GeMS Research Officer

The Francis Crick Institute
22500.00 GBP Annual + subject to skills and experience
03 Aug 2017
17 Aug 2017
Contract Type
Full Time


The BRF GeMS Research Officer (RO) position is considered a supporting role to the rest of the team, and will require the post holder to have a basic knowledge of the service's work and contribute to several aspects of it, often specialising in the general laboratory management work.

The post-holder will interact closely with other members of the lab, and the wider GeMS Service. In addition, the post-holder will interact with other scientists and staff across other labs at the Crick, staff across the Biological Research Facility. The post holder will work under the supervision of a Senior GeMS Research Scientist, as well as working closely with other members of the team.


Animal models provide an important means to determine gene function and model disease. The Biological Research Facility (BRF) are providing expertise and support for housing and experiment, all underpinned with world-class standards of welfare. Within the BRF, the Genetic Manipulation Services (GeMS) team provides the specialist skills and resources for the production, storage and use of genetically modified animals & cell lines together with ancillary techniques.

The services that GeMS offer include but are not limited to:

  • Micromanipulation - introduction of gene sequence by cytoplasmic or pronuclear microinjection of one cell fertilised embryos, ES cell microinjection of blastocysts or 8 cell embryos and aggregation
  • Surgical expertise- mainly embryo transfer surgery but specialism in other surgical techniques as required as well as training in aseptic technique
  • Cryopreservation of rodent and aquatic germplasm for archiving and backup of GA lines
  • Assisted Reproductive techniques such as IVF, AI, ICSI
  • Rederivation of live and frozen imports & exports to and from the Crick, managing the shipment process, and maintaining the integrity of the health status of the BRF.
  • Molecular biology -design and production of sequences for targeting strategies, with a focus on CRISPR & novel techniques.
  • Colony management and Genotyping of commonly used GA lines maintained by the BRF
  • Stem Cell culture, maintenance and transfection, derivation and characterisation for both human and rodent SC.


The post holder will be expected to support the team in a range of areas, whilst also being responsible for the daily maintenance of the laboratory. They will also be expected to actively contribute to the continued development of the section, and to expand, refine and improve the work of the section, and the welfare of the animals used.

These include but not limited to;

  • In the first instance, the post holder will be an active member of the team's rodent cryopreservation service. They would also assist other members of GeMS within the BRF in their work.
  • To support the service by maintaining the laboratories. This will include but not be limited to:
  • Maintenance of the laboratories, store rooms and dedicated surgical suites, including preparation of consumables for all activities, keeping accurate service records for equipment, cleaning of the facility including all incubators and hoods and testing and aliquoting of stocks
  • Embryo harvesting
  • Maintenance and distribution of consumables for the procedures team
  • Topping up of the LN2 banks
  • To help out where necessary in the husbandry and breeding of rodents with guidance from Named Animal Care and Welfare officers, and experienced animal technicians, as well as carrying out regulated and non-regulated procedural work where applicable.
  • To maintain suitable records of the services work through use of the Institute's database such as the MCMS. To maintain and compile procedural records for the Home Office.
  • Carrying out any other duties as may be appropriate to the role as directed

Health & Safety

  • Working to defined Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
  • Gaining awareness and adhering to all Health and Safety Regulations
  • Maintaining through adherence of strict SOP's the integrity of the microbiological barriers for all BRF areas and to report any potential and actual breaches to a BRF Research Scientist and/or BRF Senior Research Scientist
  • Gaining and maintaining knowledge of relevant legislation for example Animal (Scientific Procedures Act) 1986


  • Conveying of information clearly to others with own and other teams maintaining and fostering good client relationships
  • Reporting and communicating in a timely manner any issues/problems identified in the unit to the relevant person


The Francis Crick Institute is a biomedical discovery institute dedicated to understanding the fundamental biology underlying health and disease. Its work is helping to understand why disease develops and to translate discoveries into new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, infections, and neurodegenerative diseases.

An independent organisation, its founding partners are the Medical Research Council (MRC), Cancer Research UK, Wellcome, UCL (University College London), Imperial College London and King's College London.

The Crick was formed in 2015, and in 2016 it moved into a brand new state-of-the-art building in central London which brings together 1500 scientists and support staff working collaboratively across disciplines, making it the biggest biomedical research facility under a single roof in Europe.

The Francis Crick Institute will be world-class with a strong national role. Its distinctive vision for excellence includes commitments to collaboration; to developing emerging talent and exporting it the rest of the UK; to public engagement; and to helping turn discoveries into treatments as quickly as possible to improve lives and strengthen the economy.


The post holder should embody and demonstrate our core Crick values: Bold, Imaginative, Open, Dynamic and Collegial, in addition to the following:


  • Further education such as A-level Biology or a qualification in a relevant scientific field or relevant experience, including laboratory experience, previous use of microscopes, customer service experience.
  • Respects and has empathy towards the care and use of animals in science
  • Experience with or willingness to work on animal models, particularly rodents
  • Demonstration of contributing effectively to the work of a team
  • Is able to participate where necessary in weekend/public/privilege holiday rota for essential animal care.


  • A degree in a relevant subject is desirable.
  • Experience or knowledge of some of the jobs roles, such as embryo handling and culture, animal handling & dissection, ES cell work, micromanipulation of embryos, PCR, transgenics, cryopreservation, microscope use.
  • Holding a Home Office Personal Licence (modules 1-3)

Skills and Abilities:

  • Is conscientious and reliable
  • Ability to organise own tasks on a daily basis
  • Proactive and flexible to the demands of the role
  • Is conscientious in undertaking the job and wants to do well
  • Good time keeping skills and manages own workload as instructed.
  • Can maintain accurate records
  • Good written and communication skills
  • Possesses good observational and attention to detail skills
  • Ability to gain proficiency in Microsoft based software and internet skills
  • Strives for continuous improvement in performance
  • Familiarity and ability to comply with Crick policy and procedures