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View Vacancy -- Research Support Officer - Structural Studies - Electron Microscopy Facility - LMB 691

Open Date
27/10/2017 13:00
Close Date
03/12/2017 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.
MRC - 3
Cambridge
£37,769 to £44,396
Permanent
Science
Full Time

Although we are ideally looking to appoint a MRC Band 3 Senior Research Support Officer, we will consider appointing a promising candidate to a MRC Band 4 Research Support Officer position and support their development into the Senior position,.The appointment at Band 3 or Band 4 will be dependent on qualifications and experience. Starting Salary if appointed at Band 4 is £27,906 - £33,305.

Band 3 

Overall purpose:

The LMB has a world-leading EM facility including three Titan Krios, two Polara, two other FEG microscopes, a Scios dual-beam and lower-end microscopes. It has approximately 150 active users applying electron cryomicroscopy and cryo-electron tomography to study important biological problems. It also hosts research programmes aimed at the development of new hardware and software for cryo-electron microscopy.

The primary purpose of the Senior EM Research Support Officer is to work as part of a team to manage, maintain and develop the world-leading EM facility, and to provide high level support to users of the facility.

You will provide expertise, advice and support to other members of the Laboratory with the aim of learning, adapting, developing, improving and applying methods for cryo-electron microscopy. You will also take responsibility for the implementation, optimisation and development of methods and instrumentation for cryo-electron microscopy.

Main duties & Key Responsibilities:

•    To collaborate with MRC-LMB scientists on research projects aimed at improving the performance, efficiency and usability of the electron microscopes through modification of software or hardware. As appropriate, sustain and steer such projects, prepare data for publication and present data at meetings.
•    To interact with, and as appropriate collaborate with MRC-LMB scientists as part of their scientific research.
•    To support or perform set-up and monitoring of cryo-electron microscopy data-collection.
•    To provide day-to-day assistance and trouble-shooting to microscope users on all microscopes.
•    To provide advice to users on best-practice to allow them to make optimal use of the facility and training new users of the facility.
•    To take joint responsibility for day-to-day provision of electron microscopes: assisting in maintenance of alignments and addressing and resolving hardware and software problems within an appropriate timeframe.
•    To take responsibility for the day-to-day provision of associated EM equipment such as the F20, Tecnai Spirits, glow-discharger, vitrobot etc: addressing and resolving hardware and software problems within an appropriate timeframe.
•    To create and maintain documentation including the user-booking system and provide user information through internal websites.
•    To organise the purchase and installation of new or replacement equipment or software as required.
•    To establish and implement a maintenance and performance-assessment programme for associated EM equipment. Arranging and facilitating service engineer visits, obtaining quotes for parts and placing orders.
•    To provide cover for the Facility Manager.
You will additionally be expected to:
•    Keep up to date with developments in the field, proposing or implementing changes of direction as necessary.
•    Introduce and apply new techniques across a wide range of disciplines.
•    Contribute to lab-wide discussions on developments within the laboratory, particularly in the use of new techniques.
•    Take on other communal responsibilities contributing to the smooth running of the Laboratory.

Working relationships:

You will report to the EM Facilities Manager Dr Shaoxia Chen, and work alongside the EM Engineer and the EM Research Support Officer. The Facility is overseen by Group Leaders, currently Richard Henderson and Jan Lowe. You will liaise with other Group Leaders, Research Support Staff, Post-doctoral Scientists and Students across the LMB and with external collaborators.

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.  

Band 4

Overall purpose:

The LMB has a world-leading EM facility including three Titan Krios, two Polara, two other FEG microscopes, a Scios dual-beam and lower-end microscopes. It has approximately 150 active users applying electron cryomicroscopy and cryo-electron tomography to study important biological problems. It also hosts research programmes aimed at the development of new hardware and software for cryo-electron microscopy.

The primary purpose of the EM research support assistant is to work as part of a team to manage, maintain and develop the world-leading EM facility, and to provide support to users of the facility.

You will provide advice and support to other members of the Laboratory with the aim of developing, improving and applying methods for cryo-electron microscopy. You will also assist with the implementation, optimisation and development of methods and instrumentation for cryo-electron microscopy.

Main duties & Key Responsibilities:

•    To provide day-to-day assistance and trouble-shooting to microscope users on all microscopes.
•    To take joint responsibility for the day-to-day provision of electron microscopes: assisting in maintenance of alignments, addressing and resolving hardware and software problems within an appropriate timeframe.
•    To take joint responsibility for the day-to-day provision of associated EM equipment such as the F20, Tecnai Spirits, glow-discharger, vitrobot etc: addressing and resolving hardware and software problems within an appropriate timeframe.
•    To provide training to new users of the facility, and provide advice on best-practice.
•    To support or perform the set-up and monitoring of cryo-electron microscopy data-collection.
•    To support in the purchase and installation of new or replacement equipment and software.
•    To create and maintain documentation and including the user-booking system.
•    To collaborate with MRC-LMB scientists on research projects aimed at improving the performance, efficiency and usability of the electron microscopes through modification of software or hardware.

