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View Vacancy -- Operations Manager - PNAC Ares - BSG - LMB 700

Open Date
02/11/2017, 12:00
Close Date
23/11/2017, 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 - 3
Ares, Babraham
£37,769 – £44,396
Technical & Scientific Professionals
Full Time

Overall purpose:

The postholder will provide effective operational management to the Biological Services Group (BSG) at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) across the Ares facility and the LMB BSG facility. This is a new role which requires substantial capacity for management of people and processes. In addition to the operational management, the postholder will act as deputy to the Head of BSG when required.

Main duties:
•   Effectively manage the structure and procedures of the BSG in order to maximise the productivity of the animal facility, thus enhancing the scientific services to the LMB.
•   Create and maintain a positive culture within the BSG through engagement with staff and other stakeholders focusing on perception of risk and change management practices.
•   Oversee the operational processes within the BSG facilities, and instil and maintain a strategy of continuous improvement.
•   Develop and maintain the BSG communication action plan to continually foster strong working relationships between the BSG and its stakeholders. Working alongside the Head of BSG to maintain an evidence base in which to underpin the scientific service requirements of the BSG.
•   Using the service delivery standards to develop annual goals for operational standards within the BSG facilities.
•   Facilitate the on-going development of management skills within the group.
•   Oversee BSG staff to maintain policies, procedures, risk assessments and integrated working practices.
•   Improve integration and cooperation between the BSG teams in a way that maximises resources and enhances research capability.
•   Support the Head of BSG in resource planning, budgeting, risk management and information reporting.
•   Maintain communication and feedback routes to enable LMB scientists to have a central voice in the development and operation of BSG facilities.

Key responsibilities:

To lead the daily operation of the BSG.  This will involve improving and introducing new methods of working.
To work closely with staff within all areas of the facility in an open and transparent manner to establish and communicate clear expectations around management and other policies and procedures.
To ensure there is a coherent approach to identifying best practice across the BSG.
To keep informed of developments in animal science, which may improve BSG service delivery, and review these developments with BSG managers.
To assist the Head of BSG with budgeting and information reporting.
To identify risks and inform the Head of BSG when appropriate.
To ensure the maintenance of animal welfare at the centre of management policy.
To be responsible for overseeing workforce planning across the facility.
To mentor and develop staff ensuring that effective training programmes are in place.
To embed and maintain a positive working culture throughout the BSG.  This is in addition to the culture of care practices and ethos.
To oversee staff and equipment resourcing within the BSG.
The post holder will be expected to project manage discrete areas of work relevant to the BSG service support facility and undertake any reasonable requests that the Head of BSG deems important.
To strive for continual improvement in the service provided to LMB scientific research, in parallel with compliance with ASPA and H&S regulations.

Working relationships:

The post-holder will report directly to the Head of BSG.
The post-holder will directly line manage six Band 4 managers including an IT Training Manager, two Breeding Facility Managers, the Experimental Facility Manager, the Quarantine Manager, the Senior Biological Services Manager, and one band 5 Administrator.
The post-holder will also have daily interactions with research scientists, Ares service engineers, the facility veterinarian, the export manager, Home Office Liason Officer, and LMB BSG staff.

Additional information:

You will be based at the LMB Ares facility on the Babraham Research Campus, located about 5 miles from the LMB institute. You will attend meetings at the LMB institute on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus.
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:

Essential: Educated to Degree Level or equivalent experience.

Desirable: Formal management qualification or equivalent experience.

Previous work experience required:

Essential: Extensive management experience.

•   Experience in managing biological services research and scientific service delivery in a relevant context/setting.
•   Leadership experience in the academic or public sector in a scientific or healthcare setting.

Knowledge and experience:

Creativity and initiative
•   Knowledge of management techniques used to develop service delivery requirements and standards.
•   Experience of managing resources in a complex setting with competing demands.
•   Strong analytical skills and expertise in analysing, interpreting and reporting management information.
•   Experience in Information and Communication Technology, especially Microsoft Office (Word and Excel), databases and the internet.
•   The post holder must have the ability to encourage and facilitate teamwork whilst maintaining efficiency and productivity.

•   Knowledge of scientific research programmes.
•   Scientific knowledge of animal research and facilities.
•   Experience of working in a shared service environment.
•   Experience of team and individual performance management against targets.
•   Knowledge of animal research legislation.

Independent working
•   Proven ability to manage time efficiently.
•   Proven ability to prioritise workload.

Verbal and written communication skills
•   Excellent oral and written communication skills at a senior level.
•   Excellent interpersonal and influencing skills with the ability to build enduring and effective working relationships with others.

Personal skills / behaviours / qualities:

Team working
•   Excellent leadership skills.
•   A proven ability to bring teams together during times of change whilst maintaining performance and output.

•   Ability to prioritise the work of teams and individuals and to deal with many situations and problems simultaneously.
•   Ability to deal with difficult situations and determine appropriate actions and then to carry these through.
•   An open and honest approach to managing others, praising good performance where possible and challenging poor performance when necessary.
•   Demonstrable commitment to continuous professional development.

Problem solving
Strong analytical and risk based problem solving skills.

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.