View Vacancy -- Application Support Technician - MLC 2051

Open Date
25/01/2023, 09:00
Close Date
26/02/2023, 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: 

The Mary Lyon Centre at MRC Harwell (MLC) are seeking an enthusiastic Application Support Technician to join their Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) Software Development Team.  The successful applicant will be working within this established Agile/Scrum team of software developers to support their output of bespoke web-based data capture and visualization systems across a range of interesting projects.

 Our principal technologies:

Software technologies - Java (JSE & JEE), Spring Framework, GWT, JSF, JSP, Web-services, HTML, Javascript, SQL.

Databases - Sybase and MariaDB.

Developer Tools - IntelliJ, Data-Grip, JIRA, Confluence, Git-lab. 

The ideal candidate will have first-line service-desk experience managing support requests from a mixed user base of technical and non-technical users. They will have made demonstrable contributions to second-level maintenance of complex software applications, and will have a familiarity with relational databases and the use of Structured Query Language (SQL).

A strong educational background in a technical IT/computing subject, or relevant experience, is required. Some familiarity with the biological sciences would be advantageous, to aid communication with our largely scientific user base, but this is not essential.

While this post will initially be focused on the software support aspects, there is extensive scope for the post-holder to extend their skillset through training and on-job learning in to other areas, including software development and database administration. This would be a great opportunity for someone hoping to gain the experience and training to transition from a purely support role.

Main Duties/Key Responsibilities: 

  • Carrying out first-line user assistance across our various in-house software applications using JIRA service desk for ticket management
  • Work with developers performing second-line support to facilitate the development of new software features and the timely resolution of technical faults
  • Produce and maintain SQL-based reporting tools
  • Carry out general data management tasks requested by stakeholders
  • Work with developers to test new software features to identify faults or missed requirements, giving feedback on design and user experience factors
  • Assist in delivering new software releases to users
  • Assist with routine server and database maintenance tasks.
  • Produce technical system and user help documentation
  • Continuously improve your own skillset and knowledge through user experience gained by on-the-job training, to increase your level of contribution to the development team’s efforts.

Working Relationships: 

  • Collaborate with other LIMS team members in supporting and developing innovative and high quality software solutions
  • Work closely with various users/stakeholders to support their use of the software tools developed by the team
  • Collaborate with our other IT/Informatics teams where necessary on joint projects to support shared solutions
  • Collaborate with the LIMS team in developing ideas for continual process improvement
  • Report on project progress to the LIMS Team Technical Lead
  • The post will be line managed by the Head of Infrastructural IT

Additional Information: 

The Application Support Technician position is based at our office in Harwell. However, depending on candidate preference there is an option for an on-site/home working hybrid working pattern.

Role Benefits: 

30 days annual leave plus public holidays.

A final salary pension scheme.

Multiple employee assistance and wellbeing programs.

Opportunities for remote, hybrid and flexible working.

Funding available for professional training courses and certification.

Cycle-to-work scheme.

Annual flu vaccinations.

Free on-site parking and subsidised canteen. 

Informatics at MRC Harwell:

The Informatics Department is currently composed of four teams - the LIMS team (5 people) which this post would be joining; The Data-Management team (4 people) responsible for our scientific data QC; the Data-Coordination Centre team (5 people) responsible for managing all project systems and data related to the International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium project; and the I.T.  Infrastructure team (6 people) responsible for all IT hardware and core systems on site.

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:


  • A strong technical IT/computing educational history, ideally to BSc level, or with equivalent relevant professional experience 


  • Some exposure to software coding and an interest in developing skills in this area

Previous Work Experience Required:


  • Experience of working in IT support teams, offering first and second line service-desk technical support
  • Experience of maintaining software that utilises relational databases
  • Experience of working within a collaborative, service-driven team 


  • Experience of collaborating with software developers to produce bespoke software solutions
  • Software testing and evaluation

Knowledge and Experience:


  • A working level of competency with SQL for producing reports and modifying database data
  • Familiarity with relational database features
  • Experience with common IT tools – MS Office etc. 


  • Some level of understanding of enterprise application architecture
  • Familiarity with Linux operating systems
  • Experience of Agile with Scrum software development methodology
  • Experience with common project management tools – JIRA, Confluence, Gitlab

Personal skills/Behaviours/Qualities:


  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • A proactive, self-motivating attitude towards project organisation and delivery
  • An ability to work both collaboratively and independently
  • An ability to create concise and effective documentation


  • Ability to contribute ideas as part of our continual improvement process
As this job does not fulfil the Home Office criteria for Sponsorship 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.  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.