View Vacancy -- Senior Administrator (Divisional Administrator) - Neurobiology - Divisional Office - LMB 1939

Open Date
02/09/2022, 07:00
Close Date
17/10/2022, 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 opening of our new laboratory the LMB provides an unsurpassed environment for both young 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 - 4
£32,005 to £40,769 per annum
Administration & Management
Full Time

Overall purpose: 

To provide proactive support to the Head of the Neurobiology Division at the LMB in their execution of the leadership and management of the Division.

To have primary responsibility for HR and Financial management and administration for the Division and for decision-making associated with specific aspects of these and other administrative functions. To be accountable for the quality of this advice and guidance, proposing or executing solutions to problems wherever possible.

To work collaboratively with the wider administrative team supporting the work of the LMB to ensure efficient and effective services and support. This includes guarding against proliferation of administrative steps or over-burdening scientist with administration.

To manage the Divisional office, ensuring it is responsive to the needs of members of the Division.

The official title internally for this role is Divisional Administrator and this will be reflected in the contract of employment for the successful candidate.

This role will be based in the office 5 days a week.

Main duties:


Provides HR policy advice to Head of Division and Programme Leaders, seeking expert HR policy advice and interpretation from LMB HR advisors as necessary. 

Ensures Divisional implementation of corporate HR policies with advice from HR.

Authorises recruitment campaigns on behalf of Heads of Division; provide advice and guidance on job descriptions and person specifications. Actively supports the recruitment process for posts reporting to the Head of Division.

Leads the co-ordination of Programme Leader and Programme Leader-track vacancies, providing advice and guidance to Head of Division regarding process and policy. Managing the recruitment of these senior positions end-to-end.

Undertakes sick absence management and ensure reporting of sickness absence to UKSBS. 

Manages the appraisal process within the Division, ensuring high quality of appraisals and reporting.

Manages all administrative procedures relating to visiting workers in the Division, including registration, on-boarding and maintaining their records; ensuring all necessary information provided to UKSBS and recorded on Oracle.

Manage Divisional responsibilities in respect of students, liaising closely with the LMB Postgraduate Office.

Be fully accountable for the quality and accuracy of Oracle HR data in respect of all members of their Division. Ensure resolution of queries directly with UKSBS.

Schedule and minute Divisional Staff meetings.


Manage the salary budgets for the science posts in the Division (including on-costs); compile the annual forecasting and re-forecasting of staffing and salaries for the Division. Provide details of variance from plans for salaries on a monthly basis to meet corporate timetable.

Provide annual forecast and re-forecast science consumables planning for the Division, monitoring monthly spend on behalf of Head of Division and advising them about any management actions required. Provide headline information on changes to consumable expenditure to the LMB Finance team.

Review finance reports to check salary assignments are correct.

Ensure grant applications and other external applications are calculated and completed in compliance with requirements.

Other key administrative functions

Ensure accurate and complete records at Divisional level as required, and in full compliance with the Data Protection Act and other statutory requirements

Keep up to date with changes in corporate policies and practices and ensure smooth transition into the Division.

Lead on specific projects or undertake specific duties as required.

Other tasks appropriate to the role and band.

Key responsibilities:

The post-holder is expected to manage and be responsible for all aspects of Divisional administration and support to best effect, paying due attention to corporate requirements, the need for efficiency and effectiveness, and the needs of the researchers within the Division.

They are expected to organise their work on a monthly basis, and with a good idea of the annual requirements so that all exercises are managed to time and deadline and are of suitable quality.

Responsible for the salary and consumable budgets of the scientific groups within the Division. This includes proposing the annual planned expenditure, and then keeping expenditure within tight limits, while maximising the use of the budget for research positions.

Responsible for equipment in the Divisional office (and any other equipment for which they have responsibility) ensuring it remains serviceable, and that recommendations for replacement, upgrade etc are brought forward, with an argued business case, as required.

Working relationships: 

Reports to the Head of Division.

Advises and assists Programme Leaders and other members of the Division.

Interacts extensively with LMB HR and Finance managers (and teams), other administrative staff in the LMB, and with the UKSBS.

Manages the Assistant Divisional Administrator.

Professional accountability to the LMB Chief Operating Officer for the quality of provision of corporate functions, and for carrying out Divisional aspects of LMB-wide activities.

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: Educated to degree level (or equivalent through experience)

Desirable: HR, Finance or Management qualification

Previous work experience required: 

Significant post-degree experience (or equivalent) in a complex and diverse administrative role.

Experience of working independently in a fast-moving environment in which high quality
administrative support is taken as the norm.

Experience of managing and developing staff including the ability to delegate.

Experience in a role that includes HR and Financial responsibilities.

Budget management experience.

Formal line management training.

Knowledge and experience 

Creativity and initiative
Highly organised and competent with the ability to juggle many projects simultaneously, against changing priorities.

Independent working
Well developed problem-solving skills, enabling good quality decision making.

Ability to apply sound judgement, sometimes in tense situations, ensuring that the longer-term implications are taken fully into account.

Proven ability to work in situations where senior management advice is not readily available and sound independent decisions have been taken.

Verbal and written communication skills
Excellent written and verbal communication skills. Ability to deal with staff at all levels.

Excellent IT skills, including Word, Excel, Databases and online ordering.

Experience of drafting reports or elements of reports for external consumption.

Formal IT training or IT qualifications.

Personal skills / behaviours / qualities: 

Ability to forge good collaborative relationships both within the Division and externally (e.g., UKSBS, HR, Finance).

Ability to recognise and respect roles and responsibilities of others, to work collectively to achieve more effective solutions or processes.

Proven ability to be persuasive in difficult situations.

Experience of leading a group to deliver a project where team members are drawn from across an organisation.

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.