View Vacancy -- Research Support Assistant - Neurobiology - Jing Ren - LMB 1278

Open Date
12/03/2020, 09:30
Close Date
26/03/2020, 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 protein crystallography, cryo-electron microscopy, 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.

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

MRC - 5
£23,489 to £26,338 per annum
Fixed Term
Full Time
6 months
Overall purpose:

To work within the group of Dr Jing Ren at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) and provide research support for the research work in the lab that focusing on investigating how serotonin system is organized and the molecular mechanisms underlying the circuitry formation during development, by combining scRNA-seq, proteomic mapping, tissue clearing and light-sheet imaging and computational modelling. Candidates will work on mouse tissue histology, microscopy, and molecular cloning, etc.

Main duties/Key responsibilities:

To study and undertake research aimed at understanding the molecular mechanisms of serotonin system development.

To closely work together with the Group Leader to generate molecular and genetics tools for serotonin axon terminal manipulation in vitro and in vivo.

To characterise histological properties of serotonin neurons at different developmental stages using traditional 2D and advanced 3D tissue clearing methods.

To support lab routine maintenance and protocol management.  

To develop and apply a range of techniques to pursue the research objectives.

To prioritise and plan experiments in consultation with the Group Leader.

To present scientific work at seminars within the laboratory and at external meetings.

To ensure and maintain an efficient and tidy laboratory.

To keep detailed and accurate records of experiments.

Working relationships:

You will report to Dr Jing Ren. You will interact and collaborate with other Postdoctoral Scientists, Research Support staff and students, not only in your group, but also across the LMB and with external groups as necessary. You will have day to day guidance by one identified Postdoctoral Scientist for each of up to two projects.

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:

A degree or equivalent in relevant subject, or equivalent experience.

A Masters or equivalent in relevant subject, or significant laboratory experience.

Previous work experience required:

Experience with basic microscopy, molecular cloning and mouse tissue histology (perfusion, brain dissection, cryostat section, etc).

Holding a valid PIL license or experienced with PPL drafting.

Experience in characterisation of transgenic mouse lines.

Experience in stem cell culture.

Knowledge and experience:

Creativity and initiative

Ability to carry out experimental programme.

Basic bench work skills.

Has developed new methodologies / techniques that have added value to scientific work.

Experience of molecular biology techniques, including DNA extraction, genotyping.

Independent working

Proven skills in working independently to solve experimental problems.

Can independently advance existing techniques and implement new methods.

Verbal and written communication skills

Good written and verbal communication skills.

Experience in presenting scientific work.

Has made contributions to scientific papers.

IT skills, including Word and Excel.

Personal skills / behaviours / qualities:

Motivated individual with a strong desire for self and team development.

A strong desire to learn new techniques.

A willingness to deal with many different types of work.

An ability to learn quickly with a view to being able to eventually work independently.

Socially skilled individual interested in interacting with all members of the lab.

Ability to prioritise tasks and good time management.

As this job does not fulfil the UK Government minimum salary criterion for obtaining sponsored migrant worker status we will be unable to apply for sponsorship for anyone not eligible to work in the UK. At interview, all shortlisted candidates are required to bring with them identification documents and original documents that prove they hold or can obtain the right to work in the UK.  You can check your eligibility here:
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.