MRC Postdoctoral Research Scientist LMS 1199

Open Date
15/10/2019, 11:45
Close Date
17/11/2019, 23:55
MRC Laboratory of Medical Sciences

The London Institute of Medical Sciences (LMS) at Hammersmith
Hospital is the third directly funded MRC research institute and
enjoys close links with its partners at Imperial College and at the
Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. The LMS research
focuses on strengthening the basic science underpinning our
understanding of human diseases and the translation of such
high quality research into a clinical setting.

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MRC - 4
£35,859 - £38,700 pa inclusive*
Fixed Term
Full Time
3 years

Overall purpose:

The Chromatin & Development group, led by Dr Michelle Percharde, focuses on understanding the molecular events surrounding cell fate choices during early development. We aim to dissect novel transcriptional, epigenetic, and signalling axes important for embryogenesis. We are looking to recruit 1-2 enthusiastic, curious and highly-motivated scientists for UKRI-FLF and MRC funded positions within our recently established group.

Based on our recent research, a particular focus of the lab and the advertised 3-year postdoctoral position is to uncover how retrotransposons have been co-opted to regulate the earliest stages of mammalian development. The post-holder will be a key member of the Chromatin & Development group, and as such will enjoy a high level of scientific responsibility. They should have a strong background in chromatin, gene regulation and/or early development, and will be expected to be proactive in developing their research question within the group’s areas of interest and expertise.

We routinely use mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and mouse embryos as models, adopting a combination of genome-wide techniques, CRISPR/Cas9 technology, high-resolution microscopy, biochemistry and molecular embryology approaches to probe gene and transposon function during development.


Main Responsibilities:

  • To think independently, design experiments and conduct high-quality research in line with the agreed project aims
  • To critically analyse and present data, ensuring reliability, reproducibility and statistical robustness.
  • To keep abreast of current published research and preprints, and integrate findings into own project ideas and techniques
  • To develop new techniques and protocols as necessary for the project
  • To attend all lab and related research meetings, and to present work when required

  • To assist others and co-supervise students when required
  • To attend and contribute to journal clubs and seminar presentations
  • To present data at national and international meetings (where and when appropriate)
  • To help with the daily running of the lab by assisting with general lab duties as required

Person requirements

Education / Qualifications / Training required (will be

assessed from application form):


  • PhD degree in a relevant biochemical/biological/biomedical discipline (or be in the final stages of completing one) or equivalent experience

Previous work experience required (will be assessed from

application form and at interview):


  • Significant experience working with mammalian systems and tissue culture
  • Extensive practical experience in molecular biology techniques


  • Experience in working with mouse and/or human embryonic stem cell culture (ESCs) or use of the mouse (mus musculus) as a model system (e.g. breeding, embryo manipulation)
  • Interest and/or practical experience in studying protein-protein interactions (eg proteomics, mass-spec, biochemistry)
  • Previous experience with genome-wide experiments and/or analysis (RNA-seq, ChIP-seq, ATAC-seq)

Knowledge and experience (will be assessed from

application form and at interview):


  • Strong conceptual background and interest in one or more of the following: mammalian epigenetics, development, gene regulation or transposable element biology
  • Excellent communication skills in English, both verbal (i.e. seminar presentations, participation at lab meetings, discussions with the PI) and written (i.e. reports, preparation of manuscripts)
  • Established understanding of basic statistics, scientific reliability, and the generation of reproducible data, including being able to critically assess own and others’ results


  • One or more first-author publications either in a peer-reviewed international journal or currently in preparation/submission for publication
  • Ability and interest in working with proteins (eg protein-protein interactions, mass spectrometry)
  • Past experience in student supervision
  • Previous experience in presenting scientific data at national or international scientific conferences

Personal skills/behaviours/qualities (will be assessed at

the interview):


  • Ability to work as an enthusiastic part of a team.
  • Ability to conduct research independently, including experiment conception, design, execution, analysis and presentation to the group
  • Experience in learning and acquisition of new skills, technique troubleshooting, and ability to seek creative solutions to scientific problems
  • Willingness to work flexible hours as the project demands, and to travel nationally or internationally for research or conference attendance
  • Enthusiasm to work collaboratively and share skills and knowledge with other team members
  • Ability to produce high-quality data, assess experimental reliability, and conduct all experiments with high scientific rigor and reproducibility


*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.

  • This is an UKRI/MRC Postdoctoral Scientist position, which provides training and development to support post-doctoral scientists in early or changed career paths, helping to establish them as a successful research scientist in their chosen field. The position is for 3 years and available immediately. Candidates should be available to start in the lab by February 2020. Provisional interview dates: w/c 25th November 2019.
  • Applicants should have a PhD (or be in the final stages of completing one) in a relevant discipline, a strong publication record, a commitment to scientific excellence, and enthusiasm to work as part of a team.

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.


Please upload your CV, the names and contacts of two scientific references, along with a cover letter stating why you are suited for and specifically interested in this post (showing evidence against the requirements as per the Job Description and Person Specification). Please quote reference number LMS 1199.

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.  The role holder will be required to have the appropriate level of security screening/vetting required for the role.  UKRI reserves the right to run or re-run security clearance as required during the course of employment.

This opportunity is closed to applications.