technical delivery against architectural and design principles. You will collaborate with the Research Manager to ensure our products are fit for the science they serve, and the Operations Director to optimise design for manufacture. You find and nurture relationships and collaborations with third parties whom you identify will help accelerate learning and product development.

You sit on the Company Board and are instrumental in developing a company strategy, managing your budget, road mapping, setting goals and targets, and engaging with internal and external stakeholders alike.

The team

Our cross-functional Research and Development Team is focused on new product development. We are made up of a number of disciplines including Mechanical, Software, Firmware, Electronics, Product, UX and Biological Research. We’d like you to help us develop the following principles to guide us through our work:

  • Build the right thing & build the thing right – it’s a careful balance with a focus on user value, without sacrificing reliability and maintainability.
  • We help each other – We all own the product and better work happens when we work together. We share risks and improve the product to deliver value to our customers.
  • Keep it Simple – We avoid unnecessary complexity. We borrow all the brains we can to shortcut learning. We prefer frequent, smaller releases over fewer, larger ones and we test early.
  • Decide today – Done is better than perfect. We make decisions based on imperfect information and believe that making the wrong decision is better than making no decision at all.
  • Measure what you make – We live and breathe data. We instrument our code to track how it performs. We automate our testing so we know it works. We measure how our product behaves in the hands of our customers and use that data to inform what we do next.
  • Nothing Is Sacred – We regularly reflect on our product and our ways of working. Using our learnings we change our approach to delivery and our product.

How do you fit in?

  • You have lean/agile experience in bringing complex products to market.
  • You’re curious and passionate about biology. No biological experience is needed.
  • You’re curious and passionate about automation. No robotics experience is needed.
  • You know how to lead and motivate groups of highly capable people.
  • We’re agile (with a small a). We’re not big on formality or frameworks and use the tools that suit us best. You’re comfortable with change and believe that moving fast and building well-tested products quickly and iteratively in a team that is constantly improving and learning helps us deliver the most value for our users.

Why should you apply?

  • You’re tired of working for companies developing products in the same old way. We’re exploring radical new approaches to delivering new solutions in a fraction of the time.
  • You want to have fun working with automation in a fast-paced environment alongside other caring and passionate people as part of a fantastic culture.
  • You want to have an impact in ways you’ve never had before… we’re a small company (circa 60 people) with solid foundations for rapid growth.

More reasons to apply

  • Location means your hike/bike/surf/kitesurf is part of your daily life
  • World-class culture eNPS 63
  • Holiday 23 days per year + 8 bank holidays
  • Holiday bonus on length of service up to an additional 5 days per year
  • Surf’s-up no-notice holiday for surf or weather-related activities
  • Healthcare scheme through WPA for all permanent employees
  • Mental healthcare support for all permanent employees
  • Flexible working Blended approach to office and WFH
  • Employee referrals £1,000 per referral hired from your network
  • Profit Share for Nerds bonus scheme
  • Equity for Nerds share options scheme


£50,000 – 75,000 p.a.


  • Training
  • Profit Share
  • Staff ownership
  • Pension
  • Healthcare scheme


Up to 31 days per year.

Zero-notice time off for surf and sun.

Holiday bonus
on length of service.


The Lab, Minehead,
Somerset, UK


Full-time (flexible hours)

A bit about us…

Singer Instruments, headquartered in Somerset on the edge of Exmoor, develop laboratory automation to accelerate research for scientists who want to make the world a better place. The company supports a global customer base, across a spectrum of interests such as healthcare, antibiotics, biofuels, renewable fabrics, and plant-based alternatives to meat.

As an employee-owned company, Singer puts its people first. Singer Instruments are very proud to have won the Somerset Business Awards Employer of the Year. By supporting our teams and investing in our people, we get the best results for our customers.

Staff are highly motivated by their global scientific impact and a shared value for company culture. Table football in the staff room, boules in the Japanese garden, and table tennis and barbecues on the deck form part of our working ethos. The atmosphere is relaxed, attitudes are positive, and nobody wears a suit. Working in a rapidly growing business should be fun, so Singer Instruments take any opportunity possible to celebrate success. Did somebody say BBQ?!

Diversity, Equality and Inclusion

‘We encourage applications from all individuals and respect and appreciate differences and unique ways of thinking. We are flexible and can adapt both our application and assessments by discussing your individual needs first.’

Apply now

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