Postdoctoral Scientist – Structural Studies – Dr Julian Gough – LMB 1900

    Postdoctoral Scientist - Structural Studies

    Website Medical Research Council

    Job Profile: Postdoctoral Scientist – Structural Studies
    Open Date: 25/07/2022, 09:15
    Close Date: 22/08/2022, 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 X-ray crystallography of proteins, 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.

    With the opening of our new laboratory the LMB provides an unsurpassed environment for both young 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
    £32,302 to £35,143 per annum
    Fixed Term
    Full Time
    Fixed term 2 years

    Overall purpose: 

    The Postdoctoral Scientist will work within the Group of Professor Julian Gough at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB), within a programme aimed at Genome-Phenotype prediction, to undertake research to apply computational methods to genetic cohorts for discovery.

    The project is to run our novel computational approach on various genetic cohorts to make new biological discoveries from the data. It will involve working in genetic cohort research environments such as UKBiobank and Genomics England, but also on local data using our computer systems. This will requires subsequent interpretation of results and translation into biological discoveries that is verifiable experimentally or via independent large scale genetic datasets. Bioinformatics follow up and research into proteins and functions relevant to the discoveries will also be carried out.

    Main duties:

    •    To undertake research aimed at applying genome-phenotype prediction to biological discovery.
    •    To identify, develop and apply a broad range of techniques to pursue the research objectives.
    •    To present scientific work at seminars within the Laboratory and at external meetings.
    •    To contribute to Laboratory-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.
    •    To communicate and liaise with any industrial partners, including visits.

    Key responsibilities:

    Within the overall direction of the programme, the Group, the remit of the project and in discussion with the Group Leader, you will make a significant input into determining the direction of the project within a two-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 Group, 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 Professor Julian Gough and will interact and collaborate with other Postdoctoral Scientists, Research Support Staff and Students, not only in your Group, but also across the LMB and with external Groups as necessary.

    Additional information:

    This is a 2-year training and development position for a Postdoctoral Scientist who has recently 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.

    The postdoctoral scientist 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: 

    These should include a PhD in a relevant subject or due to complete PhD within 3 months.

    Technical skills and expertise:

    Experience of and ability to perform techniques relevant to the project. Particularly useful would be experience of working with genomic data, and an understanding of the principles of genetic variation and GWAS/PheWAS concepts. Programming skills in e.g. Python and R will be useful. The postdoctoral scientist will have a knowledge of a wide range of bioinformatics tools and resources, plus the ability to follow up scientifically in the literature and using public databases in the field of proteins, genes, cells and molecular biology will also be important.

    Track record of research:

    This will include achievements, and contributions to published papers.

    Other relevant evidence of: 

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

    Additional information: 

    The project may have opportunity for industry collaboration and translational impact.

    Please be aware that two position options are being advertised and only one will be appointed to.

    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.

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