Job description

Associate Director Experimental Immunology (MR1 & Cd1)

91 Park Drive, Milton Park, Oxfordshire, OX14 4RY, UK

Department:                         Experimental Immunology

Reports to:                            Head of Experimental Immunology (CTO initially)

Likely grade:                              



To lead a group conducting experimental investigations and input on the strategic direction of the group enabling the advancement of the Company’s pipeline, process, or technology capabilities.  




  • Experiments:
    • Guiding lines or areas of investigation by drawing on experimental and scientific expertise.
    • Supporting and offering insights on technical and investigational aspects as well as the relevance to the wider objectives of the project, department and company.
  • Priorities: Reviewing competing priorities for projects and providing clear and thorough recommendations that are made by utilising experience and insight, combining information from a range of sources, and considering the overall goals of the project, department and Company.
  • Problem solving: Offering recommendations by weighing up sometimes ambiguous or partial information; developing new solutions to specific technical and/or scientific challenges.
  • Technical Knowledge:
    • Sharing knowledge acquired from conferences or elsewhere to the wider team; representing the department in local or company-wide initiatives; may also act as a mentor to other colleagues.
    • Keeping abreast of developments in area of expertise to advance company activities where deemed appropriate; providing in- depth analysis of new techniques and theories to advance the way the company works, raising and championing these with leaders and colleagues across the company.
  • Laboratory records & equipment: Ensuring that all records for the group, data and information are up to date, on time and recorded to the correct standard and that equipment is being used correctly and effectively.
  • Health & Safety: Responsible for the day-to-day compliance with all H&S within the Group.
  • Reporting: communicating and presenting research findings to senior management, relevant colleagues, at conferences, as well as at partner and collaboration meetings; considering and understanding the wider impact of the data in communications. Using initiative to ensure advancing technologies and findings can be disseminated across the company.




  • Managing a group typically around 5 to 8 people, including:
    • Headcount planning and recruitment in line with budget, ensuring standards of hiring are maintained
    • Conducting the annual appraisals, career development discussions and identifying development needs
    • Setting employee objectives and goals, providing regular feedback on personal performance and reviewing progress against objectives.
    • Contributing to the annual remuneration review in line with the Company process and within budget
    • Understanding the career objectives of direct reports, setting realistic expectations and guiding individuals on the experience and learning needed to achieve their goals.
    • Recognizing and acknowledging the success of individuals, teams and projects at the time success occurs.
    • Identifying individuals needing further development or with relatively weak performance and looking to remedy this, drawing on senior managers and HR as needed.
  • Managing the delivery of projects to the agreed timescales and standards, identifying issues that need to be addressed and escalating these as needed.
  • Ensuring that communication of projects, team and Company news is cascaded in a timely way; handling, owning and escalating information and questions that arise.
  • Ensuring that the Company culture is reflected in actions and decisions across the team



  • Provide strategic guidance and leadership toward the
    • Generation of cellular and molecular tools to enable the identification of novel, disease relevant, MR1 and Cd1 presented targets
    • Generation of cellular and molecular tools to enable the exploitation of MR1 and Cd1 as targets for TCR-based therapeutics
    • Establishment and consolidation of a platform for the generation of soluble MR1 and Cd1 proteins in complex with relevant antigens
    • Implementation of methods to isolate and engineer disease-relevant MR1 and Cd1 restricted TCRs
    • Investigation of the biology of MR1 and Cd1 in relevant diseases in collaboration with Disease Biology
  • Lead scientific publications








  • Track record of expertise in the field of MR1 and Cd1
  • Managed, mentored and/or coached individuals to greater success and advising on areas for improvement
  • Track record of leading sizable research projects
  • Researched and resolved complex situations and issues through collaborations
  • Worked as an experimental scientist or scientific leader with a recognized and established expertise in protein engineering, T cell immunology, immune-oncology, infectious diseases, autoimmunity or other relevant discipline
  • Strong expertise in the majority of the core techniques with the ability to mentor and clearly articulate, guide and lead others with the most appropriate analyses and interpretation of the scientific data
  • Proven ability to draw together data and findings from multiple projects to advance programmes
  • Proven ability to analyse and interpret complex datasets and propose sound experimental strategies
  • Maintained awareness of new developments in their respective field
  • Proposed and facilitated the establishing of novel approaches (equipment, methods, data analysis, etc.) that significantly advance scientific projects and departmental operation
  • Significant expertise in standard and innovative techniques related to protein engineering, T cell immunology, immune-oncology, infectious diseases, autoimmunity or other relevant discipline.




