Vacancy in the post of Research Assistant @ MRC Laboratory

Research at the Medical Research Council – Mitochondrial Biology Unit (MBU) is focussed on the involvement of mitochondria and their dysfunction in an ever-increasing range of human diseases, and even, perhaps, in the process of ageing.Their Unit has three major scientific aims: to understand the fundamental processes taking place in mitochondria, to understand the involvement of these processes in human diseases and to exploit knowledge of these fundamental processes for the development of new therapies to treat human diseases.

Job title: Research Assistant

Salary range: £21,733 – £23,597 (rising to £29,248)

Detailed job description

Overall purpose:

To provide scientific support for Dr. Julien Prudent and the Mitochondrial Physiology group. The incumbent will assist in the planning, piloting and carrying out of various scientific investigations of mitochondrial physiology.

Main duties / key responsibilities:

In collaboration with Dr. Prudent and other scientists within the group, and with due adherence to statutory regulations concerning health and safety in the workplace, the post holder will:

  1. Assist in the planning, piloting and carrying out of investigations, including:
  • Design of investigations, experimental procedures and protocols.
  • Preparation and organisation of equipment and lists of reagents held in the group.
  • The post holder will liaise with unit and external technical staff to obtain equipment and materials.
  • Preparation of chemical solutions and reagents.
  • Maintenance of cultures mammalian cell lines.
  • Performance of standard molecular biological techniques including gels and blots for nucleic acids and proteins, and molecular cloning techniques.
  • Performance of cell biology techniques including immunofluorescence and microscopy analysis.
  • Running experiments, making relevant observations and collecting data.

2. Analyse results including:

  • Collating and coding data, using spreadsheets, graphing and statistical software and proactively resolving problems encountered in such processes.
  • Assisting to write up protocols and results of experiments and data analysis in conjunction with scientists and Group Leader.
  • Assisting in the preparation of graphs, tables, slides and papers for presentation

3. Remain informed of developments in relevant scientific literature by:

  • Reading relevant literature.
  • Attending relevant talks and seminars.

4. Assist in the management and smooth running of the lab by:

  •  Maintaining records of risk assessments and other safety documentation to ensure the group’s compliance with Unit safety policies.
  • Maintaining records of samples, chemicals, equipment etc.
  • Liaising with MBU Lab Management regarding equipment purchasing, repairs and other laboratory maintenance issues.
  • Perform any other duties appropriate to the post as instructed by the group leader.

Working relationships:

The Post holder will interact with other members of the Group and with technical, administrative and research staff in the Unit and elsewhere in the MRC and with suppliers and other scientific organisations as required.


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


Education / Qualifications / Training required:

Essential: HNC/HND or equivalent

Desirable:Degree in biological/biochemistry or cell biology

Previous work experience required:

Essential: Lab training and experience appropriate to required duties, especially in molecular biology and cloning, protein analysis and cell biology (immunofluorescence).

Desirable: Adenovirus production and amplification; CRISPR/cas9 system.

Knowledge and experience:


  • Proven proficiency in general lab duties.
  • Experience in record keeping.
  • Experience in planning and conducting experiments.
  • Knowledge of fundamental processes in molecular and cell biology, especially in mitochondrial biology and cell death.


  • Knowledge of lab management and organization.
  • Knowledge of Inter-organelles contacts and intracellular calcium homeostasis.

Personal skills/behaviours/qualities:

Essential: Excellent standards of Research Conduct, Highly-motivated, Strong team player, Capable of taking independent decisions, Collaborative, Organisation skills.

Desirable: An ambition to pursue a research career contributing to scientific discovery at the cutting-edge of important biomedical challenges.

How to apply:

Interested and eligible candidates can apply for the vacancy online. [sociallocker] Apply online [/sociallocker]

Closing date for receipt of online applications: 22nd March 2016.