View Vacancy -- Senior Research Assistant - MGU 1312

Open Date
16/06/2020, 14:00
Close Date
12/07/2020, 23:55
MRC Mammalian Genetics Unit

MRC Harwell Institute is an international biological research centre at the forefront of the use of mammalian models to study genetics and human diseases. Located on the Harwell Campus, just south of Oxford, it is nestled amongst a vibrant community of leading science organisations. We aim to advance medicine through cutting-edge research into the genetic basis of disease. Our research programmes span an entire lifetime, from embryonic development to diseases of ageing. There are over 300 staff at the Institute made up of research scientists, technicians, animal carers, and business support personnel.



UK Research and Innovation is a new entity that brings together nine partners to create an independent organisation with a strong voice for research and innovation, more information can be found at

MRC - 4
Harwell Campus, Oxfordshire
£29,181 - £33,755
Fixed Term
Full Time
Until 31st March 2022

We are seeking an experienced neuroscientist who wishes to contribute to our research programme investigating the genetic basis of circadian rhythms, sleep and behavior in mice. Our research involves generating and characterizing mouse mutant lines and our investigations have led to new and important insights into how mutations in genes affect these behaviours (see Parsons et al, Cell (2015) 162: 607-21; Wilcox et al, J Biol Rhythms (2017) 32: 433-443). We are based at MRC Harwell, a major international research centre at the forefront of studies in mouse genetics and functional genomics. The centre investigates a wide variety of mouse models in order to enhance our understanding of the genetic basis of physiology and disease.


As a neurogeneticist, your key responsibility will be the in depth characterization of the mutant lines we have generated. This will include the use of tools and approaches to investigate gene function using mouse genetic models. Our current interests are focused on the region-specific manipulation of gene expression using stereotaxic administration of viral vectors (eg. AAV). Experience in the application of these approaches to neuroscience research would be highly desirable. Experience in the use of in vivo telemetric recording would also be advantageous.


You will work as part of a team investigating multidisciplinary aspects of mouse neurobiology with a focus on biological rhythms and sleep. The team includes a programme leader, junior and senior postdoctoral researchers and DPhil students.


To join us, you will need:

  • A track record in an appropriate discipline (e.g. genetics, neurogenetics, neuroscience)
  • Experience in whole animal and/or ex vivo techniques
  • Experience with use of viral vectors (eg. AAV)
  • The ability to work in a multi-disciplinary team and undertake independent research
  • Excellent communication and organisation skills and a flexible, pro-active approach.

Education / Qualifications / Training required:


Experience in in vivo neuroscience tools including stereotaxic surgery, use of AAV vectors


PhD in appropriate discipline (e.g. Genetics, Neuroscience)


Knowledge and experience:


Proven track record with publications

Mouse colony management, personal licence holder


Personal skills/behaviours/qualities:


Criteria 1: Molecular Genetics


Subcloning, use of expression vectors, use of viral vectors


Viral manipulation of gene function in cells, ex vivo or whole animal


Criteria 2: Mouse behaviour


Experience in mouse behaviour with focus on circadian rhythms


Mouse EEG telemetry experience, electrophysiology


Criteria 3: Mouse neurophysiology


Brain ex vivo work, immunofluorescence


Reporter studies


Criteria 4: Communication/Team


Ability to document and organise work


Ability to present clearly

Ability to work as a team


Criteria 5: Methodology


Ability to plan work appropriately, data analysis


Ability to independently work to problem description and requirements


Criteria 6: Computer Skills General


Word, Excel, Powerpoint , Statistical analysis


Photoshop, Illustrator


Personal style and behaviour

Personable, imaginative, hardworking, team player.




Security clearance will be required for the successful candidate.

More information about MRC Harwell can be found at

Informal expressions of interest in this post can be sent to Dr Pat Nolan (


The closing date for applications is Sunday 12th July 2020.

Interviews will be held on Tuesday 21st July 2020.


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.