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Electron Microscopy Structural Biologist/ Senior Structural Biologist

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The Rosalind Franklin Institute (The Franklin) is a new national Research Centre, funded by the UK government through UK Research and Innovation, dedicated to bringing about transformative changes in life science through interdisciplinary research and technology.

Within the Correlative Imaging theme, a key aim is to increase temporal and spatial resolution with which biological specimens can be studied. You will develop new methods to advance the capabilities of current biological imaging and work together with a team developing new time-resolved transmission electron microscopes being installed at the Franklin Hub. These instruments will have novel optical configurations enabling new imaging modes and will require new acquisition and computational processing techniques. By expanding the realm of time and space available for observation, you will explore the dynamics of biological systems.

Science-driven research will be the focus of this role. In line with the core theme aspirations, we are bringing physicists and biologists together to support high adventure, blue skies cross-disciplinary research. The work will therefore be of varied nature requiring a willingness to explore subjects outside your established knowledge base.

We are looking to appoint a Structural Biologist or Senior Structural Biologist, depending on experience and skills of the right candidate. This is a full-time 5 years’ fixed-term staff post and it will be based at the Franklin building on the Harwell Campus.

The post holder will report to Prof Angus Kirkland, Science Director and to Dr Judy Kim, Deputy Science Director.

Duties and Responsibilities

• Develop advanced phasing methods for the study of biological materials using the new instruments.

• Develop new science projects using these new instruments and compare these to traditional Cryo EM, formulate relevant research questions, conduct individual independent research, analysing detailed and quantitative data, and generate original ideas by building on existing concepts.

• Work with laboratory staff on cryo sample workflow development

• Work alongside our technology partners to develop and commission the new time-resolved transmission electron microscopes.

• Collaborate with the instrument suppliers and the Franklin member institutes to develop new methodologies for automated quantitative data analysis from large data sets and associated protocols for data collection and correlation across varied instruments and spatial scales.

• Work with software and data engineers in the Franklin to develop a platform that integrates the unique functionalities of the instrumentation in an intuitive user interface.

• Publish research articles in leading academic journals.

• Present findings at national and international meetings/conferences and keep up to date with developments in the field.

• Create and maintain comprehensive and up to date best practice documentation for usage of the instrumentation.

• Take a formal or informal role (as required) in the supervision of research students and post-doctoral staff employed within the Franklin, including as necessary, recruitment, project development, mentorship and career development.

• Raise research funds by writing grant applications and manage areas within the larger research theme.

• Participate in and support the public engagement and widening access activities of the Franklin.

• Work with others in a safe and timely manner considering all those who will be affected by your work.

• Any other duties that arise in the normal running of the Franklin and that can be reasonably requested of the post-holder.


The above job description reflects the present requirements of the post, and as duties and responsibilities change/develop, the job description will be reviewed and be subject to amendment in consultation with the post-holder.

Selection criteria


• A Ph.D. in Structural Biology, or other cognate subjects with a clear advanced Cryo Electron Microscopy experience together with relevant, specialist postdoctoral experience.

Research Skills


• A demonstrated ability to identify critical research questions, and to develop experimental and computational / theoretical strategies to address these.

• Ability to discuss, coordinate, and lead complex experiments with colleagues from a variety of different disciplines.

• Extensive practical, computational and theoretical expertise in advanced Cryo transmission electron microscope operation and in technique development / application.

• Preparation of cryo-TEM specimens

• A demonstrated research track record in one or more of the following areas:

Electron optics applied to advanced TEM;

Cryo-EM for tomographic or single particle reconstruction;

Image / data processing for cryo EM


• Experience in processing large datasets using automated computational analysis

• Knowledge of artificial Intelligence / machine learning as applied to EM data

• A demonstrated aptitude for programming, scripting or user interface design

• Experience of standard image processing packages used in cryo EM

Cognate Skills


• Ability to analyse and write up experimental data to publication standard

• Ability to present complex information effectively to a range of audiences

• Effective written and verbal communication skills in English

• Experience of working in a multidisciplinary research environment

• Willingness to travel for training, dissemination of your work and collaboration. (Including, if required travel to Japan for periods of up to 2 months)

• Experience with project management and a demonstrated ability to deliver agreed milestones in a timely manner, adapting as needed to changing priorities

Personal Qualities


• Commitment to science driven high quality research

• Ability to work collaboratively and as part of an interdisciplinary team


Please note: A cover letter, CV and completed application form are required for this position.

Incomplete applications cannot be considered.

In return we offer:

• 25 days holidays

• Generous pension scheme (employer’s contribution currently up to 18%)

• Training and development opportunities for staff at all levels

• Bus pass discount scheme

• Access to employee discount platform

• Subsidised canteen

• Free on-site parking

• Campus location in beautiful countryside with social and sports clubs open to staff

Closing date: 30th October 2020, 9:00AM

Applicants should refer to our Candidate Privacy Policy

Area: Scientific

Location: Harwell

Type of Post: Full Time

Period of appointment: 5 years' fixed term contract

Salary: £36,000 - £46,000 per annum depending on experience

Closing Date: 30/10/2020

Ref No: 10083


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