View Vacancy -- Animal Facility Quarantine Manager - PNAC Ares - LMB 842

Open Date
18/05/2018, 09:15
Close Date
17/06/2018, 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 protein crystallography, cryo-electron microscopy, 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 - 4
Ares, Babraham
£27,906 – £33,305
£3,500 Recruitment Retention Allowance for Home Office Personal Licence
Technical & Scientific Professionals
Full Time

Overall purpose:

To work within the larger team known as the Biological Services Group (BSG), whose aim is to support scientific researchers at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB). Specifically to be responsible for the day-to-day operations in the quarantine section within the LMB Ares Facility and provide support for in vivo experiments.                                                                            

Main duties:

•    To manage the provision of animal research support for in vivo experiments ensuring high standards of animal welfare, appropriate staffing levels and adherence to relevant legislation and guidelines.
•    To be the Named Animal Care and Welfare Officer (NACWO) for the quarantine section within the Ares building, and to provide NACWO cover for other sections within Ares and the LMB as required.
•    To work collaboratively with the other BSG managers to ensure that the best possible service is delivered to LMB scientists.
•    To utilise shared staff resources appropriately, managing team and individual workloads and distributing work fairly amongst staff.
•    To identify processes which require updating or improving in order to maximise the productivity of the animal service.
•    To play a leading role in providing a service which is consistent, uniform and interacts smoothly with the other LMB animal facilities, so that that management instructions, policies and procedures are consistent and fit for purpose across teams and sites.
•    To be both a trainer and assessor in licenced procedures, teaching and demonstrating to both animal staff and researchers. To actively take part in the training programmes devised by the Named Competency and Training Officers (NCTOs).
•    To work with the Named Veterinary Surgeon (NVS) in promoting implementation of refinements in animal husbandry, care and use. Improvements should aim to facilitate both scientific research and animal care.
•    To attend regular meetings as required, to discuss issues and undertake appropriate actions, for example Named Persons Meetings (NPMs) and BSG Operational Meetings.
•    To host HO Inspector visits and to write up reports of these visits for the Head of the BSG.
•    To use IT management systems effectively eg Oracle for purchasing, the database for mouse colony management and other in-house databases.
•    To ensure high standards of containment and biological safety in order to prevent the spread or escape of organisms within the Ares facility. Manage processes, procedures and staff to ensure risks are minimized.

Key responsibilities:

•    To manage all operational aspects of the quarantine section, including: managing, scheduling, supervising, undertaking and providing training in licenced procedures; general H&S including accident reporting and investigation; management and maintenance of equipment; management of resources and consumables.
•    To provide an exemplary service that balances the demands of the science and animal welfare, offering viable and appropriate solutions in order to facilitate the science.
•    To develop key working relationships with the Head of the BSG, other BSG managers, NACWOs, the Named Persons, and with service users and service staff at all levels, ranging from senior scientists to junior animal technicians.
•    To provide support and informed feedback to the Head of BSG and Ares Operations Manager for all operational elements of the quarantine section, highlighting issues and potential risks, as well as offering solutions and suggesting improvements.
•    To report all issues using the established information-decision chain, as soon as they arise. This will involve reporting issues to the Ares Operations Manager who in turn will report issues to both the Head of the BSG and the Establishment License Holder.
•    To encourage teamwork, working closely in conjunction with other BSG managers and technicians, so that the service is transparent, coordinated, cooperative and efficient.
•    To provide timely high-quality decisions such that other staff have confidence in you and in the quality of your decision-making.
•    To ensure that management instructions, policies and procedures are fit for purpose and are harmonised across teams and sites.
•    To ensure staff (both scientists and technicians) understand and follow processes and procedures. To act on feedback from staff about improvements so that staff see that they can influence positive change.
•    To communicate at an appropriate level with researchers, taking into account the constraints under which they are working. You must ensure that animal welfare issues are understood and addressed whilst sensitively offering appropriate ways forward in order not to be perceived as a block to scientific research.
•    To lead continuous improvement and dissemination of good practice.
•    To provide leadership in terms of the NACWO role and appropriate support to facilitate research within the LMB while maintaining compliance with the current animal welfare and health and safety legislation.
•    As NACWO to act with professional independence and leadership in order to safeguard the welfare of animals and ensure compliance with the statutory regulations.
•    As NACWO to establish and maintain high standards of husbandry and care and to champion a culture of care among both animal technicians and scientific staff.
•    To uphold a common vision of providing the best service possible to LMB science, while promoting high welfare standards and compliance with Home Office regulations.

Working relationships:

As Animal Facility Quarantine Manager you will work within the Biological Services Group (BSG) of the LMB. The BSG comprises of the Ares rodent facility, which is located on the Babraham Research Campus, and 2 experimental holding facilities at the LMB known as CBS1 and CBS2. You will work principally in the Ares building, which is dedicated to production of GM mice and in vivo experimental procedural support.

You will develop very close working relationships with the Head of BSG, the Ares Operations Manager, the Named Persons, and LMB scientists. You are expected to develop strong networks with other support services in the institute in particular with Human Resources, Health & Safety and relevant administrative staff.

Additional information:

You are expected to take part in the out-of-hours rota.

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: IAT Membership, NACWO qualification and relevant practical experience of using this qualification within an animal facility and Home Office Modules 1-3.

•    Home Office Module 4.
•    Management qualification or equivalent experience.
•    Health and safety qualification or equivalent experience.

Previous work experience required:

•    Experience of working within an animal research facility and a competent knowledge of containment systems and practices.
•    Proven competence in a range of Home Office licenced techniques.
•    Experience of assisting with in vivo studies.

•    Experience of mouse colony management including rederivation strategies.
•    Experience of containment Level II and quarantine procedures.

Knowledge and experience:

•    Expert knowledge of ASPA including the changes imposed by the EU Directives.
•    Proficiency and confidence in understanding and interrogating experimental protocols to ensure HO compliance.
•    Experience of using mouse colony management databases.
•    Proficiency in use of email and standard IT packages: Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint.
•    Good knowledge and experience of compliance with Health and Safety standards in an animal research facility.
•    Experience of managing staff and/or leading a team. Co-operative, collegiate style of management and team-building; recognises and respects the roles and responsibilities of others, leading to more effective solutions or processes.


•    Experience of implementing policies and procedures.
•    Knowledge of Containment level II containment systems.

Personal skills / behaviours / qualities:

•    Excellent interpersonal skills across all levels of staff from senior scientists to junior technicians, with the ability to communicate unwelcome messages sensitively and diplomatically.
•    Ability to apply sound independent judgment, ensuring that the wider implications for animal welfare and scientific research are fully taken into account. Well-developed problem solving skills, providing good quality and timely solutions and decisions.

•    Proven ability to take sound independent decisions under pressure.
•    Proven ability to be persuasive in difficult situations.
•    Experience of communicating with researchers.

Additional information:

You are a proactive individual who encourages mutual respect and co-operation between individuals and teams. The Biological Services Group exists to provide expert services, which facilitate LMB’s scientific research, and your appreciation of this is key to the success of this post.

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.