Embryology Laboratory Technician – MLC 2245

Medical Research Council


View Vacancy — Embryology Laboratory Technician – MLC 2245
Open Date
10/09/2023, 16:15
Close Date
24/09/2023, 23:55

MRC Mary Lyon Centre

The Mary Lyon Centre at MRC Harwell (MLC) https://www.har.mrc.ac.uk/ is located in an expanding science and innovation campus in Oxfordshire and is an internationally renowned centre at the forefront of genetics research.  As the hub of the new National Mouse Genetics Network, the specialist facilities and capabilities of the MLC support a number of research groups across the UK to accelerate our understanding of human diseases, such as cancer, developmental disorders and neurodegeneration. 

The Medical Research Council (MRC) is a great place to work and progress your career.  The MRC encourages the integration of clinical and discovery research to elucidate both disease processes and potential new therapies. The MLC provides vital scientific support for the UK biomedical community and focuses on preclinical research using mouse models, which supports clinical research and therapy discovery.  

The MRC is an excellent place to develop yourself further. A range of training & development opportunities will be available to you, including professional registration with the Science Council.

UK Research and Innovation is a new entity that brings together nine partners to create an independent organisation with a strong voice for research and innovation, more information can be found at www.ukri.org

MRC – 5

Harwell Campus, Oxfordshire

£27,600 per annum


Technical & Scientific Professionals

Full Time

Overall Purpose: 

We have an open-ended vacancy for a technician to work in the cryopreservation/IVF laboratory. 

This critical role will support Harwell’s standing as a National and International centre providing access to mouse resources. The Biological Resources Group (BRG) is responsible for the National Mouse Archive, which currently holds >3,000 mouse stocks, many of which are recognised as unique mouse models of human genetic disease. The Mary Lyon Centre (MLC) is located on the Harwell campus, which is a thriving science hub specialising in Health, Space and Energy-based technologies. 

The primary function of this role will revolve around the cryopreservation and distribution of mouse models of human disease. In response to specific requests the post-holder will also be asked to recover mouse strains from the archive using in vitro fertilisation and embryo-transfer techniques. Our clients include an extensive network of UK and overseas clients. 

The ideal candidate will have some understanding of mammalian biology and will be computer literate. Previous experience of assisted reproductive technology would be desirable but this is not essential as comprehensive training will be given. During their employment, the post-holder will need to acquire expertise in IVF, sperm/embryo freezing and embryo-transfer recovery techniques. The post-holder will also need to be a team player, customer focused, possess excellent communication skills and have a keen eye for detail. The post would be ideally suited to someone who thrives in a busy, high-throughput environment, and who is striving for continuous improvement. 

This is an excellent opportunity for someone with an interest in reproductive biology to acquire a solid grounding in assisted-reproduction technologies and we encourage anyone with aspirations in this area to apply.

Main Duties/Key Responsibilities: 

The post-holder’s principal responsibilities will involve: 

  • Dissecting mouse tissues and embryo/sperm harvesting
  • Cryopreserving embryos, spermatozoa and ovarian tissue
  • Setting up and executing in vitro fertilisation sessions
  • Performing licenced procedures, such as embryo transfers and superovulation
  • Updating archive records
  • Following standard operating procedures (SOPs) and working to ISO 9001 standards
  • Maintaining the biosecurity of the MLC and the Quarantine Suite
  • Assisting with routine laboratory activities, such as media preparation and maintaining levels of consumables
  • The post will involve some out-of-hours working 

Working Relationships: 

The post-holder will work closely with the other members of the Cryopreservation/IVF team and will report directly to the laboratory manager. They will also work closely with staff from the MLC’s Operations Team. and may also be expected to liaise closely with the wider scientific community.

Equality & Diversity:

The MRC values the diverse skills and experience of its employees and is committed to achieving equality of treatment for all.  Our objectives are that all individuals shall have equal opportunities for employment and advancement on the basis of their skills, aptitudes and abilities.  The MRC is committed to the engagement and retention of the best possible talent and to creating an environment that encourages excellence in scientific research through good equality and diversity leadership and management. 

Corporate/Local Responsibilities & Requirements:

The post-holder must at all times carry out their responsibilities with due regard to the MRC’s:

  • Code of Conduct
  • Equality and Diversity policy
  • Health and Safety policy
  • Data Protection and Security policy 

Job descriptions should be reviewed on a regular basis and at the annual appraisal.  Any changes should be made and agreed between the post-holder and their manager. 

The above lists are not exhaustive and the post-holder is required to undertake such duties as may reasonably be requested within the scope of the post.  All employees are required to act professionally, cooperatively and flexibly in line with the requirements of the post and the MRC.

Education/Qualifications/Training Required: 


  • Higher education/further education qualification in biological science 


  • BSc/MSc in reproductive biology
  • Home Office Licence PIL A–C

Previous Work Experience Required: 


  • Previous experience of working within a laboratory environment and/or working with laboratory animals 


  • Experience of working within the area of reproductive biology
  • Experience of working with/handling animals and/or animal tissues
  • Experience of working in a high-throughput service role 

Knowledge and experience: 


  • High level of computer literacy
  • Previous experience of working out-of-hours/flexible working patterns
  • Flexible approach to working within various work environments as the requirements of the clients change
  • Ability to follow SOPs and produce work of a high standard 


  • Previous experience of pre-implantation embryo culture work, cryopreservation of mammalian embryos/germplasm, dissecting organs/tissues or experience of other cell systems and/or cultures.
  • Experience of working with microscopes
  • Familiarity with data management and online database tools
  • Proven experience of working to ISO 9001 standards or equivalent

Personal skills/Behaviours/Qualities: 


  • Proven ability to think/work independently and troubleshoot problems
  • Proven history of good time management in a high-throughput service environment
  • Keen eye for detail and a desire to master a range of laboratory techniques
  • An ability to work in a multi-disciplinary team
  • Excellent verbal, written and interpersonal communication skills
  • An ability, and willingness, to communicate with staff at all levels within UK and overseas organisations
  • Commitment to customer-focused service delivery


A self-motivated individual who displays confidence in their abilities

The post-holder will be required to have the appropriate level of security screening/vetting required for the role.  UKRI reserves the right to run or re-run security clearance as required during the course of employment.
The MRC is a great place to work and progress your career, be it in scientific research or the support functions.The MRC is a unique working environment where our researchers are rewarded by world class innovation and collaboration opportunities that the MRC name brings. The MRC is an excellent place to develop yourself further and a range of training & development opportunities will be available to you, including professional registration with the Science Council.
Choosing to come to work at the MRC (part of UKRI) means that you will have access to a whole host of benefits from a defined benefit pension scheme and excellent holiday entitlement to access to employee shopping/travel discounts and salary sacrifice cycle to work scheme, as well as the chance to put the MRC and UKRI on your CV in the future.
Our success is dependent upon our ability to embrace diversity and draw on the skills, understanding and experience of all our people. We welcome applications from all sections of the community irrespective of gender, race, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, disability or age. As “Disability Confident” employers, we guarantee to interview all applicants with disabilities who meet the minimum criteria for the vacancy.
UKRI supports research in areas that include animal health, agriculture and food security, and bioscience for health which includes research on animals, genetic modification and stem cell research. Whilst you may not have direct involvement in this type of research, you should consider whether this conflicts with your personal values or beliefs.
We will conduct a full and comprehensive pre-employment check as an essential part of the recruitment process on all individuals that are offered a position with UKRI. This will include a security check and an extreme organisations affiliation check.  The role holder will be required to have the appropriate level of security screening/vetting required for the role.  UKRI reserves the right to run or re-run security clearance as required during the course of employment.

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