Vacancy: Head of Project Management (aquaculture genetics)

The Head of Project Management (HPM) is expected to provide leadership and direction to the project management team. The HPM is responsible for the efficient operation and budget control of contracts. They will be expected to develop initiatives that support financial growth, technical excellence, and a productive work culture. The HPM role will positively collaborate with senior management to instil and maintain a cohesive vision for the company. The HPM will report to the Chief Operating Officer.

The HPM has the following specific duties and responsibilities:

  • Provide strategic direction to the project management team
  • Identify risks to successful contract fulfilment and find solutions
  • Set the tone for and culture for the project management team
  • Represent the company to customers
  • Occasional public speaking including participation in webinars and conferences
  • Assist in the recruitment and retention of project management team members
  • Manage the individual performance and appraisal of the project managers
  • Membership of the Senior Management Team
  • Assist the CEO and Commercial team with the preparation of customer pitches and contracts
  • Work collaboratively with the Commercial, Analytical and Laboratory teams to further the commercial goals of the company.
  • Prepare an annual report on the activities and operational efficiency of the project management team as an input to the annual business planning cycle.


  • PhD in the field of aquaculture, genetics, or cognate subject
  • 7 plus years’ further experience in academia or industry
  • Results-driven personality with a track record of leading and motivating staff
  • Ability to prioritize and delegate
  • Experience in programming R
  • Strong oral and written communication skills; comfortable with public speaking
  • Must be willing to travel overseas.

Salary and Location

We currently operate a ‘hybrid’ working pattern, combining office days and working from home. The position comes with a competitive salary and will be based in St Andrews, Scotland.

About Xelect

Xelect is a leading aquaculture genetics service provider with a global portfolio of clients, including some of the biggest names in the industry. We employ a team of 17 staff, including a multidisciplinary technical team with 13 PhDs in aquaculture, quantitative genetics, bioinformatics, molecular biology and physiology. There are three business streams: breeding programme management, BioAudit & due diligence services and laboratory services. The business has its headquarters in the medieval university town of St Andrews on the East coast of Scotland some 80 km from Edinburgh airport. The company occupies modern office and laboratory facilities with 2 Illumina DNA sequencing machines. Breeding programme management is the largest business segment contributing 80% of revenues from customers in 20 countries dealing with 19 species of fish, shrimp and oysters.

The company has developed sophisticated industry-leading genetic and bioinformatic analysis pipelines including advanced mate selection software. The breeding service involves strategic partnerships with customers on rolling long-term contracts with a high level of project management support delivered from the UK and through customer visits. Revenues are in access of £2million/year and are growing at around 30% per annum. The company is profitable with good levels of cash flow. The shareholders in decreasing order of holding are Genus plc, Prof. Ian Johnston FRSE (current CEO and co-founder), the University of St Andrews, Dr Tom Ashton (Operations Director and co-founder) and the EOS Technology Investment Syndicate.’

Further information

To apply please send a current CV and a covering letter to, along with contact details of two referees. References will only be contacted after a successful interview. The closing date for applications is Friday 14 April 2003. We anticipate holding interviews week commencing 1 May. If you would like to make any enquiries about the role please email