View Vacancy -- Research Assistant - MLC 2030

Open Date
19/12/2022, 10:00
Close Date
29/01/2023, 23:55
MRC Mary Lyon Centre

The Mary Lyon Centre at MRC Harwell (MLC) is located in an expanding science and innovation campus in Oxfordshire and is an internationally renowned centre at the forefront of genetics research.  As the hub of the new National Mouse Genetics Network, the specialist facilities and capabilities of the MLC support a number of research groups across the UK to accelerate our understanding of human diseases, such as cancer, developmental disorders and neurodegeneration.

The Medical Research Council (MRC) is a great place to work and progress your career.  The MRC encourages the integration of clinical and discovery research to elucidate both disease processes and potential new therapies. The MLC provides vital scientific support for the UK biomedical community and focuses on preclinical research using mouse models, which supports clinical research and therapy discovery. 

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.

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
Harwell Campus, Oxfordshire
£25,798-£27,501 per annum (depending on experience)
Technical & Scientific Professionals
Full Time

Overall Purpose:

 We have an open-ended vacancy for a microinjection specialist in the Gene Delivery team at the Mary Lyon Centre (MLC). The facility currently comprises one modern laboratory with four fully functional microinjection stations. The Gene Delivery group is composed of the laboratory manager and three research assistants. This dedicated team is responsible for the production of customised mouse models using a range of technologies, including the use of embryonic stem (ES) cells and Crispr/CAS9 genome editing. The laboratory works in very close collaboration with the ES cell facility, the molecular biology team and animal care staff to guarantee the smooth provision of services.

The Mary Lyon Centre specialises in developing and characterising mouse models of human disease. Within this context, the Gene Delivery Team has responsibility for generating novel genetically altered mouse strains for the UK biomedical community. This service is vital to the research of the Mary Lyon Centre, which also offers the national programme Genome Editing Mice for Medicine (GEMM)

The ideal candidate will have an interest in genetics, and be keen to learn or develop related techniques, such as embryo manipulation and embryo transfer. An understanding of mammalian biology will be required, as will attention to detail, excellent communication skills, an understanding of quality management systems, and the ability to work well within a team.

The post-holder will report directly to the Gene Delivery laboratory manager and will work closely with all staff at the Mary Lyon Centre.

 Main Duties/Key Responsibilities:

 Pronuclear and cytoplasmic microinjection of embryos

  • Blastocyst microinjection of embryos
  • Electroporation of embryos
  • Embryo harvesting and culturing of embryos at the relevant developmental stages for genetic modification
  • Embryo vitrification
  • Media and solution preparation
  • Glass pipette preparation
  • Small animal surgery, including the use of anaesthetics for embryo transfers
  • Use of inverted and stereo microscopes
  • General lab duties in keeping the lab clean and well stocked
  • Maintaining an accurate record of all activities
  • Supporting the work of the MLC and other groups within the unit

 Full training in all techniques will be offered.

 Key responsibilities: 

The post holder will be responsible for generating novel genetically altered mouse strains via embryo manipulation and ensuring accurate application of associated techniques.

All training will be provided.

The successful candidate will be required to obtain a Home Office licence after appropriate training.

 Working Relationships: 

The post-holder will report to the Gene Delivery laboratory manager and will work closely with staff from the Cellular and Molecular Biology laboratory and the MLC animal care staff to ensure the timely delivery of mouse production service.

Equality & Diversity:

The MRC values the diverse skills and experience of its employees and is committed to achieving equality of treatment for all.  Our objectives are that all individuals shall have equal opportunities for employment and advancement on the basis of their skills, aptitudes and abilities.  The MRC is committed to the engagement and retention of the best possible talent and to creating an environment that encourages excellence in scientific research through good equality and diversity leadership and management. 

Corporate/Local Responsibilities & Requirements:

The post-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 post-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, cooperatively and flexibly in line with the requirements of the post and the MRC. 

Education/Qualifications/Training Required:


  •  HNC or equivalent experience


  • BSc

Previous Work Experience Required:


  •  An understanding of mammalian biology
  • Some laboratory experience
  • Evidence of working well within a team
  • Proven track record in maintaining accurate and complete records

Knowledge and Experience:


  • Basic knowledge of Mendelian genetics
  • Computer literacy

Organisational skills:


  • Ability to work independently and prioritise the work
  • Ability to deliver projects on time and work to tight deadlines

Personal skills/Behaviours/Qualities:


The post-holder will work within a team and will be expected to foster a good team relations in approaching challenging workloads, so good interpersonal and time-management skills are essential. The post-holder also needs to able to work independently and be self-motivated to meet group targets.


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.  The role holder will be required to have the appropriate level of security screening/vetting required for the role.  UKRI reserves the right to run or re-run security clearance as required during the course of employment.

This opportunity is closed to applications.