Vacancy Details: Science Technician (Protein Crystallography and Biophysical Analysis Facilities)

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John Innes Centre

JIC is an independent, international centre of excellence in plant science and microbiology. Our mission is to carry out fundamental and strategic research, to train scientists and to make our findings available to society.

The scientific research at the Centre makes use of a wide range of disciplines in the biological and chemical sciences, including cell biology, biochemistry, chemistry, genetics and molecular biology.

The John Innes Centre prides itself on being a welcoming and inclusive working environment for all. We have a diverse and multicultural scientific community and thrive on our European and international links. The John Innes Centre is proud to hold a prestigious Athena SWAN Gold award, recognising the impact of our work in promoting gender equality in science. For more information, go to http://www.jic.ac.uk/training-careers/athena-swan/. We are also a proud member of the Stonewall Diversity Champion’s programme and, as a Disability Confident employer, guarantee to offer an interview to all disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria for the post.

The John Innes Centre is a registered charity (No. 223852), limited by guarantee (registered in England No. 511709) and is an Equal Opportunities Employer.

Athena Swan

disability confident employer

   Stonewall Diversity Champion

Advancing gender equality in science, engineering and technology.

Post Number1003404
Job TitleScience Technician (Protein Crystallography and Biophysical Analysis Facilities)
Closing Date23 Feb 2018
GradeSC7
Starting Salary£24,300 - £29,750
Hours per week 37
Expected/Ideal Start Date 30 Apr 2018
Months Duration 36
Main purpose of the job To provide high quality technical specialist support to users of the Protein Crystallography and Biophysical Analysis facilities.



The Protein Crystallography (PX) facility provides services and expertise to assist in the determination of the three-dimensional structures of proteins of interest. These reveal the atomic details of biological systems, providing deep insights into molecular interactions, gene regulation, enzyme mechanism, protein function and protein evolution. We also have regular access to macromolecular crystallography beamlines at the Diamond Light Source for X-ray data collection.


The Biophysical Analysis (BA) facility is used to study biomolecular interactions. We currently have a Biacore T200 Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) instrument and MicroCal PEAQ-Isothermal Titration Calorimeter (ITC) instrument.
Department Biological Chemistry
The Biological Chemistry Department at the John Innes Centre carries out fundamental research on molecular processes in plants and microbes. With activities ranging from determining DNA topoisomerase structure to mechanism and the generation of novel functional nanostructures from engineered viruses, we employ a multidisciplinary approach that embraces contemporary aspects of enzymology, structural and molecular biology, bionanotechnology, carbohydrate and natural product chemistry. Coupled with state-of-the-art platform technologies for structural, proteomic and chemical genomic analysis, the Department bridges the gap between molecular science and cellular and systems biology. Collectively these studies provide key information with which to manipulate and control molecules, pathways and processes of agronomic, environmental and industrial importance.
Group Details The post will be split between the Protein Crystallography (70%) and Biophysical Analysis facilities (30%)
Advert Text Applications are invited for an enthusiastic and motivated individual to join the John Innes Centre as a Science Technician supporting our Protein Crystallography and Biophysical Analysis facilities.

Background:

The John Innes Centre is an independent, international centre of excellence in plant and microbial sciences.

The Protein X-ray Crystallography (PX) facility provides services and expertise for the determination of the three-dimensional structures of proteins of interest. The Biophysical Analysis (BA) facility provides services and expertise to study important biomolecular interactions using the techniques of Surface Plasmon Resonance and Isothermal Titration Calorimetry. Together these facilities provide deep insights into molecular interactions, gene regulation, enzyme mechanism, protein function and protein evolution.

The role:

We are seeking a science technician to support the work of the protein crystallography (PX) and biophysical analysis (BA) facilities. 70% of the time would be spent supporting the PX facility and 30% supporting the BA facility. The major responsibilities would include looking after specialist lab equipment, replenishing laboratory stocks, and liaising with users of the facilities to ensure that the service delivered is of excellent scientific quality.

The ideal candidate:

We are keen to employ an enthusiastic person with proven laboratory skills who is eager to work on a scientific facility providing excellent expertise and services to both internal and external users. Candidates should possess a BSc or equivalent in a biological subject, or possess significant relevant experience of working in a laboratory setting.

