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Senior research scientist at the Francis Crick Institute (permanent position)

Posted by , on 14 December 2020

Closing Date: 15 March 2021

The Evolutionary Developmental Biology Lab at the Francis Crick Institute is seeking a laboratory research scientist that will help establish the laboratory, manage its day-to-day operations, and lead the generation of large-scale genomics datasets.

The Evolutionary Developmental Biology Lab will open early 2021. We study how organs originate and how they diversify in form and function across species. We tackle this problem by combining evolutionary and developmental biology with large-scale comparative genomics. We are an interdisciplinary group and highly collaborative.

In our lab we will generate and analyse our own large-scale genomics datasets, including single-cell transcriptomics and epigenomics, whole-genome sequencing, and spatial transcriptomics. The laboratory research scientist will set-up the wet lab and lead the data production of the group. This will be done in close collaboration with several science technology platforms at the Institute (animal facilities, single-cell genomics, sequencing).

Evolutionary Developmental Biology Lab

One of the most fundamental problems in biology is understanding how novelties arise, whether they be new cells, new tissues, or whole new organs. Our group tackles this problem by identifying the genetic and developmental processes responsible for the origin, and subsequent evolution, of vertebrate organs.

Our group uses the placenta as a model to understand how organs originate and evolve. We study the placenta because placentas have evolved independently many times across vertebrates and because they exhibit an extraordinary diversity of forms and functions. We study the placenta within two distinct, but complementary, contexts. In mammals, we work on one of the most fascinating aspects of pregnancy, the mother’s tolerance to the intimate contact between its own cells and those of her foetus. We want to understand how these critical interactions between the mother and the fetal cells have evolved across mammals. In fish, we address the question of how organs are created. We study a family of fish where placentas have evolved independently multiple times. By studying multiple independent inventions of the placenta we try to identify general principles guiding the evolution of new organs at the level of genes, cells and developmental processes.

Lab website:

Key responsibilities

These include but are not limited to:

  • Initial establishment of the Evolutionary Developmental Biology infrastructure: equipment, workspace, inventory, etc.
  • Managing day to day wet lab operations.
  • Liaising and working with science technology platforms (animal facilities, single-cell genomics, sequencing).
  • Contributing to the lab’s main projects by producing large-scale genomics datasets.
  • Training and advising lab members.

Key experience and competencies

The post holder should embody and demonstrate our core Crick values: bold, imaginative, open, dynamic and collegial, in addition to the following:


  • Strong evidence for working independently and on own initiative.
  • Experience of driving projects through to completion.
  • Significant experience in molecular and cellular biology.
  • Significant experience working with vertebrate animals. Willingness to sacrifice animals, including (but not exclusively) small mammals and fish.
  • Some microscopy experience.
  • Strong collaborative ability and teamwork experience.
  • Solid organisational skills and skilled at prioritising multiple tasks.
  • Some experience training others.
  • Strong and evident motivation, creativity and genuine enthusiasm for science.


  • Some experience dissecting organs and tissues.
  • Some experience generating large-scale genomics data.
  • Openness to occasional travels (to learn techniques and/or collect samples).


To apply:

Any questions can be sent to:


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