Universiteit Leiden

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Cryo-electron microscopy scientist

Vacancy number
Job type
Academic staff
Hours (in fte)
External/ internal
Placed on
6 August 2019
Closing date
15 September 2019 Vacancy closed

The Faculty of Science, the Netherlands Centre for Electron Nanoscopy (NeCEN) is looking for a

Cryo-electron microscopy scientist

Key responsibilities
NeCEN is looking for a highly talented scientist preferably experienced in cryo-electron microscopy who would like to contribute to the performance of an advanced cryo-EM centre at a world-class level.

You will maintain optimal equipment performance and collect high-quality data as part of a team. You will be primarily responsible for sample loading, alignment, and data acquisition on the two Titan Krios microscopes, a Talos L120C TEM and an Aquilos Cryo-FIB to prepare cryo-lamellae for tomography. Additionally, EM scientists at NeCEN are offered to perform collaborative research and technical development (approx. 20% of the time) to help ensure NeCEN remains at the forefront of electron microscopy. Key responsibilities include:

  • Together with the other EM scientists, take care of the advanced cryo-EM microscope equipment with their ancillaries;
  • Ship, prepare, and load samples, align/tune microscopes prior to data collection, setup and oversee image acquisition, and evaluate data quality;
  • Communicate experimental details to users, assist with data analysis in the context of collaborative projects and write experimental methods for resulting publications;
  • Maintain ancillary equipment (cryo-plunger, glow discharger, etc.) and occasionally order consumables;
  • Explore and implement improved data-collection strategies, including testing new software and hardware;
  • Maintain accurate logs to monitor microscope performance, experimental conditions, usage, scheduling, and billing;
  • Consult with other cryo-EM experts in the region and internationally by participating in cryo-EM meetings and workshops;
  • Write clear documentation, establish facility procedures, and perform light administrative duties;
  • Willingness to occasionally work evenings and/or weekends to ensure maximal use of microscopes.

Selection criteria

  • MSc or PhD in the fields of biology, chemistry, or physics;
  • Previous experience in cryo-electron microscopy and cryo-FIB would be an advantage;
  • Previous experience in maintaining microscopy equipment and working in a lab would be an advantage;
  • A keen interest in contributing to and running an international centre for advanced cryo-electron microscopy;
  • Good communication skills;
  • Service oriented approach;
  • Fluent written and spoken English.

Our organisation
NeCEN is part of the Faculty of Science of Leiden University and is embedded in the Institute of Biology Leiden (IBL). It is integrated with other imaging groups in the Netherlands (NEMI) and located in Leiden, in close vicinity to Amsterdam and The Hague. Opportunities are provided for further professional development of cryo-EM skills and data processing through courses, training, meetings, and conferences within the field of cryo-EM. NeCEN participates in international research and development projects aimed at providing access to highly advanced infrastructure for Structural Biology, and in that framework collaborates closely with other advanced electron microscopy sites in Europe to enhance technical performance and access.

The Faculty of Science is a world-class faculty where staff and students work together in a dynamic international environment. It is a faculty where personal and academic development are top priorities. Our people are committed to expand fundamental knowledge by curiosity and to look beyond the borders of their own discipline; their aim is to benefit science, and to make a contribution to addressing the major societal challenges of the future.

The research carried out at the Faculty of Science is very diverse, ranging from mathematics, information science, astronomy, physics, chemistry and bio-pharmaceutical sciences to biology and environmental sciences. The research activities are organised in eight institutes. These institutes offer eight bachelor’s and twelve master’s programmes. The faculty has grown strongly in recent years and now has more than 2,200 staff and almost 4,200 students. We are located at the heart of Leiden’s Bio Science Park, one of Europe’s biggest science parks, where university and business life come together.

See for more information: www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/science.

Terms and conditions
We offer a full-time position with a maximum of three years, depending on experience. Salary range, depending on education and work experience, from €2,579,- to €4,274,- (pay scale 8 to 10 in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities) gross per month, based on a full-time appointment.

Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3 %), training and career development and sabbatical leave. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break. See for more information: http://workingat.leiden.edu/.

Enquiries can be made to Dr. Ludovic Renault, head of NeCEN, email: l.renault@biology.leidenuniv.nl. See for more information: NeCEN.

To apply for this vacancy, please send an email to NeCEN@biology.leidenuniv.nl no later than 15 September 2019. Please ensure that you send your CV, cover letter, and contact details of two referees quoting vacancy number 19-383.

The selection procedure will involve a Skype interview shortly after positively reviewing your application. A possible second interview at NeCEN will take place shortly afterwards with an immediate starting date.

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