  • Management of a team
  • Management of a group budget
  • Contributed to and influenced the strategic scientific direction of a group
  • Demonstrated skills in understanding and interpreting complex sets of data
  • Able to make clear and rational decisions on research strategy and direction





  • Leadership in the scientific field of MR1 and Cd1
  • Track record of leading projects in
    • Cellular biology of MR1 and Cd1
    • MR1 and Cd1 restricted T cell biology (T cell cloning, flow cytometry, functional experiments)
    • Overseeing novel molecular and protein science approaches (cloning, gene-editing), with particular focus on identifying novel disease-relevant MR1 and Cd1 antigens
  • Demonstrable network of academic collaboration within the MR1 and Cd1 fields
  • Publications (peer-reviewed papers, conference communications or other scientific communications) in the field of MR1 and Cd1



  • Knowledge of patenting and IP




  • Openness and honesty

Readily offering information pertaining to work in hand whether positive or negative.

  • Taking responsibility

Being prepared to accept full responsibility for tasks entrusted to them; seeing tasks through to completion and dealing with the consequences of failure or success.

  • Flexibility

Being flexible to new ideas and approaches; changes of plans, objectives and/or priorities. Handling disjointed tasks effectively.

  • Team spirit

Being able to work productively with others to achieve tasks. Showing consideration for the needs and feelings of others.



·       Analytical Thinking - Tackling problems by using a logical and sequential approaches, making systematic comparisons of two or more alternatives.

·       Attention to Communication - Writing and speaking concisely and appropriately, tailoring the content and the experience of the audience by using a range of tools, methods and approaches.

·       Diagnostic Information Gathering - Proactively seeking ideas, information and clarification on problems from others, using skilful questioning to draw out such information particularly when others may be reluctant to disclose it. Regularly gathers information form the team to anticipate opportunities and problems.

·       Managing Self Performance - Proactively seeking feedback from others and responding to this appropriately. Taking full responsibility for own performance and also the performance of others formally or informally.

·       Results Orientated - Setting challenging but obtainable goals for self and others, ensuring efforts are focused on meeting or exceeding these, and that they shared clearly and used to measure success.

·       Teamwork - Working cooperatively as part of a team, actively listening and constructively responding to others ideas.

·       Thoroughness - Ensuring own as well as others work and information is complete and accurate, setting up procedures to ensure a high quality of work and to monitor ongoing projects

·       Written and oral communication - Writing and speaking clearly to share thoughts and information concisely and appropriately.

·       Building collaborative relationships - Developing, maintaining and strengthening partnerships with others who can provide information, assistance and support.    

·       Fostering teamwork - Working cooperatively with others listening, responding and offering support for ideas and proposals, whilst constructively expressing differing views. Ensuring that own team members are treated fairly. Recognising and encouraging behaviours that contribute to good teamwork. Providing opportunities for people to work as a team.

·       Influencing others - Presenting arguments that address others concerns and issues, gaining support and input from key decision makers, providing a structured approach to maximise the chances of a favourable outcome.

·       Initiative - Proactively identifying what needs to be done, undertaking more than what might be normally required and independently taking action to change the direction of events.

·       Interpersonal awareness - Understanding, interpreting and anticipating the concerns and feelings of others, responding attentively and putting measures in place to address these sensitively.

·       Conceptual thinking - Adopting a holistic, abstract or theoretical perspective in order to notice similarities between different and apparently unrelated situations.

·       Developing others - Coaching and supporting others to develop their capabilities, providing appropriate and specific feedback.  Devises assignments that will help develop people's skills

·       Forward thinking - Anticipating the implications and consequences of situations, taking appropriate action in order to be prepared for possible contingencies and planning accordingly. Anticipating how groups will react to changing environment.

·       Fostering innovation - Developing, proposing and supporting new approaches, methods and technologies that improve effectiveness, working cooperatively with others to produce and implement these innovative solutions.

·       Managing change - Supporting, implementing and initiating innovation and organizational changes to improve effectiveness, facilitating problem-solving and creative-thinking processes to help teams to successfully commit to and manage these changes.

·       Providing motivational support - Encouraging others, sharing ideas in a way that energizes groups, expressing pride in the group as a whole and encouraging them to feel good about accomplishments. Acknowledging people for their contributions and promptly tackling any problems impacting morale.

·       Decisiveness - Making difficult but effective decisions in a timely manner for situations which are difficult, ambiguous and/or unfamiliar. Takes charge of a group when necessary to provide leadership

·       Establishing focus - Developing and communicating goals in support of the business’ overall mission. Ensuring that people in the group understand how their work relates to the business’ overall mission.

·       Persuasive communication - Planning and delivering written and spoken communication which positively persuades the intended audience by identifying and presenting information and data for several different arguments in support of a position.

·       Strategic thinking - Analysing the organization’ approach and position by considering industry trends, internal/external existing customers and the organizations strengths and weaknesses compared to others.

·       Performance Management- Ensures that employees have clear goals and responsibilities. Supports employees to achieve their development goals. Provides specific performance feedback. Deals promptly with performance problems

·       Empowering Others- Gives people latitude to make decisions on their own sphere of work. Encourages individuals and groups to set their own goals



 (Please see the intranet for further information on behaviours, those in Italic are new to this role/ different to the previous level)





  • Essential: PhD in cell biology or related discipline
  • Desirable: Additional study or training in management or business practice

Related Jobs