Leading science for better health

View Vacancy -- UKRI Innovation / Rutherford Fund Postdoctoral Fellow - LMS 767

Open Date
12/02/2018, 15:00
Close Date
18/03/2018, 23:55
MRC London Institute of Medical Science


A 3-year postdoctoral position is available at Imperial College London and the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences (LMS) to work in the Molecular Systems group headed by Dr Tobias Warnecke. The post holder will also closely interact with the Computational Protein Biology group led by Joe Marsh at the MRC Human Genetics Unit, University of Edinburgh.

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
£35,340 - £38,181 pa inclusive
Fixed Term
Full Time
3 Years

Overall purpose:

The post holder will lead a joint project between the Warnecke lab (MRC LMS) and Marsh lab (MRC IGMM) aimed at predicting the joint impact of two or more amino acid variants on protein structure and protein complex formation, using globinopathies as a model system. The post holder’s work will seek to explore how naturally occurring variants, obtained from large population cohorts, interact at the structural level when combined on a single genetic background, to obtain view of population-wide epistatic potential and to allow individualized disease predictions that can be tested experimentally. There will also be scope for excellent candidates to develop their own project ideas.


Main Responsibilities:


  • To plan and carry out research in accordance with agreed project aims
  • To attend all project and related research group meetings.
  • To interact and collaborate with researchers in related projects.
  • Write-up and publication of work in peer-reviewed journals.
  • To take an active part in the academic activities of the LMS.
  • To attend and contribute to journal clubs and seminar presentations.
  • To present data at national and international meetings (where and when appropriate).
  • To form good working relationships with other members of the group as well as internal and external collaborators.
  • To assist others and co-supervise students when required.
  • To contribute to the development and maintenance of the group’s experimental or computational infrastructure as appropriate.
  • To attend and contribute to UKRI Innovation/Rutherford Fund cohort activities


This post is a UKRI Innovation Fellowship (UK nationals) or a Rutherford Fund Fellowship (non-UK nationals) and will be part of a national cohort of fellows funded by the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy fund.


Applicants should have a PhD or equivalent in a relevant subject area (computational biology, protein structure modelling, computer science), an excellent publication record and a commitment to scientific excellence. Substantial experience in a relevant area of computational biology is required.

Education / Qualifications / Training required:


  • PhD (or equivalent) in computational biology. Excellent candidates from other backgrounds (e.g. computer science, physics) will be considered.

Previous work experience required:


  • Substantive experience in computational biology



  • Prior experience with protein structural modelling (e.g. using force field approaches)
  • Prior experience with haemoglobin/red blood cell biology

Knowledge and experience:


  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, ability to write clearly and succinctly for publication and potential fellowship applications
  • Familiarity with statistical methods commonly employed in the analysis of population genomic and protein structural data.
  • A strong publication record, with evidence that the applicant can plan and independently carry out experimental and computational projects
  • Proficiency in at least one programming/scripting language (python, perl, etc.) as well as R or Matlab



  • Experience in carrying out computational analyses in a cluster environment

Personal skills/behaviours/qualities:


  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team (both in situ and remotely with collaborators)
  • Evidence of ability to conduct research independently, from the planning stages to execution and write-up
  • Willingness to share knowledge and skills with other members of the group on a daily basis.
  • Good written and verbal communication skills in English.
  • Ability to constructively criticize one’s own and others results


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.

Please upload your CV, names and contacts of two scientific references along with a covering letter stating why you are applying for this role (providing evidence against the requirements of the job as per the job description and person specification). Please quote reference number LMS 767.

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.