Director's & Scientific Operations Assistant - Operations Group - Christine Barrie - LMB 1467

Updated: 3 months ago
Location: Cambridge, ENGLAND
Deadline: 08 Feb 2021

View Vacancy -- Director's & Scientific Operations Assistant - Operations Group - Christine Barrie - LMB 1467
Open Date
25/01/2021, 16:00
Close Date
08/02/2021, 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


£25,198 - £26,901 per annum


Administration & Management

Full Time

Overall purpose:
As a member of the Operations Group you will contribute to the smooth running of the Scientific Operations function and support the Director at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB).
To provide high level support to the Director, Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Scientific Operations Manager by undertaking all day-to-day and longer-term operational matters required for the effective functioning of the Director’s and Scientific Operations Office. This will include, but is not limited to:
•    Acting as Personal Assistant to the Director and COO.
•    Providing support for the Scientific Operations Manager and their team.
•    Acting as the first point of call for internal and external visitors for the Director and Scientific Operations Office.
•    Responsibility for the organisation of LMB events including the Seminar Series, annual Symposium and group leader retreats.
Main duties:
To provide professional personal assistant support to the Director. This includes:
•    Helping with the Director’s diary and busy schedule to accommodate a balance between scientific research activities and strategic commitments in the LMB and the wider MRC/UKRI.
•    Arranging the Director’s attendance at (and participation in) scientific conferences both in the UK and abroad. This will include all necessary arrangements including travel and reimbursement of expenses.
•    Liaising and communicating on behalf of the Director to coordinate appointments and arrange meetings throughout the world. The post holder will need to liaise with conference and meeting organisers to ensure that information to/from the Director is supplied in a timely fashion and that all documentation is in place and that arrangements are confirmed for the Director’s participation.
•    Arranging visits to the LMB by individuals from medical and scientific research organisations throughout the world, such as universities, industry, UKRI, Wellcome, charities, funding bodies and government departments both national and international. The post holder will be their first point of contact within the LMB both by telephone and email.
To provide support to the COO and Scientific Operations Manager. This includes:
•    Helping with the diaries for the COO and Scientific Operations Manager.
•    Organising and co-ordinating meetings managed by the Scientific Operations team.
•    Providing limited conference support for senior LMB researchers and advising those holding events within the building on logistical matters.
•    Reacting to problems that arise when the COO and/or the Scientific Operations Manager are not available for advice or to address the problem themselves. This will require the post holder to develop a good understanding of the workings of the LMB, especially its local policies and practices, in order to advise others and to be able to point them in the right direction.
Key responsibilities:
•    Dealing with incoming mail (paper and electronic), telephone and personal enquiries to the Director and Scientific Operations Office in an efficient and professional manner, filtering where necessary.
•    Keeping diaries, resolving conflicts, prioritising and rescheduling as necessary
•    Acting as first point of contact for visitors to the Director and Scientific Operations Office.
•    Helping members of the LMB seeking advice and directing individuals to others within the laboratory as appropriate.
•    Arranging the annual LMB Seminar Series in consultation with the Seminar Committee.
•    Advising on travel arrangements for visitors to the LMB and arranging hospitality for speakers and other visitors.
•    Co-ordinating the annual LMB Symposium, the Christmas raffle, conference activities and other LMB-wide events such as Group Leader retreats and social activities.
•    Managing meeting logistics such as booking rooms and refreshments, sending out email meeting requests and reminders and preparing and sending out meeting documentation in a timely manner.
•    Minuting meetings when requested.
•    Managing the bookings for the Max Perutz Lecture Theatre and other internal rooms.
•    Updating the LMB’s seminar/event database with both internal and external events of interest within the LMB and publicising LMB events to external organisations.
Working relationships:
This is a hands-on role and involves interactions with staff at all levels.
The post holder is directly responsible to the Scientific Operations Manager, who is the formal reporting officer, as part of the Scientific Operations team. The post holder will work closely with other members of the team, covering where necessary for holidays and sickness.
The post holder will support the Director and COO and liaise closely with senior management and other members of the laboratory.
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: Education to at least A Level standard or with equivalent relative experience.
Previous work experience required:
•    Significant experience as a PA/administrator to an executive position, preferably in a similar role.
•    Experience in the academic or public sector.
Desirable: Experience in a scientific environment.
Knowledge and experience:
Computer skills
Essential: Experience with word processing, databases, spreadsheets and electronic diaries.
Organisation and project management skills
•    Ability to plan, prioritise and organise tasks and activities to achieve clearly defined objectives and hit deadlines.
•    Experience of arranging meetings and larger events such as conferences.
Time management
•    Good time management skills and an ability to deal with constant interruptions and alterations to daily priorities.
•    Experience of working independently and taking responsibility for own work with limited supervision.
•    Experience of diary management and scheduling.

Personal skills / behaviours / qualities:
•    Confident and at ease in dealing with a wide variety of people at all levels.
•    Excellent written and oral communication skills.
•    Diligent with good attention to detail.
•    Professional manner showing tact, diplomacy and discretion.
•    Ability to grasp issues and react to problems that arise.
•    Effective team member willing to contribute, but respectful of the roles and experience of others.
Desirable: Demonstrable commitment to continuous professional development.

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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