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(Senior) Laboratory Research Scientist

Francis Crick Institute
London (Greater) (GB)
From £31,675 subject to skills and experience
Closing date
30 Jun 2023

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Life Science
Job Type
Employment - Hours
Full time

Job Details

Laboratory Research Scientist (LRS) or Senior Laboratory Research Scientist (SLRS)

Reporting to: Michael Winding, Group Leader

Contract term: This is a full-time, permanent position on Crick terms and conditions of employment. Appointment to LRS or SLRS depends on experience and qualifications.

Salary for this Role: LRS, from £31,675 to £35,900. SLRS, from £39,950 to £45,275 with benefits, subject to skills and experience, and opportunities for advancement.

The Role

The role of a (Senior) Laboratory Research Scientist in the Crick is diverse and rewarding. The role allows one to pursue science without the stress of acquiring funding or worrying about temporary contracts. The role involves leading or supporting one or more scientific projects or programmes.  The role covers a wide range of different functions and allows for continuity of lab operations. Typical activities include:

• Assisting and collaborating with other lab members on their research projects.

• Providing experimental or technical support to lab members.

• Undertaking own research project, designing, and executing experiments with strategic direction from the group leader.

• Managing long-term investigations and collaborations with other researchers.

• Participating in academic activities, including group meetings and journal clubs, seminars, and scientific meetings.

• Writing up findings for publication and completing revisions.

• Occasional organisation and management of the laboratory, including maintaining laboratory databases, ordering of laboratory supplies, monitoring budgets, and routine maintenance of laboratory equipment.

• Training and supervising other lab members in key techniques and protocols, lab operations, and equipment use.

• Liaising with Science Operations and attending key quadrant meetings.

• Writing risk assessments and SOPs and providing safety guidance to lab members.

The Research Group

The position will be in Dr. Michael Winding’s laboratory, which opened in April 2023. The Social Circuits and Connectomics Lab investigates how neuronal circuits in the brain drive social interactions between animals. To make this problem tractable, the lab focuses on cooperative foraging between fruit fly larvae (Drosophila melanogaster). The LRS/SLRS will assist the Group Leader in establishing the lab from the ground up, including testing and prototyping equipment, helping train PhD students and postdocs, and establishing a welcoming and vibrant lab culture. In collaboration with the Crick Scientific Technology Platforms (STPs), the lab is developing behavioural rigs to track the behaviour of individual animals, enhanced focused-ion beam SEM (eFIBSEM) to acquire new connectomics datasets, and two-photon functional imaging of individual neurons during behaviour. The LRS/SLRS will report to the Group Leader.

Key responsibilities

These include but are not limited to:

  • Setting up/testing equipment (behavioural rigs, eFIBSEM, 2P microscopes, etc.)

  • Generating, proofreading, and analysing new connectomes

  • Maintain working knowledge of laboratory equipment and techniques

  • Leading an independent research project

  • Assisting in training and mentoring lab members

  • Assisting in the projects of other lab members

Experience and Competencies

The ideal candidate will have a mixture of computational and experimental skills. A working knowledge of a programming language (preferrable python) is essential, as well as experience with microscopy (ideally two-photon) and/or behavioural experiments. An important requirement is a candidate with a very strong drive to learn new techniques and maintain this knowledge within the group, allowing smooth transitions between new and departing lab members. Part of this role will therefore involve training new lab members and collaborating with them on their projects when needed.

The LRS/SLRS will also pursue their own research project, including long-term projects with strategic direction from the Group Leader. These projects could methodologically involve genetic behavioural screens, generating and proofreading connectomics datasets, scRNA-seq, and/or functional imaging with tracking two-photon microscopes. A proven track record of strong publications is desirable.

LRS: Applies specific technical or practical skills and has a well-developed working knowledge of technical or scientific practices and procedures acquired through on-the-job, vocational or academic training. Work will involve the application of skills and knowledge to provide a range of technical support activities.

SLRS: Applies an in-depth knowledge of research, technical or other scientific practices, methods and procedures gained through either experience and/or formal academic qualifications and applies this knowledge to provide a range of specialist activities.

The post holder should embody and demonstrate our core Crick values:

Bold; Open; Collegial


  • Ability and desire to learn new skills

  • Working knowledge of a programming language

  • Experimental background (microscopy, behavioural/genetic experiments, etc.)

  • Ability to work collaboratively

  • Ability to communicate and present data


PhD in a relevant discipline, such as neuroscience, biosciences, or quantitative fields, or equivalent experience

  • Experience with python

  • Experience with light microscopy (two-photon ideally)

  • Excellent organisational skills

  • Experience in training/mentoring others

  • Experience facilitating collaborations


About Us

At the Crick, we conduct research at the forefront of biomedical research. We combine rigour with an open and collaborative culture, and are outward-looking, reflecting our status as a partnership of six organisations aiming to pool knowledge, ideas and resources.

We have a wide research portfolio with no divisions or departments, bringing biomedical researchers together with clinicians, physical scientists and applied scientists from our pharmaceutical partners.

We aim to attract the most talented researchers and support them to tackle innovative research questions. Our science technology platforms provide our researchers with access to state-of-the-art technology and expertise.

We provide an excellent learning environment with dedicated education programmes in public engagement with science, education and personal development, and a postdoc training programme that prepares scientists for leadership roles in science.

  • If you are interested in applying for this role, please apply via our website.

  • All offers of employment are subject to successful security screening and continuous eligibility to work in the United Kingdom.

  • If you require a visa to work in the UK we will help support your application should you be successful


Equality, Diversity & Inclusion

We welcome applications from all backgrounds. We are committed to providing equal employment opportunities, regardless of ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, pregnancy, age, disability, or civil partnership, marital or family status. We particularly welcome applications from people who are Minority Ethnic as they are currently underrepresented in the Crick at this level.

Diversity is essential to excellence in scientific endeavour. It increases breadth and perspective, leading to more innovation and creativity. We want the Crick to be a place where everyone feels valued and where diversity is celebrated and seen as part of the foundation for our Institute’s success.

The Crick is committed to creating equality of opportunity and promoting diversity and inclusivity. We all share in the responsibility to actively promote dignity, respect, inclusivity and equal treatment and it is our aim to ensure that these principles are reflected and implemented in all strategies, policies and practices.

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At the Crick, we’re committed to advancing, promoting, and sharing understanding of human health and disease. We do that by attracting talented and ambitious people from all disciplines and backgrounds and giving them the support and freedom they need to succeed. Inside the Crick, you’ll discover scientists working to stretch the very limits of what we know about how life works. Their research holds the key to answering fundamental questions about human health and disease. Our bold and innovative research projects bring together scientists and technicians from all disciplines in the pursuit of discovery without boundaries. With the support of our partners, we’re bridging the gap between discovery and application to help change lives for the better. And through our dynamic structure, we’re able to develop the science leaders of tomorrow. That’s our bold idea, tell us yours.

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