The candidate must to be able to work independently, have excellent organisational skills and good oral and written communication skills. The ability to act quickly to give advice or troubleshoot any issues is also very important. The ability to work occasional unsociable hours is also required.

Additional information:

Salary on appointment will be within the range £24,300 to £29,750 per annum depending on qualifications and experience. This post is for an initial contract of three years.

We welcome applications from candidates seeking job-share, part-time or other flexible working arrangements.

For further information and details of how to apply, please visit our web site http://jobs.jic.ac.uk or contact the Human Resources team on 01603 450462 or nbi.recruitment@nbi.ac.uk quoting reference 1003404.

We are an equal opportunities employer, actively supporting inclusivity and diversity. As a Disability Confident organisation, we guarantee to offer an interview to all disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria for this vacancy. The John Innes Centre is also proud to hold a Gold Award from Athena SWAN and is a member of Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme.
Key relationships The work will be supervised by Clare Stevenson (manager of BA facility and scientist on the PX facility), but the post holder will also work closely with David Lawson (manager of the PX facility).
The job holder's main interactions will be with the users of both facilities. The majority of users are from the John Innes Centre, but there are also users from across the Norwich Research Park and a few external customers. The technician will also have interactions with stores, purchasing, estates and computing staff, as well as liaising with engineers and reps from the equipment suppliers.
Main Activities & ResponsibilitiesPercentage
Contribute to the smooth running of the Protein Crystallography (PX) scientific facility. The main responsibilities are shown below:
• General Lab management
• Ensuring all consumables, screens and cryogenic equipment are re-stocked and suitable for users
• Maintenance and trouble-shooting of any issues with the crystallisation robots
• Training of users in crystallisation screening and optimisation
• Preparation of crystals for, and occasional help with, data collection at Diamond Light Source
70
Contribute to the smooth running of the Biophysical Analysis (BA) scientific facility. The main responsibilities are shown below:
• Undertaking routine administrative tasks, such as waste disposal and maintenance of laboratory supplies and stocks
• Performing system checks and cleaning procedures on the SPR instrument
• Training of facility users and troubleshooting routine work in Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) and Isothermal Titration Calorimetry (ITC)
30
Continually striving for excellence, seeking out and acting on feedback and relevant learning and development opportunities
As agreed with the line manager, any other duties commensurate with the nature of the post

Education & QualificationsRequirementImportance
BSc or equivalent in Biological Sciences or related subject, or significant, relevant experience of working in a laboratoryEssential
RSci statusDesirable

Specialist Knowledge & SkillsRequirementImportance
Good computer skillsEssential
Excellent organisation and time management skillsEssential
Knowledge and experience of protein crystallisation experimentsDesirable
Knowledge and experience of surface plasmon resonanceDesirable
Knowledge and experience of Isothermal Titration calormentryDesirable
Experience in delivering scientific training to othersDesirable

Relevant ExperienceRequirementImportance
Demonstrated ability to perform scientific experimentsEssential
Proven record of general lab management Essential
Experience of working in a laboratory environmentEssential
Experience in protein crystallography, SPR and ITCDesirable

Interpersonal & Communication SkillsRequirementImportance
Good interpersonal skills, with the ability to work as part of a teamEssential
Demonstrated ability to work independently, using initiative and applying problem solving skillsEssential
Excellent time management and organisational skillsEssential
Ability to prioritise to meet the demands of the both the PX and BA platformsEssential
Excellent communication skills, both written and oral, including the ability to present complex information with clarity Essential
Ability to collaborate with internal and external customersEssential
Ability to follow instructions/Standard Operating ProceduresEssential
Promotes and strives for continuous improvementEssential
Demonstrates enthusiasm for and commitment to working as part of a scientific facilityEssential

Additional RequirementsRequirementImportance
Promotes equality and values diversityEssential
Willingness to embrace the expected values and behaviours of all staff at the Institute, ensuring it is a great place to workEssential
Able to present a positive image of self and the Institute, promoting both the international reputation and public engagement aims of the Institute Essential
Ability to maintain confidentiality and security of information where appropriate Essential
Willingness to occasionally work outside standard working hours when required Essential
Ability to undertake occasional travel (national and international) related to conferences, workshops or collaborationsEssential

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