View Vacancy -- Research Group Leader in Synthetic Biology - PNAC - Dr Jason Chin - LMB 2087

Open Date
01/03/2023, 09:00
Close Date
09/05/2023, 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
£57,305 - £65,348 per annum for appointment to Programme Leader Track/ £65,348 - £77,154 per annum for appointment to Programme Leader
Full Time

Overall purpose: 

To direct an internationally competitive research programme in the field of Synthetic Biology within the Division of Protein & Nucleic Acid Chemistry. The programme will be relevant to the Laboratory of Molecular Biology’s (LMB) research portfolio, drawing on the collaborative inputs and team-working of other colleagues both within and outside MRC.

Main duties/ Key responsibilities:

•    To develop and lead a programme of research in Synthetic Biology within the portfolio of the Protein & Nucleic Acid Chemistry Division.
•    To recruit and supervise a small team of PhD Students and Postdoctoral Fellows.
•    To complete research projects in a timely manner and publish the results in leading scientific journals.
•    To present the results of the research at national and international conferences.
•    To contribute to LMB-wide activities relating to organisation of scientific activities and technological infrastructure.
•    To contribute to scientific progress in the field as a whole by, for example, membership of expert committees, editing specialist journals, refereeing funding applications.
•    To manage the financial and equipment resources of the group including purchasing and managing the effective use of capital equipment.
•    To contribute to the MRC’s engagement with the public and to communicate the excitement of research to the public and taxpayer.
•    To ensure that any intellectual property is protected and, where possible, to translate the results of research into useful new approaches or treatments that improve human health.

Working relationships: 

You will report to the Joint Head of Division. As an independent Group Leader (Programme Leader Track) you will be expected to interact with Scientists and Support Staff within PNAC and the rest of the LMB, and externally with members of the national and international research community.

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 PhD in a relevant subject.
•    Significant publication record in relevant fields with an emphasis on quality and a distinctive contribution to the field of study.

Previous work experience required: 

•    Substantial postdoctoral experience in the field of synthetic biology.
•    Wide knowledge of the techniques and methodology required to carry out the proposed research.

Knowledge and experience: 

•    An ambitious research proposal that tackles an important problem using innovative and imaginative approaches.
•    Research interests that fit well with the science of the Division.
•    Experience of planning and developing projects or programmes of work.

•    Evidence of having influenced wider practice or knowledge in the field.
•    Evidence of independent creativity in tackling research questions.

Personal skills / behaviours / qualities: 

•    Proactive and creative independent thinker.
•    Demonstrates an ability to communicate science, both in writing and verbally.
•    Experience of participating effectively in collaborations within home institute or externally.
•    Ability to supervise a team in a sensitive and inspiring manner. 


•    Experience of supervising team members effectively.

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.