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Head of Molecular Biology Laboratories

Natural History Museum
London, South Kensington
Band 3 (£54,500)
Closing date
7 Oct 2023

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Life Science
Job Type
Head of Department
Employment - Hours
Full time

About Us

The Natural History Museum (NHM) is a world-class visitor attraction and leading science research centre. We use our unique collections and unrivalled expertise to tackle the biggest challenges facing the world today. We care for more than 80 million specimens, both in our London and Tring museums, spanning billions of years and welcome more than five million visitors annually. A new site at Thames Valley Science Park, delivered 2026/27, will be added to the South Kensington and Tring sites, completing the NHM’s expansion towards a 3-site operating system where science (collections, research, laboratory facilities) is pursued across each/all sites.


NHM employs one of the largest concentrations of earth and life scientists in Europe and is home to one of the world’s most extensive collections of natural history specimens, an awe-inspiring resource of life on earth both past and present. It has a long-standing international reputation for excellence, innovation, and leadership in the broad fields of collections-informed science. At the forefront of leading research, we are experts in taxonomy, systematics and phylogenetics; biodiversity genomics; evolutionary biology; parasitology; ecology; palaeontology, mineralogy, planetary sciences, and bio/geodiversity informatics. To support the realisation of the NHM’s vision of a future where both people and planet thrive, we focus our science on solutions from and for nature.


Diversity and inclusion matter to us



Our vision is of a future where both people and the planet thrive. Diversity is one of our core values and we strive to build a workplace where everyone feels a sense of belonging. All new staff who join us learn about the importance of diversity and inclusion to the Museum and how to contribute to creating an inclusive environment.


We know we have more to do, but we are committed to ensuring that everyone who works at the Museum feels they can thrive and feel valued and respected.




About the role


The museum seeks to recruit an experienced scientific lead for the Molecular Biology Laboratories. Forming one division within the museum’s Science Innovation Platforms, the Molecular Biology Labs actively contribute to research in biological diversity. The successful candidate lead a team of about 10 people. The aim of the role is delivering the highest quality molecular facilities meeting the NHM needs within space and budget constraints. Working with closely with the Head of Science Innovation Platforms and the Research Leader in Collections-based Genomics you will provide scientific lead and expertise to NHM research staff, curators and students to maximise impact and efficiency of scientific discovery and delivery from the Molecular Biology Labs.


About you


We are looking for a dynamic and passionate individual who combines world-leading research with the vision, ambition and understanding to be a highly effective institutional leader. You will have a background in a life sciences discipline that complements existing activity at the Museum and a track record of using natural history collections in your research. You will have excellent strategic leadership skills and experience gained in a research environment. You will have a broad understanding of collections-based institutions in terms of both research opportunities and research culture.


The successful candidate is expected to have a strong interest in the application of molecular methods, and ideally knowledge across a broad taxonomic range, including zoological, botanical, microbiology or entomological sciences. 


You should possess excellent team-working, communication and personal organisation skills as well as excellent generic molecular biology laboratory skills, with evidence of ability to deliver technically difficult experiments and acquire new techniques quickly.


Experience managing projects to deliver successful outcomes, you will Identify, build and manage new collaborations and research with internal partners at NHM and external academic and industry groups.


Thriving at the Museum: the way we work

We are proud to work at the Museum and have identified the qualities we all need to embody to reach our shared ambition. This sits alongside the Museum’s values and forms the framework for the way we work.

A picture containing six coloured boxes with the words: We are ambitious, We are curious, We share the wonder, We are pioneering, We team up, We act with pace


What we offer


  • 27.5 days holiday plus 8 bank holidays (full time equivalent) Generous defined contribution Natural History Museum Pension Scheme (employer contribution 4 - 10%) Season ticket, bicycle and rental loan Life insurance Free admission to our exhibitions and many other paid exhibitions at museums, galleries and institutions across London and the UK. Staff discount at our Museum shops and cafes We offer a wide variety of training initiatives and opportunities to build skills. Investing in staff development is important to us, and we are ambitious about helping staff to grow and fulfil their potential. Affordable membership to the Civil Service Sports Council which offers a range of benefits including an extensive list of special offers and reduced entry fees at a selection of cinema chains, theme parks, theatres, retailers and supermarkets. It also provides entry to up to 300 English Heritage sites and other national treasures. For more details, visit Membership to our Sports and Social Association (for a small fee), which includes access to our in-house gym and clubs such as football, softball, table tennis and tennis and classes in Middle Eastern dance, yoga and Tai Chi





How to apply




If that sounds like you, please apply online on the Natural History Museum’s careers portal,





Closing date: 17:00, Friday 8th September 2023



Interviews expected w/c 2nd October 2023


Salary: Band 3 (£54,500)


Please note that this role qualifies for Museum sponsorship. Whilst we would still expect the successful postholder to have valid right to work in the UK at the point of starting the role, the Museum can support in obtaining a Certificate of Sponsorship for this role to apply for future or continued right to work in the UK. Please contact our Recruitment Team at if you have any further queries regarding this. 




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