View Vacancy -- Programme Leader Track - Structural Studies - Dr David Barford - LMB 924

Open Date
21/09/2018, 16:10
Close Date
23/10/2018, 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 - 2
£51,608 - £61,942
Full Time
Overall purpose:

To direct a world-class research programme within the Structural Studies Division of the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB), developing a research programme to investigate the molecular basis of telomere maintenance.

Main duties:

You will apply methods of structural biology, with an emphasis on single particle cryo-electron microscopy, to understand how telomeres are maintained and regulated through analysis of the structure and mechanism of reconstituted telomeres, telomerase and Pol'alpha'primase. The research will also include investigating the structure of telomeres in situ using correlative fluorescence microscopy and cryo-electron tomography (CLEM).

Additionally, there are a number of generic Group Leader responsibilities as shown below:
•    Initiation of new research projects.
•    Carrying out research projects to deliver high-impact results.
•    Completing research projects in a timely manner.
•    Publishing research results in internationally visible journals.
•    Recruiting and supervising a small team of PhD Students and Postdoctoral Fellows.
•    Presenting the results of the research at national and international meetings and conferences.
•    Communicating the excitement of research to the public and taxpayer.
•    Where possible, translating the results of research into useful new approaches or treatments that improve human health.
•    Ensuring that intellectual property is protected.

Key responsibilities:

Research leadership of a group of research Scientists, comprising PhD Students, Postdoctoral Fellows and possibly technical Support Staff.

Interacting with other researchers, contributing to both the harmonious and successful running of the LMB as well as the joint scientific mission.

Working relationships:

You will report to the Heads of Division. As an independent Group Leader (Programme Leader Track) you will be expected to carry out independent, self-motivated, world-class research. You will also collaborate with Scientists and Support Staff within the Structural Studies Division, the wider LMB, and externally with members of the national and international research community.

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: Ph.D. in molecular and structural biology or related subject
Desirable: Significant track record with clear emphasis on quality rather than quantity, with relevance to the main aims of the post in structural biology.

Previous work experience required:

•    Independent and internationally successful work as a postdoc on a relevant subject.
•    Experience with the application of cryo-EM to questions of outstanding biological importance.

Knowledge and experience

•    Demonstrates, through track record of publications and other outputs, an ability to initiate and solve challenging and important questions in structural biology.
•    Demonstrates ability to initiate and complete independent projects.
•    Ability to present the results of the research internationally both in published papers and oral presentations at international conferences.

Desirable: Proven ability to operate in the biological arena.

Personal skills / behaviours / qualities:

Essential: Ability to supervise a team in a sensitive and inspiring manner.
Desirable: Ability to lead a scientific team.

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.