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View Vacancy -- Postdoctoral Scientist - Structural Studies - Dr John Briggs - LMB 697

Open Date
03/11/2017 14:40
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 – PostDoc
Cambridge
£30,464 - £33,305
Fixed Term
Science
Full Time
3 Years

Overall purpose:

To work within the Group of John Briggs at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB), in collaboration with the Group of Sjors Scheres, to undertake research to improve the methodology of cryo-electron tomography and subtomogram averaging. The research programme of the Briggs group combines methods-development projects with applications to structural and mechanistic studies of the assembly, maturation and fusion of enveloped viruses and coated vesicles.

The successful candidate will carry out a research programme aimed at improving the methodology of subtomogram averaging. The research will encompass: determining the optimal approach to the collection and processing of cryo-electron tomography data; implementing these approaches as computational tools to determine data collection schemes and control the electron microscope during data collection; developing tools to computationally reconstruct electron tomograms and perform subtomogram averaging. The project will make use of cryo-electron tomography and computational image processing.

Main duties:

•    To undertake research aimed at understanding the optimal way to collect cryo-electron tomography data for subtomogram averaging.
•    To implement optimal data collection for subtomogram averaging.
•    To undertake research aimed at understanding the optimal way to perform image processing for subtomogram averaging.
•    To implement new image processing tools for subtomogram averaging.
•    To contribute to the development and establishment of methods for cryo-electron tomography.
•    To collaborate with other members of the Briggs and Scheres research groups.
•    To identify, develop and apply a broad range of techniques to pursue the research objectives.
•    To present scientific 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 direction of the programme, the Group, the remit of the project and in discussion with the Group Leader, you will make a significant input into determining the direction of the project within a 3 year lifespan.

To plan your own work and objectives on a 12 month basis and manage your experimental work within the project along with your Supervisor.

To work with limited supervision to identify, develop, modify and apply the necessary techniques to achieve the goals of the project.

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

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

To contribute to the smooth running of the Group, including the effective use of resources, training of others and taking responsibility for use of communal facilities.

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

Working relationships:

You will report to John Briggs and will interact and collaborate with other Postdoctoral Scientists, Research Support Staff and Students, not only in your Group, but also across the LMB and with external Groups as necessary.

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. 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:

These should include a PhD in a relevant subject or due to complete PhD within 6 months.

Technical skills and expertise:

Experience of and ability to perform techniques relevant to the project.  Particularly desirable are:
•    Experience in computer programming.
•    Experience of computational image processing.
•    Experience of image processing for cryo-electron microscopy.
•    A strong theoretical understanding of cryo-electron microscopy.

Track record of research:

This will include important contributions to scientific research projects, and contributions to published papers.

Other relevant evidence of:

•    Commitment.
•    Originality.
•    Ability to communicate.
•    Working with others.

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.