View Vacancy -- Deputy Laboratory Services Manager - Operations Group - Laboratory Services - LMB 994

Open Date
14/12/2018, 17:25
Close Date
15/01/2019, 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
£27,906 - £33,305
Technical & Scientific Professionals
Full Time

Overall purpose:

To deliver Laboratory services across the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) which improve research capabilities. To provide technical support for research equipment throughout its life cycle in a complex laboratory environment.

Main duties:
You will provide management and operational support by taking a hands-on approach to improving and delivering laboratory services across the LMB. You will line manage a team of technicians and engineers responsible for delivering a wide range services across the research institute.

Under the direct supervision of the Laboratory Service Manager, you will be responsible for all aspects of laboratory services including:

•   To manage the equipment life cycle including:
      o Undertake horizon scanning for new equipment opportunities and developments
      o Coordinate the delivery, installation and/or commissioning of all new major items of equipment
      o Undertake practical equipment servicing and more broadly effectively manage this service
      o Manage maintenance contracts for equipment and services in partnership with other members of the team and the scientific facility leads
      o Carry out the onsite management of external service engineers
      o Collaborate with other members of the team to manage, maintain and audit the LMB’s inventory of assets
      o Provide a PAT testing service to the LMB and maintain all records
      o Provide expert advice to scientists as required

•   Coordinate the change of occupancy or reuse of rooms in the building, including decommissioning and maintain all relevant documentation
•   Manage the LMB gas inventory, execute changes to laboratory gas cylinders, regulators and piped gas systems in the laboratory space and maintain authorised person status
•   Centrally manage the use and up keep of minus eighty freezers and other fridges and freezers, to include provide a defrosting service for freezers as well as a fast replacement service (fridges and freezers kept on site and replaced as required)
•   Provide out of hours emergency support for issues concerning the cell bank and minus 80 freezer facilities
•   Oversee the service for shipment of biological materials
•   Oversee the use and maintenance of the liquid nitrogen storage Dewars and cell banks. Responsible for the provision of training in the use of liquid Nitrogen and maintaining a list of competent users. Ensure that the team responds to any oxygen depletion alarms throughout the laboratory
•   Coordinate the maintenance and up-keep of communal floor standing centrifuges and their accompanying rotors
•   Centrally manage the LMB’s stock of laboratory and office furniture, action any requests for change
•   Ensure the LMB’s local exhaust ventilation systems (LEVs) are maintained and compliant
•   Run a training service for LMB Researchers and support staff in the following areas:
      o Liquid nitrogen usage
      o Use of gas regulators
      o Centrifuges
      o Fume hoods
      o Microbiological safety cabinets
•   Ensure relevant risk assessments and standard operating procedures are completed and maintained at least once a year
•   Ensure the LMB’s pool cars and bicycles are maintained and roadworthy
•   Provide cover for the Laboratory Services Manager

Key Responsibilities:

To deliver effective laboratory services and equipment servicing that contributes to the overall objectives of the LMB.

To continually evaluate emerging technologies, perform in-house testing of those with potential relevance to the needs of the laboratory, select and develop these systems in collaboration with research groups.

To provide leadership for a small team of four staff.

To work closely with the Health and Safety team to ensure the laboratories are maintained as safe working environments in accordance with LMB policies and procedures.

Work with a wide range of stakeholders in the LMB to establish laboratory services and equipment servicing and undertake an annual review of these requirements to ensure a high standard of delivery.

Ensure appropriate policies, procedures, risk assessments and integrated working practices are in place and updated as required.

Working relationships:

This is a complex role that will also involve a hands-on-approach at times, with responsibility for line managing a team.

You will report to the Laboratory Services and Purchasing Manager.

You will need to develop effective working relationships with senior members of the LMB, researchers and other technical and administrative staff. You will also liaise with a number of stakeholders with competing demands.

You will need to quickly develop a deep understanding of the culture at the LMB as well as some technical understanding of laboratory services in the LMB laboratory.

You will liaise with external providers and Institutions when necessary. Holding links with the University and other MRC Units.

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: Degree or equivalent technical qualification, candidates with relevant appropriate experience will be considered.

Desirable: Project management qualification.

Previous work experience required:

Essential: Delivering general services and equipment maintenance in a research laboratory setting.

Desirable: Line management experience in the academic or public sector in a scientific or healthcare setting.

Knowledge and experience:

•   Experience in laboratory equipment maintenance.
•   Experience in delivering general laboratory services.
•   Strong analytical skills and expertise in analysing, interpreting and reporting management information.
•   Demonstrates a robust understanding of H&S requirements in relation to compressed gas and liquid nitrogen storage and delivery systems.
•   Experience in Information and Communication Technology, especially Microsoft Office (Word and Excel), databases and the Internet.

•   Experience as a user of a shared service centre.
•   Experience of managing budgets and resources in a complex setting with competing demands.
•   IOSH qualification in “Managing safely” higher.

Verbal and written communication skills
•   The ability to interact with scientists and staff on a daily basis, demonstrating excellent interpersonal skills.
•   The ability to communicate with laboratory users at all levels of competence, ascertaining needs, answering queries and providing information and advice.
•   The ability to communication and negotiate with equipment and software manufacturers and suppliers.

Personal skills / behaviours / qualities:

•   The ability to manage and motivate staff in an inspiring manner.
•   Diplomacy skills combined with energy and drive.
•   The ability to work constructively, collaboratively and productively with colleagues at all levels.

Desirable:A willingness to occasionally work out of hours if necessary.

As this job does not fulfil the UK Government minimum salary criterion for obtaining sponsored migrant worker status we will be unable to apply for sponsorship for anyone not eligible to work in the UK. At interview, all shortlisted candidates are required to bring with them identification documents and original documents that prove they hold or can obtain the right to work in the UK.  You can check your eligibility here:
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.