View Vacancy -- MRC Postdoctoral Research Scientist LMS 1071

Open Date
10/04/2019, 13:30
Close Date
16/05/2019, 23:55
MRC London Institute of Medical Science

The 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
Salary quoted is inclusive of London weighting
Fixed Term
Full Time
3 years

Overall purpose:

The Chromatin & Development group, led by Dr Michelle Percharde, is focused 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. Our recent research indicates that Transposable Elements (TEs) may have important, undiscovered roles during development, and we are particularly interested in uncovering how Transposable Element (TE) regulation is important during embryogenesis, and how unrestrained TE expression may contribute to disease.


To answer these questions, 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 TE function during development.


Please see and for more information.


We seek 1-2 highly-motivated and talented postdoctoral scientists to join our recently-established group. 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.


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 interact and collaborate with researchers in related projects, and take an active role in the academic life of the MRC LMS
  • 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 write-up work for publication in peer-reviewed journals, and 1assist with data and writing of grant proposals, when necessary
  • To form good working relationships with other members of the group, as well as internal and external collaborators.
  • To contribute to the development and maintenance of the group’s experimental infrastructure as appropriate.
  • To help with the daily running of the lab by assisting with general lab duties as required.


This is an 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.


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.


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.

Person requirements

Education / Qualifications / Training required (will be assessed from application form):


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

Previous work experience required (will be assessed from application form and at interview):


  • Significant experience working with mammalian systems (e.g., tissue culture, mouse models)
  • Extensive practical experience in molecular biology and biochemistry techniques (e.g. ChIP, qRT-PCR, western blotting, cloning)


  • Extensive experience in working with mouse and/or human embryonic stem cell culture (ESCs)
  • Use of the mouse (mus musculus) as a model system (e.g. breeding, colony maintenance, procedures, embryo manipulation)
  • Interest and practical experience in studying protein-protein interactions (eg proteomics, mass-spec, biochemistry)
  • Prior experience with CRISPR/Cas9 techniques, screening or gene-editing strategies
  • Previous experience with genome-wide experiments and/or analysis (RNA-seq, ChIP-seq, ATAC-seq)
  • Experience working with RNA and/or transposable elements

Knowledge and experience (will be assessed from application form and at interview):


  • Proven publication record, with one or more first-author publications in a peer-reviewed international journal (being submitted or already published by time of interview)
  • Strong conceptual background in at least one 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


  • Skilled ability to work with proteins (eg protein-protein interactions, mass spectrometry)
  • Proficiency in coding and bioinformatic analyses
  • 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 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.


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.
Please upload your CV, the names and contacts of two scientific references, along with a cover letter stating why you are applying for this post (showing evidence against the requirements as per the Job Description and Person Specification). Please quote reference number LMS1071.
Interviews will be held between 3 - 5 June.

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.