View Vacancy -- Postdoctoral Researcher - MGU 1398

Open Date
13/10/2020, 12:00
Close Date
01/11/2020, 23:55
MRC Harwell Institute
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.
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MRC - 4
Harwell Campus, Oxfordshire
Fixed Term
Full Time
Fixed term to 31 March 2022

Detailed job description

We are seeking a talented and highly motivated postdoctoral researcher to work in a team investigating the role of cilia in development and disease, led by Dr Dominic Norris at the MRC Harwell Institute. The lab’s research is concentrated on understanding the relationship between fluid flow, cilia and the polycystin encoding genes Pkd1l1 and Pkd2. We are actively characterising the function of the polycystin protein domains using genetics, cell biology, developmental biology and molecular biology. The successful applicant will drive research investigating aspects of the lab’s interests. Applicants should be highly motivated, with an understanding of genetics and an interest in using the mouse as a model system (previous experience with mice not essential, as training can be provided).

Our research involves a wide range of techniques, including cell biology, mouse embryology, microscopy/confocal imaging, RNA extraction and qPCR analysis of gene expression, cell and embryo culture and the design of sophisticated mouse genetic experiments, in addition to routine molecular techniques (DNA cloning, sequencing, genotyping etc.). Experience in one or more of these areas would be an advantage.

To join us, you will need a PhD in an appropriate discipline (e.g. Genetics, Cell Biology or Biochemistry). The successful candidate will receive appropriate training during their tenure and be given reasonable support in acquiring/developing essential research skills and transferable/soft skills.


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:


  • PhD in an appropriate discipline (e.g. Genetics, Biochemistry)

Previous research experience required:


  •  Hands-on experience in genetics research, cell, molecular or developmental biology
  • Some experience in more than one area would be an advantage
  • The ability to work in a multi-disciplinary team and communicate complex scientific ideas to others
  • A proven track-record (e.g. publications/presentations at meetings) in carrying out scientific research to an international standard

 Personal skills/behaviours/qualities:

  • Pro-active and creative approach to meeting the demands of research – excellent organisational skills and an ability to use the scientific literature to drive new experimentation; excellent analytical skills


The Mammalian Genetics Unit is a UK Medical Research Council unit at the MRC Harwell Institute, an international centre at the forefront of mouse genetics research. 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 programs span an entire lifetime, from embryonic development to diseases of ageing. They cover many areas, investigating the underlying genetics in disorders of sex development, the relationship between disrupted circadian rhythms and psychiatric disease, the role of cilia in development and disease, age-related deafness and otitis media, neurodegenerative disease and type 2 diabetes.

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.