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View Vacancy -- Postdoctoral Scientist - Light Microscopy - Cell Biology - Dr Nick Barry - LMB 667

Open Date
04/10/2017, 15:40
Close Date
05/11/2017, 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 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 – PostDoc
£30,162 - £32,975
Fixed Term
Full Time
3 Years

Overall purpose:

To work within the Light Microscopy Facility at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB), to develop advanced light microscopy imaging techniques and protocols in collaboration with research groups at the LMB in areas such as super resolution microscopy and light sheet microscopy.

Main duties:

•    Under the general leadership of the Facility Head, to work closely with LMB staff to develop new advanced light microscopes and microscopy methods and suited to their research aims.
•    The aim is to develop new advanced light microscopes and to apply these in collaborative projects with research groups throughout LMB, where new imaging capabilities will enable the solving of important biological problems. New microscopy approaches include (but are not limited to) super-resolution and light-sheet methods as well as high-resolution correlative light microscopy of frozen samples to be imaged with electron microscopy (cryo-EM).
•    To implement quality control in the performance of relevant microscopy hardware.
•    To present your work at seminars within the Laboratory and at external meetings
•    To contribute to Laboratory-wide discussions on developments within the field.
•    To draft scientific papers, and contribute to the overall preparation of research for publication.
•    To contribute to the LMB’s mission in the public engagement of science, and the translation of research findings into improvements in health care.
•    To assist in the training of PhD Students and other members of the LMB.

Key responsibilities:

Within the overall remit of the light microscope facility, and in discussion with the Facility Head, you will make a significant input into identifying areas of innovation and in determining the direction of development of light microscopy within a 3 year lifespan.

To plan your own work and objectives on a 12 month basis and manage your collaborative work between the light microscopy facility and LMB groups.

To work with limited supervision to identify, develop, modify and apply light microscopy methods  to achieve the research goals of LMB scientists.

To introduce and apply new techniques across a wide range of light microscopy disciplines and to have the creativity and initiative to develop novel approaches and methods where required.

To contribute to the overall preparation of research for publication.

To ensure the research is carried out in accordance with good practice and in compliance with local policies and legal requirements.

To enhance your research and generic skills through a tailored development programme.

Working relationships:

You will report to Dr Nick Barry and will interact and collaborate with other Postdoctoral Scientists, Research Support Staff and Students across the LMB and with external Groups as necessary.   Expertise and training in image analysis approaches will be available and are supported by significant computing infrastructure.

Additional information:

This is a 3-year training and development position for a Postdoctoral Scientist who has recently completed their doctoral studies, is moving into a new research discipline or has limited experience of key transferable skills. You will get the choice upon appointment of undertaking a Career Development Fellowship or the MRC Post-Doctoral Training Scheme. We support Postdoctoral Scientists with a range of formal and on-the-job training, including:
•    MRC training courses.
•    External training and personal development courses.
•    One-to-one training with your Supervisor and other Scientists.

You will commit to undertaking the following:
•    Developing and following a personal development plan.
•    Attending training courses.
•    Identifying additional training which will support you to develop your career.

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.

Academic qualifications:

PhD in a relevant subject or due to complete PhD within 6 months.
Evidence of an advanced light microscopy or optical engineering component to the PhD is desirable.

Technical skills and expertise:

Experience of and ability to perform techniques relevant to the post described above.
Knowledge of microscope control and imaging software.
Particularly useful would be experience in building of advanced light microscopy or other optical engineering projects along with an appropriate level of computer literacy.
Familiarity with super resolution microscopy is also desirable.

Track record of research:

This will include achievements, and contributions to published papers or software and presentation of scientific work.

Other relevant evidence of:

Proven skills in development of techniques and problem solving in a research context.
Proven skills in working independently to solve experimental problems.
Experience in presenting scientific work, both written and orally.
Evidence of experience of working with others across scientific disciplines.

From April 2018, MRC will be part of UK Research and Innovation. UK Research and Innovation will bring together the seven Research Councils, Innovate UK and a new organisation, Research England. The vision for the new organisation is to be the best research and innovation organisation in the world. From 1 April 2018 your employer will be UK Research and Innovation. More information can be found online .

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.