Universiteit Leiden

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Cryo-electron microscopy scientist

Vacancy number
Function type
Academic staff
Hours (in fte)
External/ internal
Placed on
11 August 2020
Closing date
15 September 2020

Vacancy closed

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

Cryo-electron microscopy scientist

Project description
NeCEN is looking for a highly talented scientist 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, with the aim of providing optimal service to NeCEN's users. You will be primarily responsible for helping users with 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

  • 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/or cryo-FIB is highly valued;
  • 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) located in Leiden, in close vicinity to Schiphol airport, 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 is closely associated with cryo-EM imaging groups in the Netherlands and is a key node in the Netherlands Electron Microscpy Infrastructure (NEMI) consortium. NeCEN furthermore collaborates with other advanced electron microscopy sites in Europe to enhance technical performance and participates in international research and development projects aimed at providing access to highly advanced infrastructure for Structural Biology, such as Instruct-ERIC and Inext-Discovery.

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 € 2,790.- to € 4,402.- (pay scale 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 (30% ruling).

Leiden University is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from members of underrepresented groups.

Enquiries can be made to Ludovic Renault, Head of NeCEN, email l.renault@biology.leidenuniv.nl.

To apply for this vacancy, please send an email to NeCEN@biology.leidenuniv.nl. Please ensure that you send your CV, cover letter, and contact details of two referees quoting vacancy number 20-359. Only applications received no later than Sunday 15 September 2020 will be considered.

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

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