Roksana Ogrodowicz

Scientific staff

Introduction

Around 450 roles at the Crick fall into the scientific staff category. These are often permanent roles which bring a continuity of expertise and knowledge to the Crick.

This is an incredibly diverse group of roles, including technology experts helping to run our science technology platforms, wet and dry lab scientists playing instrumental roles in research groups, scientists performing experiments in our Biological Research Facility (BRF), or specialists in our facilities.

At the Crick these roles are called laboratory research scientists (LRSs) in both our research labs and in technology platforms, or research scientists in the BRF.

These staff have followed many different career paths including apprenticeship schemes, on-the-job training and more traditional academic routes including PhD training.

The day to day

Many of the research group-based LRSs have their own research projects, and help to mentor students and assist with managing the day-to-day running of their research group or facility.

Those in our technology platforms - including the BRF - are experts in particular techniques and working with specialist equipment. These roles are highly collaborative, usually working with many labs simultaneously.

Career development and training

There is a clear route for career progression within these roles. Exceptional candidates with significant research impact and/or management responsibilities can rise to deputy head of their STP, principal LRS or associate scientist within a research group.

As scientific staff, you will have a range of learning and development opportunities. The interests of LRSs are represented by the Crick Staff Consultative Forum (CSCF). Scientific staff at the Crick have also created their own LRS Network, a group geared to providing opportunities to create links and collaborations between people in this decentralised and diverse group.

Technician Commitment

We are a signatory to the Technician Commitment, a sector-wide initiative led by the Science Council and the Gatsby Foundation which aims to address the particular career challenges faced by technical and scientific staff.

The commitment identifies four target areas to improve and safeguard vital technical skills. The pledge will ensure greater visibility, recognition, career development and sustainability for technical staff across all disciplines at the Crick.

Quotes

Ganka Bineva-Todd

Ganka Bineva-Todd, Senior Laboratory Research Scientist, Peptide Chemistry STP

“Working as an LRS in an STP is a great position for anyone who chooses to specialise in a particular technique and become an expert in a particular field.

I’ve been able to use and extend my skills and expertise by contributing to various projects. It's a fantastic opportunity to learn about different research areas and collaborate with many Crick researchers.

I am part of a team and jointly responsible for the smooth running of the lab. As well as projects, I help to maintain many high-spec instruments. I also train new staff and keep abreast of new technologies, instrumentation and reagents.”

Nicholas Chisholm

Nicholas Chisholm, Research Scientist, Biological Research Facility

"We're responsible for providing high-quality care and welfare for a range of laboratory animals, and procedural support to a diverse range of research groups.

It's a rewarding position, interacting with knowledgeable and passionate scientists. 

I have oversight of the day-to-day operations within areas of the facility. Training and supervision of technicians is an important part of the role, as well as making sure legal frameworks, protocols and procedures are followed. We must maintain high-quality animal husbandry and the promotion of the 3Rs."

Rajvee Shah Punatar

Rajvee Shah Punatar, Principal Laboratory Research Scientist, Steve West's lab

“Becoming an LRS is an exciting career choice for anyone who wants to develop and contribute as a scientist but who does not want to become a group leader.

The role requires a wide range of organisational, scientific and people skills. Many LRSs in research labs have a PhD and many, like myself, have several years of postdoctoral experience.

Because of its varied nature, the job can be very interesting and rewarding, and if managed in the right way will enable you to contribute greatly to the success of the lab you work in, as well as progressing your scientific career by continuing to author publications.”