Junior Researcher - Biology NATA 1492

Updated: about 1 month ago
Location: Harwell, ENGLAND
Deadline: 14 Mar 2021

View Vacancy -- Junior Researcher - Biology NATA 1492
Open Date
22/02/2021, 15:00
Close Date
14/03/2021, 23:00


The Medical Research Council (MRC), as part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), are investing a total of £30m to establish a new research centre, the nucleic acid therapy accelerator (NATA) that will support state-of-the-art interdisciplinary research to solve critical issues in nucleic acid drug delivery, through focused NATA research challenges and a NATA infrastructure hub. This is an internationally unique resource, drawing on world-leading academic expertise in partnership with innovative businesses to discover and test viable ways of delivering oligonucleotide therapies, anchoring the oligonucleotide therapy industry in the UK for many years to come.

The NATA is focusing on bringing together key stakeholders around the infrastructure hub while catalysing collaborative R&D activity with focused support to tackle significant barriers facing oligonucleotide therapy delivery to key organs. This investment supports capacity building in terms of equipment, upskilling and domain expertise that will be essential in developing critical mass to catalyse and de-risk the development of next generation nucleic acid medicines.

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 www.ukri.org

MRC - 4

Harwell Campus, Oxfordshire

£31,602 - £34,443 per annum



Full Time

Nucleic Acid Therapy Accelerator

The NATA has the opportunity to establish a new industrial sector attracting and developing highly skilled jobs with the potential of the UK being the leader in the field where global nucleic acid therapies market is expected to be £6 billion by 2025.

NATA has purchased a significant amount of new scientific equipment and our labs have been redesigned to enable our science and we are now looking to build our scientific team in this exciting new research centre located in a world-renowned science park.

The Role

The Junior Researcher will be critical in supporting the NATA biology department by developing new techniques and methods related to the assessment of delivery, toxicity and efficacy of Acid Nucleic Therapeutics in multidisciplinary projects. This individual will be involved in the development of new techniques and methods for 1) the quantification and localization of Nucleic Acid Therapeutics after administration in vitro and in vivo, 2) the mechanism of uptake of New Nucleic Acid Therapeutic, 3) the assessment of clearance and pharmacokinetic parameters associated to Nucleic Acid Therapeutics. This position will also include biological validation of novel Nucleic Acid Therapeutics conjugates using already established protocols.

The post holder will manage the biology side of Nucleic Acid Therapeutics projects for various collaborations. They will report to the Head of department.

  • Undertake research aiming at developing new approaches for Nucleic Acid Therapeutics evaluation and characterization
  • Take a proactive approach to learning and implementing new techniques and approaches to investigate in vitro and in vivo delivery of Nucleic Acid Therapeutics
  • Research and establish new techniques to understand clearance and pharmacokinetic parameters associated to novel Nucleic Acid Therapeutics
  • Ensure the research is carried out in accordance with good practice and in compliance with local policies and legal requirements
  • 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
  • Manage project with external stakeholders
  • Manage Research Assistant on specific projects
  • Troubleshoot and maintain analytic procedures and equipment
  • Keep secure, well-organized and contemporaneous scientific records
  • Analyse and report data to the Head of the Department (verbal and written reports)
  • Write and submit manuscripts for publication with the Head of Department
  • Present work internally and at national and international meetings
  • Contribute to lab meetings
  • Maintain a good knowledge of the relevant literature and of the wider field and actively promote this to the group
  • Work effectively with collaborators
  • Effectively manage resources


Selection criteria
Essential selection criteria
  • Hold a relevant Ph.D/D.Phil in biology, pharmacology, toxicology or a related discipline
  • Experience in one or more of the following areas: RNA library preparation and sequencing, fluorescence microscopy/image analysis (including sample preparation) or FACS analysis.
  • Experience with Nucleic Acid therapeutics including antisense and RNA interference would be an advantage
  • High level of creativity and independence in developing innovative analysis methods and solving complex problems
  • High level organisational skills, with the ability to manage a broad range of projects simultaneously and under pressure.
  • Working and adhering to standard operating procedures and experience of process analysis and refinement
  • Organised, hard-working with a strong eye for detail and is able to work as part of a team
  • Demonstrate ability to meet milestones
  • Experience and knowledge of data analysis and interpretation
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Peer-reviewed research publications commensurable with career stage

Desirable selection criteria
  • Experience of the analysis of oligonucleotides; quantification, localization, stability
  • Knowledge of nucleotide structure and modifications
  • Experience with organ systems such as cardiovascular, CNS, respiratory and musclo-skeletal


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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