View Vacancy -- Programme Leader-Track – Neurobiology – Dr Michael Hastings – LMB 834

Open Date
10/05/2018, 17:00
Close Date
08/07/2018, 23:55
MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology

The Medical Research Council (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.

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 - 2
£50,134 - £61,942
Full Time

Overall purpose:

To direct an internationally competitive research programme within the Neurobiology Division relevant to the Laboratory of Molecular Biology’s (LMB) research portfolio, drawing on the collaborative inputs and team-working of other colleagues both within and outside MRC.

Main duties / key responsibilities:

•    To develop and lead a programme of research into fundamental processes in molecular neurobiology, with a strong focus on aspects of the structure and function of the neuronal synapse, in health and disease.
•    To develop and apply molecular approaches, exploiting cutting-edge light and/or electron microscopic imaging where suitable.
•    To recruit and supervise a small team of PhD Students and Postdoctoral Fellows.
•    To complete research projects in a timely manner and publish the results in leading scientific journals.
•    To present the results of the research at national and international conferences.
•    To contribute to LMB-wide activities relating to the organisation of scientific activities and technological infrastructure.
•    To contribute to scientific progress in the field as a whole by, for example, membership of expert committees, editing specialist journals, refereeing funding applications.
•    To contribute to the MRC’s engagement with the public and to other public communication initiatives.
•    To ensure that any intellectual property is protected and, where possible, translating the results of research into useful new approaches or treatments that improve human health.

Working relationships:

You will report to the Head of Division. As an independent Group Leader (Programme Leader-Track) you will be expected to interact with Scientists and Support staff within the Neurobiology Division and the rest of the LMB, and externally with members of the national and international research community.

Education / Qualifications / Training required:

•    A PhD in a relevant subject.
•    Significant publication record in relevant fields with clear emphasis on quality.

Previous work experience required:

•    Experience in studying fundamental processes in synaptic biology with a strong emphasis on development and application of molecular neurobiological approaches.
•    Independent and internationally successful work as a Postdoc on a relevant subject.
•    Scientific excellence and potential for synergy with our existing research programmes, both within the Division (encompassing neuronal molecular cell biology, neural circuits and simple behaviour, and the molecular/cell biological basis of neurodegeneration) and across the wider LMB.

Desirable: Application of advanced imaging (light and/or electron microscopic) methods in studying synaptic and other neuronal functions.

Knowledge and experience:

•    Research interests that fit well with the present and future science of the Division.
•    Experience of planning and developing projects or programmes of work, including the analysis of synaptic function, its molecular biological underpinnings and the application of advanced imaging techniques.

•    Evidence of having influenced wider practice or knowledge in the field.
•    A very ambitious or innovative research proposal.  

Personal skills/behaviours/qualities:

•    Demonstrated ability to communicate science, both in writing and verbally.
•    Experience of participating effectively in collaborations within home institute or externally.

Desirable: Experience of supervising team members effectively.

Programme Leader-Track appointments are made to those who demonstrate the potential to develop into Programme Leaders within six years. Support for your professional development will be given as part of the MRC’s Programme Leader-Track Programme.

At the conclusion of the six year period and subject to assessment by your Director of your satisfactory demonstration of independent scientific research capabilities, wider professional development and continuation of the relevant area of research within the Institute, you will be interviewed by a formal Selection Committee who will determine whether or not to award Programme Leader status.

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.

UKRI supports research in areas that include animal health, agriculture and food security, and bioscience for health which includes research on animals, genetic modification and stem cell research. Whilst you may not have direct involvement in this type of research, you should consider whether this conflicts with your personal values or beliefs.

We will conduct a full and comprehensive pre-employment check as an essential part of the recruitment process on all individuals that are offered a position with UKRI. This will include a security check and an extreme organisations affiliation check.

This opportunity is closed to applications.