Programme Leader Track

Programme Leader Track

MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology

Cambridge, United Kingdom

Overall purpose:

To lead an internationally competitive research programme at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) in the area of structural biology that will lead to solving long-term fundamental questions related to understanding mechanisms of gene regulation at the structural and mechanistic level. You will draw on the knowledge and expertise of other colleagues both within and outside the LMB through collaborative inputs and team-working. Your research programme should be suitably ambitious to take full advantage of the outstanding and stable research environment at the LMB.

Main duties:

  • To develop and lead a programme of discovery biology research within the portfolio of the Structural Studies Division.
  • The research programme will be ambitious and challenging.
  • To publish the work of the group in appropriate internationally visible scientific journals and other relevant media.
  • To present the results of the research at national and international meetings and conferences.
  • To recruit, train and line manage group members.
  • To manage the financial and equipment resources of the group including purchasing and managing the effective use of capital equipment.
  • To translate the results of research into useful new approaches or treatments that improve human health.
  • To contribute to the MRC’s engagement with the public and in particular to communicate the excitement of research to the public and taxpayer.
  • To ensure that any intellectual property is protected for the benefit of the country and the world.

Key responsibilities:

  • Planning the scientific direction of the research programme aimed at key questions within the overall scientific remit of the Structural Studies Division; being accountable for presenting the programme for peer review in accordance with MRC funding procedures.
  • Directing the activities of the research group by supervising some projects personally and overseeing projects delegated to group members. The post holder will be expected to provide the intellectual energy and independent thinking necessary to lead a programme of cutting-edge research and to shape the overall aims and success of the group.
  • Disseminating the research output from the group by publication of results, presentations at scientific meetings and responding to media enquiries.
  • Determining, obtaining and managing the resource requirements to sustain the programme, including the staffing structure required for taking forward the programme of research.
  • Taking responsibility for the recruitment, management, training and career development of group members, including line management and performance management, in accordance with the MRC’s policies and procedures.
  • Generating and managing collaborations both within the Division and LMB and with external establishments.
  • Recognising and acting on opportunities for the creation of intellectual property and cooperating in patent protection and in exploitation.
  • Contributing to the MRC’s commitment in the areas of training, enhancing public awareness of scientific issues, interaction with academic and health service providers and commercial exploitation where appropriate.
  • Maintaining a broad balanced and informed perspective of current scientific issues especially those pertaining directly to the field of research.
  • Contributing to scientific progress in the field as a whole by, for example, membership of expert committees, editing specialist journals, refereeing funding applications.
  • Contributing to public communications initiatives in order to facilitate greater public engagement with science.
  • Ensuring the research is conducted in accordance with good practice and in compliance with local policies and legal requirements.

Working relationships:

You will report to the Joint Heads of Division. As an independent Programme Leader you will interact with scientists and support staff at all levels within Structural Studies and the LMB, and externally with senior personnel in the national and international research community, including research institutes, funding bodies and commercial companies.

Education/qualifications/training required:

  • Essential: Ph.D. in a biological, physical or mathematical subject.
  • Desirable: Significant track record with clear emphasis on quality rather than quantity, with relevance to the main aims of the post in structural biology.

Previous work experience required:

  • Essential: Independent and internationally successful work on a relevant subject.

Knowledge and experience:


  • Has game-changing ideas for the development of a discovery biology research programme in structural biology of gene regulation.
  • Can demonstrate that the proposed research integrates well with the present and future science of the Division.
  • Can demonstrate scientific innovation, enabling apparently intractable problems to be successfully tackled and overcome.
  • Demonstrates, through track record of publications and other outputs, an ability to initiate and solve challenging and important questions in structural and cell biology.
  • Proven experience in presenting and defending the results of research at international conferences and meetings.


  • Successful delivery of projects from the proposal stage through to completion.
  • Evidence of having influenced knowledge or wider practice in the field.
  • Experience of providing the critical thinking required to create and run an independent research programme.
  • Has taken active role in successful collaborations both within the home institute and externally, influencing outcomes and/or direction.
  • Ability to recognise and act on opportunities for the creation of intellectual property and the exploitation of commercial potential; cooperating in patent protection and other mechanisms used by home institute to protect intellectual property.

Personal skills/behaviours/qualities:


  • Proactive and creative independent thinker.
  • Ability to lead people within a research group in an inspiring manner, strong skills in working with staff of different levels, including non-science specialists, across the home institute.
  • Ability to take critical and timely decisions.
  • Tenacity and resilience.

Additional information:

We are looking for a dynamic individual who will contribute across the LMB as well as within the Division.

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© EuroJobsites 2021

EuroJobsites is a registered company number: 4694396 VAT number: GB 880 9055 04

Registered address: EuroJobsites Ltd, Unit 8, Kingsmill Business Park, Kingston Upon Thames, London, KT1 3GZ, United Kingdom

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