View Vacancy -- Public Engagement and Communications Assistant - Operations Group - Liz Pryke - LMB 855

Open Date
11/06/2018, 11:20
Close Date
01/07/2018, 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
Technical & Scientific Professionals
Full Time

Overall purpose:

To contribute to the public engagement and communications output of the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB).

Main duties:

To support and assist the Public Engagement Manager in activities such as:
•    Management of enquiries as part of the LMB News Team.
•    Drafting news stories and other digital content.
•    Organisation of media visits and tours of the Laboratory.
•    Public engagement and outreach activity support, monitoring and evaluation.
•    Compliance with LMB brand and editorial guidelines and those of the wider MRC.
•    Secretariat support for the LMB News, Public Engagement and Website teams and other working groups.

Key responsibilities:

To assist with the development of new public engagement activities for key events, such as LifeLab – a collaborative EU Researchers Night event taking place in September 2018 and 2019, LMB Open Days, new longer-term engagement and school outreach initiatives in collaboration with Scientists and other Public Engagement Team members.

To support the promotion, organisation and evaluation of LMB schools outreach and public engagement events with other Public Engagement Team members.

To coordinate the LMB work experience programme, process applications and offers, organise placements, liaise with applicants, LMB work experience hosts and external work experience organisations.

To draft and edit Insight on Research, LMB News stories and abstracts for the LMB in the News in collaboration with other LMB News Team members. To liaise with MRC Press Office and other stakeholders in the production and release of information. To adhere to confidentiality, embargoes and other restrictions as necessary.

To draft written content, source images and assist in the development of new video and graphical content, to aid the communication of LMB’s science to target audiences using a variety of digital media, including the LMB website, social media sites and YouTube channel. To post content on the LMB’s social media sites.

To organise tours of the LMB for visitors and act as a tour guide when required.

To organise media visits to the LMB for interviews and filming, liaising with LMB staff, Scientists and external contacts, seeking necessary approvals and chaperoning visitors.

Working relationships:

This is a hands-on role and involves interactions with staff at all levels.

You will report to the Public Engagement Manager and will be part of the LMB News, Public Engagement and Website teams.

You will need to develop effective working relationships with LMB Scientists, the LMB Visual Aids Department and other public engagement and communications staff, so that you are seen as an effective member of the Public Engagement and Communications Team.

You will need to interact effectively with regional MRC communications colleagues, MRC Corporate Communications team members and other external communications and engagement contacts.

Additional information:

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.

•    Degree in life sciences.
•    Qualification in science communication.

Previous work experience required:

•    Experience of communicating complex scientific ideas to different target audiences.
•    Experience of developing and/or delivering public engagement or outreach activities.
•    Experience in event management.

•    Experience in communications or media work.
•    Experience in biological science research.
•    Experience of using social media and/or designing website content and/or video content.

Knowledge and experience:

•    Sufficient scientific knowledge to understand and translate complex scientific papers into general language accurately and quickly.
•    Excellent IT skills and a working knowledge of MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

Desirable: Experience of using a CMS such as WordPress, writing for a website, editing images and creating video content.

Personal skills / behaviours / qualities: 

•    Strong writing and editorial skills, with great accuracy and attention to detail.
•    Good presentation skills and an ability to talk to groups of visitors with different backgrounds (e.g. general audience or scientific community).
•    Excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to build effective working relationships with colleagues at all levels and enthuse others about the benefits of public engagement.

Initiative and time management
Essential: Ability to prioritise workload and meet deadlines, excellent organisational skills with the ability to apply them whilst under pressure and the ability to use own initiative and work without or under limited supervision.

Team working
Essential: Effective team member willing to contribute, but respectful of the roles and experience of others.

Personal style and behaviour
Essential: Keen interest in science and enthusiasm for the work of the LMB and MRC as a whole.

Interviews will take place on the 6th, 9th or 10th July.
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.