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Postdoctoral Research Scientist - Compressive Sensing

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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. As a PDRA within the Correlated Imaging Theme, you will work on the integration of science driven Artificial Intelligence approaches to improve the resolution and sensitivity of high-resolution scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images. Implementing a sub-sampling approach to images that are reconstructed, using a compressed sensing/inpainting approach has been demonstrated to provide advances in optimising the balance between image speed, resolution and dose for both TEM and STEM imaging of beam sensitive materials. In this project, these acquisition methods will be linked to post acquisition analytics being concurrently developed, providing a coordinated workflow from specimen preparation to imaging and to analysis. As part of this methodology development, this research will aim to determine a routine specimen preparation, image acquisition and analysis methodology for imaging biological specimens and dynamic processes in liquids.

Your primary task will be to work with collaborators at the University of Liverpool to determine the optimal acquisition methodology for imaging standard biological specimen morphologies that are either embedded, frozen or undergoing dynamic reactions in liquids. This methodology will then be implemented on one of several new JEOL TEM/STEM instruments that will be operational in the Franklin's Harwell laboratory in 2021-2022.

This post will be initially based at the University of Liverpool transferring to the Franklin hub on the Harwell Campus in late 2021 / early 2022.

The post holders will report to Prof Nigel Browning at the University of Liverpool, and ultimately to Professor Angus Kirkland, Science Director at the Franklin.


• Participate in all aspects of the methodology development and its application.

• Develop the scientific scope of individual projects, formulate relevant research questions, conduct individual independent research, analysing detailed and quantitative data, and generate original ideas by building on existing concepts.

• Design and perform experiments on microscopes at the University of Liverpool, Harwell and other sites.

• Develop a workflow for imaging biological samples under different preparation/environmental conditions, including the implementation of compressive sensing/inpainting/machine learning methods.

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

• Publish research articles in leading academic journals.

• 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 Physics, Materials or another cognate subject with a clear Electron Microscopy focus.

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 and data analysis with colleagues from a variety of different disciplines.

• Practical and / or computational and theoretical expertise in advanced (ideally aberration corrected) transmission electron microscope operation and technique development.


• Experience with in-situ systems, including liquid and or cryo cells

• Preparation of cryo-TEM specimens

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

Cognate Skills


• Ability to analyse and write up results 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.

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: 1st October 2020, 9:00AM

Applicants should refer to our Candidate Privacy Policy

Area Scientific

Location Liverpool and Harwell

Type of Post Full Time

Period of appointment 4 years' fixed term contract

Salary £33,000 - £39,000 per annum

Closing Date 01/10/2020

Ref No 10082


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