View Vacancy -- Head of HR - Operations Group - Kevin Moreton - LMB 1283

Open Date
12/03/2020, 12:40
Close Date
13/04/2020, 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 - 2
£50,864 - £62,823 (for exceptional candidates we may offer up to £74,629)
Administration & Management
Full Time
Overall purpose:

The MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) is an internationally recognised centre of excellence in biomedical research, with research interests encompassing fundamental basic science and translational programmes enhancing the application to human health. More information can be found at

You will lead the vision, development and operation of the Human Resources service and associated functions for the LMB.

This is a broad hands-on role that involves formulating and producing strategic HR plans, improving and developing HR approaches and systems to support decision-making.  You will provide high level expert HR advice and guidance within the LMB, and will establish yourself as a key business partner with MRC and UKRI. Close working with a multitude of stakeholders will be essential, so the ability to connect with people and build lasting relationships is paramount.

Main duties & Key responsibilities:

To develop and implement a vision for the HR management of the LMB. This will involve leading, developing, managing and motivating staff members across a range of activities including resourcing, contractual management, learning & development and pay and reward.

To effectively communicate the vision and strategy for HR to senior management and to all levels of the LMB, MRC and UKRI, including persuading key decision-makers to adopt appropriate approaches that best support LMB business.

To lead the LMB HR setting to enable informed decision-making through:
•    The provision of insightful information, analysis and risk management advice.
•    The ability to ensure that Management Information meets stakeholder needs in a timely manner.

To act as the LMB’s lead expert in legislation.

To lead from the front to ensure effective HR policies and practices are developed and followed. Lead major change projects where necessary to develop internal systems and controls to be “best in class” acting as a change agent for performance improvements.

To be the LMB’s voice during Institute wide negotiation and consultation with both UKRI and National Trade Union.

To ensure key stakeholder requirements are included and communicated. This will involve developing and maintaining strong and open relationships internally and externally.

To play a leading role in UKRI-wide development and implementation of new corporate HR systems or upgrades.  You may be required to act as project management lead in key areas.

To contribute, push forward and lead ideas to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the HR service and the way in which the LMB operates to include HR support provided by the Divisions and Operations Group Administrators.

To lead negotiations with external stakeholders such as Cambridge University, Cambridge University Hospital Partners and the Cambridge Biomedical Campus on HR matters as required e.g. benchmarking, influencing their approach and securing agreement.

To play a leading representative role for the LMB to MRC Head Office, other MRC establishments, UKRI, the University of Cambridge and other bodies with whom the LMB interacts.

Working relationships:

You will:
•    Report to the LMB Chief Operating Officer.
•    Liaise with the LMB Director and Heads of Divisions as required.
•    Line-manage the HR Team
•    Work closely with the Operations Group Heads and Facility Managers.
•    Work with UKRI’s HRBP’s/Leads in various HR areas, to include liaising with the Chief People Officer as necessary.
•    Have working relationships at multiple levels and across many different professional disciplines.

Education / qualifications / training required:

•    Postgraduate level education
•    Fully CIPD qualified

Desirable: Fellow of the CIPD

Previous work experience required:

•    Significant relevant experience of leadership roles and managing teams and services.
•    Significant experience of developing HR strategy

•    Experience of leading organisational change projects.
•    Experience of working in a research Laboratory environment.

Knowledge and experience:

•    Sound knowledge of corporate policy, HR practices and procedures ideally in the public and charitable sector.
•    Expert knowledge of employment case law.
•    Experience of being lead decision maker in a multifunctional research organisation
•    Proven track record of building effective working relationships at all levels within the organisation and with external stakeholders including UKSBS

•    Project management facilitation and coordination skills to provide deliverables to tight time frames with various information providers.

Personal skills / behaviours / qualities:

•    Demonstrated ability to lead, motivate and manage services and staff.
•    Proven ability to listen, understand business needs and provide solutions in a proactive and principled manner.
•    Highly developed interpersonal skills, elicit confidence and able to command respect as a trusted advisor to senior management within the LMB and in discussions with MRC Head Office.
•    Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively as part of a team and to lead a team/projects as required to achieve outcomes for the LMB.
•    Flexible and adaptable approach, capable of planning, prioritising and delivering on a multitude of tasks in a fast-paced environment.
•    Refined influencing skills with the ability to make and communicate sound HR recommendations.
•    Appreciative of the culture of the LMB, the MRC and UKRI.

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.