View Vacancy -- Postdoctoral Scientist - Cell Biology - Mark Skehel - LMB 970

Open Date
16/11/2018, 15:25
Close Date
16/12/2018, 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
£30,464 - £33,305
Fixed Term
Full Time
3 years

Overall purpose:

The Biological Mass Spectrometry & Proteomics Facility at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) seeks a bioinformatician/computational biologist to join our team. The lab aims to cover all aspects of protein mass spectrometry and is set up primarily to use a ‘bottom up’ peptide centric approach for protein identification, quantification (SILAC, isobaric labelling, label free) and the discovery, characterisation and quantification of post-translational modifications. In addition, the facility has a strong focus on structural proteomics, concentrating specifically on chemical cross-linking and hydrogen/deuterium exchange-mass spectrometry.

You will supply bioinformatics support to scientists in both the Facility and LMB, focusing on experimental design and the provision of specialist data analysis for a number of -omics data types.

Main duties:

• To plan and undertake the structural analysis of protein complexes using mass spectrometry combined with chemical cross-linking and hydrogen/deuterium exchange in collaboration with other LMB scientists.
• To apply bioinformatics techniques for the analysis of complex proteomics datasets.
• To design basic customised scripts and programs for the analysis of proteomics datasets.
• To present work at seminars within the Laboratory and at external meetings.
• To contribute to lab-wide discussions on developments within the field.
• To draft scientific papers, and contribute to the overall preparation of research for publication.
• To contribute to the LMB’s mission in the public engagement of science, and the translation of research findings into improvements in health care.
• To assist in the training of PhD students and other members of the LMB.

Key responsibilities:

Within the overall direction and remit of the Facility’s projects and in discussion with the Facility Head, you will supply bioinformatics support to scientists in both the Facility and LMB, focusing on both experimental design and the provision of specialist data analysis for different -omics data types. Whilst contributing to the development of publications and collaborations, it is also anticipated that you will pursue your own lines of research in the area of structural proteomics. 

Overall, you will make a significant contribution to shaping the aims and success of the Facility within a 3-year lifespan.

To plan your own work and objectives on a 12 month basis and manage your experimental work within the project along with your Supervisor.

To work with limited supervision to identify, develop, modify and apply the necessary techniques to achieve the goals of the project.

To introduce and apply new techniques across a wide range of disciplines and to have the creativity and initiative to develop novel approaches and methods where required.

To ensure the research is carried out in accordance with good practice and in compliance with local policies and legal requirements.

To contribute to the smooth running of the Facility, including the effective use of resources, training of others and taking responsibility for use of communal facilities.

To enhance your research and generic skills through a tailored development programme.

Working relationships:

You will report to a Group Leader and will interact and collaborate with other Postdoctoral Scientists, Research Support Staff and Students, not only in the Facility, but also across the LMB and with external Groups as necessary.

Additional information:

This is a 3-year training and development position for a Postdoctoral Scientist who has completed their doctoral studies, is moving into a new research discipline or has limited experience of key transferable skills. We support Postdoctoral Scientists with a range of formal and on-the-job training, including:

• MRC training courses.
• External training and personal development courses.
• One-to-one training with your Supervisor and other Scientists.

You will commit to undertaking the following:

• Developing and following a personal development plan.
• Attending training courses.
• Identifying additional training which will support you to develop your career.

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.

Academic qualifications:

You should have a PhD or DPhil in a relevant subject (bioinformatics, biology, computational science) or be due to complete a PhD within 6 months.

Technical skills and expertise:

A background in bioinformatics, biology or computational science and an understanding of protein mass spectrometry and proteomics.

Track record of research:

This will include discoveries and achievements, and contributions to published papers. Publication in a high impact journal is essential. Additional publications in the primary literature, or scholarly reviews are highly desirable.

Other relevant evidence of:

• Commitment.
• Originality.
• Ability to communicate.
• Working with others.

Additional information:

You should be able to work collaboratively within a team, while also having the resourcefulness to carry out aspects of the project independently. Evidence of collaborative work e.g. collaborative publications is desirable.

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.