Open Date

11/12/2023, 14:00

Close Date

15/01/2024, 23:55Research Institute1

MRC Laboratory of Molecular BiologyResearch Institute / Unit Information1

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 www.ukri.orgBand1

MRC – 4Location1


£39,375 per annumContract Type1

Fixed TermJob Type1

ScienceFull Time / Part Time1

Full TimeContract Length1

3 yearsJob Description1

Overall purpose: 

To work within the Light Microscopy Facility at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) to provide expertise in image analysis relevant to biological light microscopy image data through collaborative interaction with members of the LMB. Specifically, to develop and apply algorithms and workflows for the analysis of images acquired in the Light Microscopy Facility to further the research goals of groups at the LMB.

Main duties:

Under the general leadership of Jerome Boulanger:

•    To work closely with LMB staff to help specify appropriate image analysis protocols and further contextualize the information extracted from the acquired data. Assist the downstream analysis of a large variety of biological questions across the fields of cell biology, neuroscience, structural biology and developmental biology across the four Divisions of the LMB. 

•    To provide solutions for the analysis of data coming from high end instruments offering nano-scale capabilities up to macroscopic imaging including single molecule localization approaches, stimulated emission depletion, image scanning, confocal and light sheet microscopy.

•    To take advantage of opportunities to develop new skills in the field of image analysis either through close interaction with light microscopy facility image analysts or through external training courses. 

•    To contribute to teaching activities in the field of image processing and analysis with the aim of better equipping LMB staff, post-doctoral scientists and students to work on their own imaging data. This shall be through the creation of bespoke teaching material and the delivery of short courses such as; introductory level image processing, macro programming in Image J and image analysis in python. To contribute to local practical courses in light microscopy. 

•    To improve the use and dissemination of open source and commercial software in the Laboratory.

•    To provide expertise in image processing and analysis for image segmentation, object detection and image reconstruction using state of the art approaches in image processing and computer vision including machine learning and artificial intelligence.

•    To present your work at seminars within the Laboratory and at external meetings.

•    To contribute to the development of the processing and analysis for light microscopy image activity within the Laboratory and foster the use of advanced machine learning approaches.

•    To disseminate research findings in the form of publications, presentations, and reports.

•    To keep up to date with developments in the field, proposing or implementing changes of direction as necessary.

•    To contribute to the MRC’s engagement with the public and in the translation of research findings into improvements in health care.

Key responsibilities:

Within the overall direction of the Light Microscopy Facility, the LMB groups and in discussion with Jerome Boulanger, you will make a significant input into determining the direction of the team within a 3-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 research aims.

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 Facility, 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 Jerome Boulanger and have a close day to day working relationship with Dr Nick Barry and with members of the Light Microscopy facility. You will also liaise with other Research Support staff, Postdoctoral Scientists and Students across the LMB and with external collaborators.

Additional information:

This is a 3-year training and development position 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. 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 Specification1

Academic qualifications: 

These should include a PhD in a relevant subject or be due to complete PhD within 6 months. Relevant subjects include image processing, computer vision or biological sciences with significant experience in image analysis.

Technical skills and expertise:

•    Experience of and proven expertise in the field of image processing and analysis. 
•    Experience of computer programming, such as Python, Matlab, scripting or macros in Fiji/ImageJ. 
•    Excellent communication and interpersonal skills to facilitate collaboration with and training of a wide range of people.

•    Significant experience of and proven expertise in the field of light microscope image processing and analysis.
•    Knowledge of open-source software such CellProfiler, Icy, Ilastik, Cellpose or QuPath.
•    Knowledge of commercial software such as Imaris, Huygens or NIS Elements.
•    Familiarity with high performance cluster computing.
•    Experience in machine learning.
•    Experience in the management of large data sets.

Track record of research:

This will include achievements, and contributions to published papers.

Other relevant evidence of: 

•    Commitment.
•    Originality.
•    Ability to communicate.
•    Working with others.
•    Mentoring.
•    Influencing skills.

Additional information: 

Experience designing course material suitable for training PhD/Postdoc users of a light microscopy facility in the field of image processing will be an advantage. Further Information1

Corporate/Local responsibilities & requirements

You must at all times carry out your responsibilities with due regard to the UKRI: 
•    Code of Conduct
•    Equality, Diversity and Inclusion policy
•    Health and Safety policy
•    Data Protection policy

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

The above lists are not exhaustive and you are 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, the MRC and UKRI.  

The role holder will be required to have the appropriate level of security screening/vetting required for the role. UKRI reserves the right to run or re-run security clearance as required during the course of employment.

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.  The role holder will be required to have the appropriate level of security screening/vetting required for the role.  UKRI reserves the right to run or re-run security clearance as required during the course of employment.


Leave a Reply