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View Vacancy -- Head of Electronics - Structural Studies - Dr Jan Löwe - LMB 527

Open Date
20/04/2017 10:05
Close Date
29/05/2017 23:55
UKRI 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 new laboratory 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 - 4
£27,629 - £38,545
£2,000 Responsibility Allowance
Technical & Scientific Professionals
Full Time

Overall purpose:

To run the Electronics Design Workshop within the Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB), providing an instrumentation and equipment development service for the Laboratory. You will ensure the efficient management of the department on a long term and a day-to-day basis, undertaking all management responsibilities and providing the engineering skills necessary to translate loosely defined requests into well engineered and safe practical solutions.

Main duties:

•  To carry out the design, development and construction of projects as an integral part of the design team.
•  To be the primary interface between the department and the scientific staff.
•  To provide technical advice to improve instrumentation to best address scientific challenges.
•  To identify and research current trends and developments in electronics and instrumentation.
•  To run the department in an efficient and safe manner, managing the members of staff within the department.
•  To liaise with the other heads of departments as required, in particular the Mechanical Workshop and IT Department .

Key responsibilities:

•  To plan the long-term strategy, staffing and equipment requirements of the department.
•  To line manage other staff members of the department including carrying out annual appraisals.
•  To ensure the health, safety and welfare of staff including carrying out risk assessments and ensuring the provision of all necessary Personal Protection Equipment (PPE).
•  To manage the departmental budget and approving all purchase requests.
•  To ensure that all equipment produced by the department is compliant with statuary regulations and safe to use.
•  To manage the work-based element of the Engineer’s training.
•  To attend and report to the Workshops Committee on a six monthly basis.
•  To ensure that the department members of staff have access to the training and equipment that they may require in order to keep abreast of technological developments.

Working relationships:

You will line manage the members of the Electronics Workshop. This comprises of two Senior Design Engineers, an Engineer and a part-time Admin Assistant.

You will report directly to the Joint Heads of the Structural Studies division, with technical and scientific issues being discussed with representatives of the different divisions at the periodic Workshop Committee meetings.

On a day to day basis you will deal directly with Scientific staff and work closely with other departments concerned with technical support including the Engineering Workshop, the IT Department and Instrument Services.

In addition there is an increasing trend of collaborative projects involving other institutes around the world involving exchanges of technical designs and information.

Education / qualifications / training required:

Essential: Degree level qualification in engineering discipline or equivalent experience.

Previous work experience required:

•  Significant Electronics design experience.
•  Experience of supervising staff

•  Experience of instrumentation design.
•  Management experience in scientific/engineering environment.

Knowledge and experience:

Essential: A track record of providing innovative solutions to diverse design challenges.
Desirable: Experience of working within a scientific environment.

Independent working

•  Ability to take projects through from concept to completion.
•  Ability to run a technical workshop with minimal supervision.

Desirable:  Experience in project management and systems design.

Verbal and written communication skills

Essential:  Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to engage with users at all levels to understand their needs.
Desirable:  Ability to write clear technical descriptions and reports.

Personal skills / behaviours / qualities:

•  Ability to approach problems in a creative manner and to suggest engineering solutions to scientific questions.
•  Strong organisational skills with the ability to prioritise work to deal with several projects simultaneously. Working to strict deadlines, whilst providing accurate information.
•  Positive and encouraging with the ability to motivate a team.

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.

Final appointments will be subject to pre-employment screening.

This opportunity is closed to applications.