You will be additionally expected to:

Keep up to date with developments in the field, proposing or implementing changes of direction as necessary.
Introduce and apply new techniques across a wide range of disciplines.
Contribute to lab-wide discussions on developments within the laboratory, particularly in the use of new techniques.
Have excellent interpersonal skills and interact effectively with a wide range of staff, students and others to ensure the smooth running of research.

Working relationships:

You will report to the EM Facilities Manager Dr Shaoxia Chen, and work alongside the EM Engineer and the EM Research Support Officer. The Facility is overseen by Group Leaders, currently Richard Henderson and Jan Lowe. You will liaise with other Group Leaders, Research Support Staff, Post-doctoral Scientists and Students across the LMB and with external collaborators. 
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. 

Band 3 

Education / qualifications / training required:

Essential: Either a PhD in biology, engineering, physics, materials sciences or a related subject or an equivalent level of experience or training in a relevant area.

Previous work experience required:

Essential:
•    Extensive experience in the use of electron microscopes.
•    Extensive experience of providing research support in a scientific laboratory.
•    Excellent knowledge of electron microscopy including an understanding of electron optics and vacuum systems.
•    Detailed knowledge of the use of cryo-electron microscopy for the determination of the structures of biological samples.
•    Experience in the use of cryo-electron microscopy, the maintenance of electron microscopes and in training new microscope users
•    Experience in the provision of user support.

Knowledge and experience:

Creativity and initiative
Essential: Experience working independently in creative and insightful way to trouble-shoot complex problems.
Desirable: Developed new techniques/methodologies in the area of electron microscopy, which have added value to scientific work.

Independent working
Essential:
•    Ability to independently carry out scientific experimental programme, including design, analysis and write-up.
•    Ability to acquire new techniques quickly and independently.
•    Ability to organize work-time efficiently and to perform experiments accurately using a defined protocol.
•    Experience of training others "on the job".
•    Experience/results in performing and/or supporting cutting edge research.

Verbal and written communication skills
Essential:
•    Experience of writing reports on work performed.
•    Experience in giving presentations, both written and oral.
•    Experience in writing protocols or help-sheets.

Personal skills / behaviours / qualities:

Essential:
•    Excellent standards of professional conduct.
•    Excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to communicate at all levels of technical complexity with novice and advanced users, as well as experts including service engineers.
•    Strong skills and experience in working collaboratively as a member of a team.
•    Excellent time management, with an ability to be self-motivated, while working in a small team and having to re-prioritise

Band 4 

Education / qualifications / training required:

Essential: Either a PhD in biology, engineering, physics, materials sciences or a related subject or an equivalent level of experience or training in a relevant area.

Previous work experience required:

Essential: Substantial experience in the use of electron microscopes.

Desirable:
•    Excellent knowledge of electron microscopy including an understanding of electron optics and vacuum systems.
•    Experience in the use of cryo-electron microscopy.
•    Detailed knowledge of the use of cryo-electron microscopy for the determination of the structures of biological samples.
•    Experience in the maintenance of electron microscopes.
•    Experience in the provision of user support.
•    Experience in training new microscope users.

Knowledge and experience:

Creativity and initiative
Essential: Proven skills in working independently to solve problems.
Desirable: Has experience in creative and insightful trouble-shooting of complex problems.

Independent working
Essential: Ability to organize work-time efficiently and to perform experiments accurately using a defined protocol.
Desirable:
•    Ability to acquire new techniques quickly and independently.
•    Has experience of training others "on the job".

Verbal and written communication skills
Essential: Experience in writing reports on work performed.
Desirable: Experience in writing protocols or help-sheets.

Personal skills / behaviours / qualities:

Essential:
•    Excellent standards of professional conduct.
•    Excellent interpersonal and communication skills with the ability to communicate at different levels of technical complexity with novice and advanced users, as well as experts including service engineers.
•    Strong skills and experience in working collaboratively as a member of a team.
•    Good time management, with an ability to be self-motivated, while working in a small team and having to re-prioritise

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 http://www.ukri.org/ .

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 means that you will have access to a whole host of benefits from a final salary pension scheme and excellent holiday entitlement to access to employee shopping/travel discounts and salary sacrifice cycle to work scheme and childcare vouchers, as well as the chance to put the MRC 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.