View Vacancy -- HR Advisor - Operations Group - LMB 849 (Civil Service Applicants)

Open Date
01/06/2018, 16:00
Close Date
14/06/2018, 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 - 5
£22,201 - £25,976
Fixed Term
Administration & Management
Full Time
18 Months
Overall purpose:

To assist in providing a professional and proactive Human Resources (HR) service to the Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB).

To act as the local specialist for all aspects of recruitment and immigration liaising closely with local Stakeholders, UK Shared Business Services (UKSBS) and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

To support the Deputy Head of HR and the Head of HR in the application of HR policies and procedures to the Director, Group Leaders, Managers, Divisional Administrators and employees.  This is a generalist HR Advisor role, therefore a complete HR service will be required.

Main duties / key responsibilities:

•    To provide comprehensive and professional HR advice to LMB Administrators and Managers ensuring adherence to MRC policies and legislation to enable effective HR management across the Institute.  You will be the professional voice of HR and should communicate appropriately upholding the reputation of the HR Department.  Any escalation of complicated HR matters to the Deputy Head of HR should be judged and timed appropriately.
•    To be responsible for overseeing the full life cycle of recruitment acting as the escalation point for complex recruitment matters.  This will require effective management of the Recruitment Assistant, providing guidance and advice where necessary.  You will also represent the HR department on interview panels.
•    To act as the local expert on UK Immigration requirements overseeing the end to end process. This includes advising on the appropriate route, eligibility and application procedure to employees, visiting workers and their dependents. You will be responsible for ensuring employees and visiting workers meet UK immigration requirements in relation to Legislation. You will also contribute to Institute and UKRI wide consultation where appropriate.
•    To monitor sickness absence levels for the LMB according to the MRC Sickness Absence Management Policy. To provide advice and support to managers on sickness absence management issues where necessary, including practical involvement in meetings and discussions. Ensure that cases are managed effectively liaising with both the Health and Safety department and Occupational Health so that referrals are completed in an appropriate and timely manner.
•    To undertake case and project work as required including discipline, grievance, redundancy and sickness absence cases. This will involve monitoring, meetings with employees and managers, ad-hoc report writing.
•    To support the Deputy Head of HR and the Head of HR in the implementation of all HR policies and the management of HR throughout the Institute.

Working relationships:

You will be line managed by the Deputy Head of HR.

You will work closely with the other Retained HR staff at the LMB. You will be responsible for the daily supervision of the Recruitment Assistant, HR Assistant alongside the other HR Advisors.

You will have daily interaction with the HR team, LMB Group Leaders, Divisional Administrators, other LMB staff, UK Shared Business Services and UKRI.

Additional information:

There is a security clearance requirement for the successful candidate (Agenda Level A).

You will need to keep up to date with all changes to MRC policy, employment law and Immigration requirements.

You will be required to exercise good judgement whilst sometimes working under pressure from those with conflicting views and strong opinions. There may be a need to refer cases to the Deputy Head of HR for advice where appropriate.

You will be responsible for covering the other HR Advisor roles in periods of absence.

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:

•    Educated to A Level standard.
•    CIPD Certificate in Human Resources Practice or equivalent.
•    CIPD Associate Member.

Desirable: CIPD Chartered Member.

Previous work experience required:

•    Recent experience of working in an HR environment.
•    Experience of supporting and advising on recruitment processes.
•    Recent experience of providing generalist HR advice.
•    Current knowledge of relevant Legislation and HR practices.

•    Experience of working in a Laboratory environment.
•    Working knowledge of UK Immigration with an understanding of processes including Certificate of Sponsorship and visa application processes.
•    Previous line management/supervisory experience.

Knowledge and experience:

Creativity and initiative
•    Experienced in applying HR policies and practices in a busy and complex working environment coming up with innovative ideas and solutions where necessary.
•    Ability to effectively manage employee relations case work such as sickness absence and performance management.

Independent working
•    Ability to use own initiative and work with minimal supervision.
•    Excellent organisational skills and the ability to apply them whilst under pressure.

Verbal and written communication skills
Essential: Strong verbal and written communication skills, with the ability to adapt communication style appropriately for the audience.

Personal skills / behaviours / qualities:

•    Professional approach and ability to lead by example to uphold the reputation of the department.
•    Strong problem solving skills.
•    Ability to apply diplomacy and patience in difficult situations.
•    Good attention to detail.
•    Strong team player.
•    Committed to Continuous Professional Development as an individual and for the HR team.
•    Computer literate with experience of e-mail, Microsoft Word, Excel, HR Information Systems and reporting tools.

Desirable: An interest in the scientific environment and work of the LMB and MRC as a whole.

Additional information:

This role is busy and varied.  The professional approach to HR situations is essential as is being a role model to others in the department and the wider Institute.

Please note that applications for this role are restricted to current Civil Service employees. This includes individuals currently employed by Government departments, Agencies, and Non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs).
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.