Leading science for better health

View Vacancy -- Research Support Officer - Neurobiology - Dr Rebecca Taylor - LMB 721

Open Date
28/11/2017, 12:10
Close Date
28/12/2017, 23:55
MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology
The MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) is one of the birthplaces of modern molecular biology and has played an important role in the development of many new techniques, most notably X-ray crystallography of proteins, DNA sequencing and monoclonal antibodies.  The LMB has a clear goal of understanding biological processes at the molecular level, with the ultimate aim of using this knowledge to tackle specific problems in human health and disease.  We aim to tackle difficult, long-term problems, which often require investment over many years.

There are four scientific Divisions - Structural Studies, Protein and Nucleic Acid Chemistry, Cell Biology and Neurobiology.  However, scientific collaboration between the different Divisions is extensive.  Scientists are well supported by excellent scientific facilities and by the LMB Operations Group which maintains the core infrastructure and services of the institute.

With the new laboratory the LMB provides an unsurpassed environment for both new and established researchers.  Scientists are drawn to the LMB from all over the world, thus creating a lively and international community for the exchange of ideas and technical innovation.
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 www.ukri.org

MRC - 4
£27,906 to £38,931
Full Time

Overall purpose:

The purpose of the post is to provide high-level research support for an on-going programme of work on the mechanisms utilized by neurons to activate cell non-autonomous stress responses with Dr Rebecca Taylor at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB).  You will be responsible for developing one or more projects to support the overall research programme of the group, and for the day-to-day running of the laboratory.

You will be expected to be a focus of expertise in molecular biology and C. elegans methods, and to support research in the area of neuronal stress responses using molecular biological and cell culture techniques (with a focus on setting up C. elegans cellular isolation and co-culture methods).  This will include designing and running experiments in consultation with the Group Leader, recording, analysing and writing up results.  You will also be responsible for day-to-day running of the laboratory, including monitoring and purchasing lab consumables and equipment, assisting other group members with experiments, managing the freezing and logging of C. elegans stocks and strains, training and assisting new members of the lab, and ensuring health and safety policies are followed.

Overall, you are expected to play a major role in the work of the research group, through the development of research techniques, generation of reagents, management of resources, support and training of others, introduction of new ideas and dissemination of new methods and research results.

Main duties:

•    To develop new methods and to set up and run experiments in consultation with the Group Leader, ensuring that experiments are appropriately designed and conducted.  To record, analyse and write up the results of experiments.
•    To ensure the lab runs smoothly and efficiently; to manage day-to-day operations in the labs.
•    To keep up to date with developments in the field, proposing or implementing changes of direction as necessary.
•    To prepare and present findings of research activity to colleagues for review purposes.
•    To contribute to the induction, training and direction of other research staff and students as requested by the Group Leader.
•    To ensure an adequate supply of lab consumables; to place orders for consumables and to follow up on orders as required.
•    To manage the freezing and logging of C. elegans stocks and strains.
•    To attend meetings and lectures as scheduled within the Laboratory, including weekly lab meetings.
•    To contribute to the overall activities of the research team by aiding in general lab duties.

Key responsibilities:

To be the point of expertise in molecular biological and C. elegans techniques within the group, with a focus on genetic analyses, cell culture and manipulation, and design and implementation of C. elegans cellular isolation and co-culture methods.

To maintain awareness of health and safety regulations; to make sure all risk assessments are up-to-date and to ensure that all codes of practice are being followed.

To interact effectively with a wide range of staff, students and others to ensure the smooth running of the research group.  This will include setting an example in the effective use of resources, training others in methods and use of equipment and taking responsibility for the use of communal facilities.

To be responsible for ensuring that equipment is safe and maintained in working order; to arrange servicing and maintenance as necessary.  To liaise with other groups to arrange use of equipment held elsewhere.

Where line management responsibilities are undertaken, these responsibilities, including staff development and performance management, should be applied in accordance with the MRC’s policies and procedures.  Training will be provided if required.

Working relationships:

You will report to Dr Rebecca Taylor and will liaise with other Research Support staff, post-doctoral scientists and students within the Group and across the LMB and with external collaborators as required.

Additional information:

The above lists are not exhaustive and you are 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:

Essential: PhD in relevant subject area.

Previous work experience required:

•    Experience of working in a research lab.
•    Experience of taking on lab-wide tasks that might be time-limited, or longer lasting, including responsibility for shared equipment or undertaking statutory roles.

•    Previous experience in a C. elegans lab.
•    Previous experience in a Neurobiology lab.
•    Experience of purchasing equipment and consumables.

Knowledge and experience:

Creativity and initiative
•    Ability to identify, introduce and apply new techniques across a range of molecular biological disciplines and to have the creativity and initiative to develop novel approaches as identified in consultation with the Programme Leader.
•    Ability to introduce new methods where required.

Independent working
•    Experience of working with limited supervision to identify, develop, modify and apply the necessary techniques to achieve the goals of the projects.
•    Skills and understanding of molecular biological and C. elegans techniques to apply them to address the goals identified.  This will require the integration of different activities to ensure the successful delivery of the research projects.

Verbal and written communication skills
•    Experience in presenting work at seminars within the group and collaborators.
•    Ability to draft sections of scientific papers, and to contribute to the overall preparation of research for publication.

Personal skills / behaviours / qualities:

•    Ability to modify and apply new methods to advance a project.
•    Excellent time management and able to work to strict deadlines.
•    Excellent interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills.
•    A willingness to learn a variety of practical techniques and the ability to apply them in any given project.
•    Ability to work collaboratively and harmoniously with colleagues of all cultures and backgrounds and as part of a team.
•    Focused, well organised and able to take initiative.   
•    Enthusiastic, eager to learn.
•    Ability to act independently in solving problems and integrating different activities to ensure the successful delivery of the research projects.
•    Flexibility to regularly changing priorities and workloads.

From April 2018, MRC will be part of UK Research and Innovation. UK Research and Innovation will bring together the seven Research Councils, Innovate UK and a new organisation, Research England. The vision for the new organisation is to be the best research and innovation organisation in the world. From 1 April 2018 your employer will be UK Research and Innovation. More information can be found online http://www.ukri.org/ .
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.