MRC Postdoctoral Research Scientist LMS 1139

Open Date
02/08/2019, 13:30
Close Date
01/09/2019, 23:55
MRC London Institute of Medical Science
LMS is a leading MRC-funded Institute affiliated with Imperial College London, based on the Hammersmith Hospital Campus in West London. The LMS provides a thriving research environment, state-of-the-art facilities, and the opportunity to pursue innovative, multi-disciplinary projects. Visit:
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MRC - 4
£35,859 - £38,700 pa inclusive of allowances
Fixed Term
Full Time
3 years

Overall purpose:

The Single Molecule Imaging group headed by Prof David Rueda focuses on developing and applying single molecule-based microscopy (SMM) approaches to study fundamental biological processes involving nucleic acids and proteins with molecular resolution. We are particularly interested in elucidating various RNA processing mechanisms, such as gene expression, RNA splicing, RNA localization and RNA decay. The group’s research program combines multi-disciplinary approaches (including single molecule FRET, optical and magnetic tweezers, live-cell imaging, biochemistry, molecular and cellular biology, etc) to elucidate these mechanisms at the molecular level.

For more information see Recent publications include Newton et al NSMB (2019), Willhoft et al Science (2018), Paudel et al PNAS (2018), Autour et al Nature Communications (2018).

Job Summary:

The post holder will develop and apply our novel fluorgenic RNA Mango Aptamer technology (see Autour et al 2018 Nature Communications and Cawte et al 2019 in revision) to study RNA transcription, splicing, localisation and decay. The proposed project will involve live cell imaging with in our cutting-edge core-microscopy facility ( The successful applicant must hold a PhD in Biophysics, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Cellular Biology or equivalent. A strong experimental background and experience in both optical microscopy and cellular biology are essential. Advanced skills in image analysis are highly desirable. Cross-field applicants with a background in physics or chemistry that have a keen interest in cellular are also encouraged to apply.

Main Responsibilities:

  • To plan and carry out research in accordance with the project aims.
  • To work both independently and on collaborative projects.
  • To attend project and related research group meetings.
  • To interact and collaborate with group members.
  • Write-up and publish of work in peer-reviewed journals.
  • To take an active part in the academic activities of the LMS.
  • To attend and contribute to journal clubs and seminar presentations.
  • Present finding at national and international meetings.
  • To form excellent working relationships with other members of the group, and internal and external collaborators.
  • To assist others and co-supervise students when required.

Equality & Diversity

The MRC values the diverse skills and experience of its employees and is committed to achieving equality of treatment for all. Our objectives are that all individuals shall have equal opportunities for employment and advancement on the basis of their skills, aptitudes and abilities. The MRC is committed to the engagement and retention of the best possible talent and to creating an environment that encourages excellence in scientific research through good equalities and diversity leadership and management.

Corporate/Local responsibilities & requirements

The job holder must at all times carry out their responsibilities with due regard to the MRC’s:

  • Code of Conduct
  • Equality and Diversity policy
  • Health and Safety policy
  • Data Protection and Security policy

Job descriptions should be reviewed on a regular basis and at the annual appraisal. Any changes should be made and agreed between the post holder and their manager.

The above lists are not exhaustive and the job holder is required to undertake such duties as may reasonably be requested within the scope of the post. All employees are required to act professionally, co-operatively and flexibly in line with the requirements of the post and the MRC.

Education / Qualifications / Training required:


  • PhD (or equivalent experience) in an area of Biophysics, Biochemistry, etc.
  • Excellent experimental skills
  • Microscopy skills
  • Experience working with mammalian cells


  • Advanced image analysis skills
  • ImageJ (or equivalent) skills

Previous work experience required:


  • Extensive experimental/bench work experience
  • Experience in acquiring and analysing microscopy data
  • Experience with molecular and cell biology methods
  • Evidence that the candidate can plan and carry out a research project


  • Experience handling, purifying and labelling nucleic acids and proteins.


Knowledge and experience:


  • Excellent knowledge of fluorescence microscopy
  • Knowledge of nucleic acids/protein biology
  • Very good written and verbal communication skills
  • Experience with microscopy/imaging methods
  • Programming experience, knowledge of ImageJ or equivalent
  • Strong publication record


  • Familiarity with combining experimental and computational methods
  • Excellent experimental skills


Personal skills/behaviours/qualities:


  • Highly motivated
  • Careful thinker
  • Ability and desire to work in a collaborative research environment
  • Very good interpersonal skills
  • Willingness to share knowledge and transfer skills to other members of the group on a daily basis
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English


  • Evidence of ability to conduct research independently
  • Pro-actively seek innovative solutions to scientific problems
  • Willingness to work in a diverse, multi-cultural environment

Additional information:

Salary quoted is inclusive of London weighting. Additional allowances comprise a £1,000 lump sum Settlement Allowance plus a yearly Training Allowance of £850 in the first year, paid in monthly instalments. The Training Allowance increases to £1,300 in year two, and £1,800 in the third year. Please note that job descriptions cannot be exhaustive and the post-holder may be required to undertake other duties, which are broadly in line with the above key responsibilities.

Applicants should submit CV with a brief cover letter describing how the candidate fits the person specifications and motivation for the post and names and contacts of two scientific references. Please do not send reference letters at this stage.

The MRC is a great place to work and progress your career, be it in scientific research or the support functions.The MRC is a unique working environment where our researchers are rewarded by world class innovation and collaboration opportunities that the MRC name brings. The MRC is an excellent place to develop yourself further and a range of training & development opportunities will be available to you, including professional registration with the Science Council.

Choosing to come to work at the MRC (part of UKRI) means that you will have access to a whole host of benefits from a defined benefit pension scheme and excellent holiday entitlement to access to employee shopping/travel discounts and salary sacrifice cycle to work scheme, as well as the chance to put the MRC and UKRI on your CV in the future.

Our success is dependent upon our ability to embrace diversity and draw on the skills, understanding and experience of all our people. We welcome applications from all sections of the community irrespective of gender, race, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, disability or age. As "Disability Confident" employers, we guarantee to interview all applicants with disabilities who meet the minimum criteria for the vacancy.

UKRI supports research in areas that include animal health, agriculture and food security, and bioscience for health which includes research on animals, genetic modification and stem cell research. Whilst you may not have direct involvement in this type of research, you should consider whether this conflicts with your personal values or beliefs.

We will conduct a full and comprehensive pre-employment check as an essential part of the recruitment process on all individuals that are offered a position with UKRI. This will include a security check and an extreme organisations affiliation check.

This opportunity is closed to applications.