Research Assistant - MLC 1577

Updated: 12 days ago
Location: Harwell, ENGLAND
Deadline: 02 Jun 2021

View Vacancy -- Research Assistant - MLC 1577
Open Date
12/05/2021, 16:30
Close Date
02/06/2021, 23:55

MRC Harwell Institute

MRC Harwell Institute is an international biological research centre at the forefront of the use of mammalian models to study genetics and human diseases. Located on the Harwell Campus, just south of Oxford, it is nestled amongst a vibrant community of leading science organisations. We aim to advance medicine through cutting-edge research into the genetic basis of disease. Our research programmes span an entire lifetime, from embryonic development to diseases of ageing. There are over 300 staff at the Institute made up of research scientists, technicians, animal carers, and business support personnel.

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MRC - 5

Harwell Campus, Oxfordshire

£25,798 - £27,501 per annum (depending on experience)

Fixed Term

Technical & Scientific Professionals

Full Time

Until 31 March 2022

Overall purpose:

The Mary Lyon Centre at the Medical Research Council Harwell requires a Research Assistant to provide technical support in a busy Genome Engineering service team. The successful candidate will work within the Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB) group and the Genotyping core facility. His/her activity will span a broad range of molecular and cellular biology techniques. 

The available post is based within established laboratories involved in the generation and quality control of mouse targeted alleles and genotyping. The postholder will work as part of a team and be responsible for performing a range of Molecular Biology techniques (including generation of CRISPR reagents, PCR, Sanger and long-read sequencing analysis, digital droplet PCR, non-radioactive Southern blotting and qPCR-based genotyping) and embryonic stem (ES) cell culture.  Emphasis on particular techniques will vary according to service demand.

Main duties / key responsibilities:

Characterisation and quality control of genetically modified materials employing high end PCR-based techniques and sequencing. Genotyping, partly using automated liquid handling. Sample management and communication of results. Some ES cell culture.  

Other general duties required are to ensure smooth running of a Molecular Biology laboratory i.e. ordering reagents – tasks shared with rest of team. 

Working relationships:

  • Process samples/tasks by working as a team with the other Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB) team members, as directed by the Head of MCB initially or by the Head of  Genotyping as per workload demands. 
  • Work with scientists in the different research groups, to help process samples as efficiently as possible  

Additional information:

Some flexible work patterns and paid weekend work may be required at the discretion of the supervisor. 

Equality & Diversity:

The MRC values the diverse skills and experience of its employees and is committed to achieving equality of treatment for all.  Our objectives are that all individuals shall have equal opportunities for employment and advancement on the basis of their skills, aptitudes and abilities.  The MRC is committed to the engagement and retention of the best possible talent and to creating an environment that encourages excellence in scientific research through good equalities and diversity leadership and management.   

Corporate/Local responsibilities & requirements:

The job holder must at all times carry out their responsibilities with due regard to the MRC’s:

  • Code of Conduct
  • Equality and Diversity policy
  • Health and Safety policy
  • Data Protection and Security policy

                                 Job descriptions should be reviewed on a regular basis and at the annual appraisal.  Any changes should be made and agreed between the post holder and their manager. 

                                The above lists are not exhaustive and the job holder is 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:


                                • BSc in Biological Sciences or related including a basic understanding of genome engineering techniques in animal models (gene targeting, CRISPR-based tools).


                                • MSc in Biological Sciences with laboratory-based molecular biology training.

                                Previous work experience required:


                                • Work in a molecular biology laboratory including techniques such as PCR, qPCR, cloning or other genomic technique.

                                • Handling/analysis of complex sequencing datasets.

                                • Experience of quality and customer focused work.


                                • Previous work with genetically modified materials.

                                • Previous experience in genotyping would be desirable.

                                Knowledge and experience:


                                • Experience in a technique of Molecular Biology e.g. qPCR, ddPCR or Nanopore sequencing.

                                • Computer literacy for the recording and communication of results.

                                • Previous experience with DNA sequence analysis software


                                • Experience of work in sterile conditions.

                                • Working and adhering to standard operating procedures and experience of process analysis and refinement. 

                                Personal skills/behaviours/qualities:


                                Organised, problem solving ability, hard-working with a strong eye for detail and is able to work well as part of a team.


                                Able to communicate clearly and concisely with a variety of scientists at all levels (from Principal investigator to research assistants and animal technicians).


                                Interviews will be held on Monday 14 June and Tuesday 15 June.

                                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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