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Analytical Facilities Manager

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The Rosalind Franklin Institute (the Franklin) is a new national research institute, funded by the UK government through UK Research and Innovation, dedicated to bringing about transformative changes in life science through interdisciplinary research and technology.

As a technical specialist within the Next Generation Chemistry theme of the Franklin, you will help establish, maintain and develop the underpinning analytical infrastructure and instrumentation that is essential to all the work in the Theme. You will contribute and advise on diverse scientific projects, training researchers in the use of equipment, contributing to data analysis, and overseeing equipment operation and maintenance.

A primary task will be managing high-throughput NMR spectrometers, initially housed at Diamond Light Source, later the Franklin building (opening spring 2021), to meet the needs of the Franklin community on the Harwell campus. Your role will entail establishing effective NMR and MS methods for small molecule characterisation, amongst others, and establishing and exploiting NMR, MS and other biophysical methods for characterisation of biomolecules and of ligand-biomolecule interactions. You will also work with key partners in this area such as the High-Throughput Discovery team, Diamond's XChem team for potency analysis of fragment-derived compound sets and other complementary facilities on the Harwell Campus and partner institutions/universities. Your remit will expand along with the Institute's activity and equipment, to support all work in synthetic, medicinal and chemical biology. Accordingly, your tasks will increasingly encompass diverse equipment such as fluorescence plate readers, surface plasmon resonance devices, isothermal calorimeters, etc.


You will:

• Ensure maximum uptime of all analytical equipment in your remit (initially NMR, expanding later), by ensuring you are fully trained, implementing and following maintenance schedules, troubleshooting and fixing problems either directly or via vendors, maintaining spares and stocks, and related duties.

• Take responsibility for health and safety, working with local SHE advisers, ensuring that work in the infrastructures and laboratories is conducted safely and in accordance with HSE statutory, regulatory and institute regulations, incorporating changes in safety legislation as relevant.

• Ensure all equipment in your remit consistently performs optimally, by developing and executing calibration protocols and schedules.

• Develop and implement standard operating procedures for all routine experiments required by the scientific projects in the Institute, to simplify access for non-expert scientists

• Where appropriate provide training or access to training for hands-on users (or 'super-user') from Franklin groups. It is envisaged that a community of pro-active users will lead to the maximum usage times.

• Organise and manage access to maximise productivity of the relevant research projects of the user community at the Franklin and on the Harwell Campus. This will involve consideration of schedules of access outside of typical working hours.

• Manage interaction with vendors, including training, service contracts, coordinating repairs, arranging for stocks and spares, and any other related tasks you identify.

• Manage interactions with relevant services accessed at partner institutions in this area, where these seem appropriate, relevant and/or complementary.

• Coordinate the Franklin activity relevant to this activity with partners, especially Diamond and the Research Complex at Harwell.

• Contribute to the public engagement in science programme of the Franklin and partners.

• Any other duties that come up in the normal running of the facility and that can be reasonably requested of the post-holder.

Selection criteria


• A relevant PhD qualification (or close to completion), or equivalent experience, in analytical/physical chemistry or biomolecular science.

• Demonstrated ability to implement and use of various multinuclear 1D and 2D NMR methods for structure elucidation of molecules.

• Experience with biomolecule (e.g. protein) NMR methods (e.g. NOESY) and characterisation of biomolecule-ligand complexes

• Practical experience with mass spectrometric instrumentation including chromatography, LC-MS and MS-based structure elucidation.

• Experience with analytical sample preparation laboratory features, such as hazardous chemicals, specialist gases, cryogens, fume hoods, glove boxes, centrifuges, vacuum equipment, and microscopes.

• Experience with data interpretation and analysis with emphasis on spectral pre-processing, statistical analysis and molecular structure elucidation.

• Experience in training and/or conveying key skills.

• Experience with HSE legislation, risk assessments and COSHH.

• Experience with IT maintenance.

• Ability to document experiments and protocols thoroughly and concisely.

• Ability to co-ordinate multiple aspects of work in order to meet deadlines.

• Ability to work as part of a team as well as independently.

• Ability to solve problems independently using innovative and flexible thinking.

• Excellent organisational and communication skills.

• Ability to travel occasionally for training or dissemination of your work.


• Experience of NMR and MS maintenance and troubleshooting

• Experience with general laboratory equipment maintenance

• Experience with biophysical techniques such as SPR, ITC, fluorescence, etc.

• Experience with general lab management

• Experience with electronic record keeping

• Experience with electronic data and database management

• Basic programming and scripting skills in Python or C++, especially those of relevance to the operating systems of NMR and MS machines.

• Experience of working in an industry or other operational settings

In return we offer:

• 25 days holidays

• Generous pension scheme (employer’s contribution currently up to 18%)

• Training and development opportunities for staff at all levels

• Bus pass discount scheme

• Access to employee discount platform

• Subsidised canteen

• Free on-site parking

• Campus location in beautiful countryside with social and sports clubs open to staff

Closing date: 12th March 2021 at 09:00am

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