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[Closes 21st February 2017] Postdoctoral Scientist - PNAC at MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology

Postdoctoral Scientists to undertake research to investigate, explore, and develop technologies for the targeting and delivery of therapeutic agents.

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 new laboratory 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.


MRC – PostDoc
£30,162 - £32,975
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Job Type
Full Time / Part Time
Full Time
Contract Length
2 Years
Job Description


Overall purpose: 

To work within the Group of Dr. Phil Holliger at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB), within a programme aimed at the development of novel technologies, in particular the development of novel technologies for biomolecular discovery. Specifically to undertake research to investigate explore and develop technologies for the targeting and delivery of therapeutic agents.

Main duties:

•  To undertake research aimed at developing novel technologies for the selection and development of XNA aptamers and antibody scFv fragments using novel high throughput screening approaches.
•  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.

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 2 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 Dr Phil Holliger 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:

These are 2 year training and development positions 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. You will get the choice upon appointment of undertaking a Career Development Fellowship or the MRC Post-Doctoral Training Scheme. 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.

You 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.

Person Specification

Academic qualifications:

PhD in a biological subject or due to complete doctoral studies within 6 months of applying (in a biological subject).

Technical skills and expertise:

Experience of and ability to perform techniques relevant to the project. 

Experience in recombinant DNA technology and other standard molecular biology techniques are essential. 

Track record of research:

Demonstrated ability to develop novel experimental approaches e.g. new methodologies and techniques. Experience in presenting scientific work, both written and orally. Contributions to scientific papers in international peer-reviewed journals. 

Other relevant evidence of:

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

Additional information:

Experience in next generation sequencing, data analysis, bioinformatics, machine learning and/or in vitro translation is desirable.

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 means that you will have access to a whole host of benefits from a final salary pension scheme and excellent holiday entitlement to access to employee shopping/travel discounts and salary sacrifice cycle to work scheme and childcare vouchers, as well as the chance to put the MRC 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.


Final appointments will be subject to pre-employment screening.


For more information, please click here.

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