Scientific Operations Assistant (HR Support) Maternity Cover - Operations Group - Scientific Operations - LMB 1478

Updated: 2 months ago
Location: Cambridge, ENGLAND
Deadline: 18 Feb 2021

View Vacancy -- Scientific Operations Assistant (HR Support) Maternity Cover - Operations Group - Scientific Operations - LMB 1478
Open Date
03/02/2021, 12:30
Close Date
18/02/2021, 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

Fixed Term

Administration & Management

Full or Part Time options

9 months with the possibility of an extension to one year

Overall purpose:
To contribute to the smooth running of the Scientific Operations team at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) and to provide all parts of the LMB’s Operations Group with HR related support in collaboration with the LMB HR team.
Main duties:
Duties include supporting the Scientific Operations Manager in operational matters and to deliver a ‘can do’ approach to scientific operations within the LMB.
Dealing with all aspects of HR for visiting workers including members of the University Molecular Immunity Unit, the Restaurant and Security staff, ensuring all necessary information is provided to the Starting Work Team at UKSBS and recorded on Oracle.
Recording on a spreadsheet the dates for new visiting workers and leavers for the University Molecular Immunity Unit in consultation with the Laboratory Manager and send this information monthly to LMB Finance for billing purposes.
Providing staff in the Operations Group with HR related support, in collaboration with the LMB HR team, including, but not limited to:

  • Overseeing the processes for members of staff and summer students joining and leaving the LMB,
  • Processing and filing paperwork related to any contractual changes,
  • Actively supporting the recruitment process,
  • Liaising with HR on immigration issues where necessary,
  • Processing sickness absence and annual leave on corporate systems,
  • Co-ordinating the annual PDR appraisal process,
  • Co-ordinating the probation process.

Preparing forms and documentation and raising service requests to UK Shared Business Services Ltd. (UKSBS), including but not limited to:

  • Maternity and paternity process,
  • Fit notes,
  • Annual leave changes,
  • Special leave requests,
  • Overtime,
  • Flexible working requests,
  • Awards, bonuses and allowances,
  • Creating new position numbers.

The post holder will be the first point of contact in the Operations Group for staff seeking information and advice about policies and practice, providing them with guidance and information which is timely, appropriate and clearly communicated, including signposting them to other sources of help when applicable. The post holder will therefore need to:

  • Develop a good understanding of the workings of the LMB and MRC/UKRI, especially its policies, procedures and requirements.
  • Maintain a level of expertise and competence required for the role, and specifically remaining up to date with changes in corporate policies and practices and implementing new and existing corporate HR policies under the guidance of the HR team.
  • Deal with issues proactively so that they do not escalate and that problems are minimised; identifying issues which may escalate and seeking advice as appropriate.
  • Exercise good judgement in deciding which issues can be resolved by the post holder and which issues need to be referred to the HR team or others.
  • Work with managers in the Operations Group to provide HR policy and process information or assistance and direct them to the HR team when appropriate for expert HR advice.
  • Ensure accurate and complete HR records are kept within the Scientific Operations function and maintaining any associated FileMaker databases in full compliance with the Data Protection Act and other statutory requirements.
  • Maintain the quality and accuracy of corporate HR data on the Oracle system in respect of all members of the Operations Group, ensuring resolution of issues directly with UKSBS.
  • Distribute information such as Staff Bulletins around the Operations Group in a timely manner via noticeboards, electronic circulation lists, the LMB intranet etc.

Attending and contributing to the bi-monthly LMB Administrator meetings.
Working with others within Scientific Operations to ensure timely booking of the Max Perutz Lecture Theatre and other seminar rooms.
Acting as authorised signatory on catering requests for the Operations Group and on non-employee expenses.
Managing the LMB’s relationship with local travel providers (e.g. taxi firms) and maintain a list of authorised users.
Managing the provision of University Centre cards for members of the LMB and its associated costs.
Undertaking specific projects, as required, within the LMB and the wider UKRI MRC.
Working relationships:
The post holder is directly responsible to the Scientific Operations Manager.
The post holder will need to develop excellent working relationships with members of the Operations Group at all levels, visiting scientists from the University as well as long-term contractors (e.g. Restaurant and security staff).
The post holder will work closely with the LMB HR team.
The post holder will liaise with UKSBS on a regular basis to resolve queries.
This is a hands-on role and involves interactions with staff at all levels.
The post holder has no line management responsibility.
Additional information:
The above lists are not exhaustive and the post 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 UKRI MRC. 

Education / qualifications / training required:
Essential: Education to at least A’ Level standard or equivalent experience.

  • HR qualification,
  • Educated to degree level,
  • Has completed MRC panel interview training course.

Previous work experience required:
Essential: Significant experience in a varied administrative role.
Desirable: Administrative experience working in the public sector or in a scientific environment.

Knowledge and experience:

  • Ability and experience to know when to escalate HR issues to an HR team,
  • Extensive experience of using Word, Excel, email, databases and electronic diaries,
  • Experience of working independently and taking responsibility for own work,
  • Experience of working with, and confident in interactions with, senior staff.


  • Experience in an HR role or experience providing assistance to such a role,
  • Competence in using integrated corporate IT systems e.g. Oracle,
  • Experience of working effectively with limited supervision.

Personal skills / behaviours / qualities:
Time management:

  • Ability to plan, prioritise and organise tasks and activities to achieve clearly defined objectives and hit deadlines,
  • Good time management skills and an ability to deal with constant interruptions and alterations to daily priorities,
  • Ability to answer queries in a timely manner.

Verbal and written communication skills:

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills,
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to build effective working relationships with others,
  • Ability to use tact, maintain confidentiality, and seek co-operation even in difficult circumstances,
  • Ability to deal with difficult situations and, with suitable support, able to determine appropriate actions and then to carry these through,
  • Ability to deal with staff of all levels,
  • Ability to forge good collaborative relationships both within the LMB and externally (e.g. UKSBS).

Other skills:

  • Good numeracy skills,
  • Ability to provide accurate information and to capture fine details and ensure consistency of data in an efficient manner,
  • Has a positive and proactive approach,
  • Ability to use initiative when required,
  • Demonstrable commitment to continuous professional development.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to interview w/c 15th February 2021 and would be required to start on 19th April 2021.
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:

Please note that this vacancy is currently open to Civil Service candidates only.

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.

View or Apply

Similar Positions