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Deputy Lead in Electron Microscopy STP

Francis Crick Institute
London (Greater) (GB)
From £58,600, subject to skills and experience
Closing date
11 Jul 2023

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Life Science
Job Type
Head of Department
Employment - Hours
Full time

Job Details

Deputy Lead (EM) in the Electron Microscopy STP

Reports to: Head of Electron Microscopy Science Technology Platform

This is a full-time, permanent position on Crick terms and conditions of employment

Please note this is a rolling advert with no specific closing date, which will close once the position is filled. Applications will be considered as they arrive.  


The Francis Crick Institute is a partnership between Cancer Research UK, the Medical Research Council, the Wellcome Trust, UCL (University College London), Imperial College London and King's College London. It is a registered charity whose purpose is to conduct biomedical research into all aspects of human health and disease.

The Crick is a world-leading centre of biomedical research and innovation. It promotes connections between researchers and disciplines and between academic institutions, healthcare organisations and businesses. Dedicated to research excellence, the Crick has the scale, vision, and expertise to tackle the most challenging scientific questions underpinning health and disease. It is world-class with a strong national role, training scientists and developing ideas for public good. The Crick is located in a purpose-built research centre in Midland Road, St. Pancras and houses around 1,500 staff.

There are 17 Science Technology Platforms at the Crick, providing scientists with unparalleled support to help them streamline their research and achieve their research goals faster. The Electron Microscopy Science Technology Platform (EM STP) provides the equipment and expertise necessary to image the structure of cells and tissues at high resolution, specialising in volume EM (vEM), correlative light and electron microscopy (CLEM), and correlative multimodal imaging (CMI). As well as electrons, the STP uses light and X-ray imaging modalities to help target the limited fields of view that can be imaged with electrons. The platform collaborates with about two thirds of the Crick research groups. Collaborations cover research themes including cell biology, infection, immunity, cancer biology, neuroscience, developmental biology, and biomaterials.

The main core of the EM team consists of ten experienced electron microscopists working closely with research groups at the Crick to plan, optimise and implement high-resolution imaging experiments. To increase capacity and help create the next generation of expert electron microscopists, ‘superusers’ from research labs are trained and supported to perform their own imaging experiments. In addition, the EM STP hosts a small ‘Microscopy Prototyping’ team with a remit to develop and build new microscope hardware and software to break through barriers in the use of advanced microscopy for biomedical applications.

The EM STP employs a wide range of sample preparation and imaging techniques, including resin embedding, ultramicrotomy and cryo-ultramicrotomy, immunolabelling, plunge freezing, high pressure freezing, cryo-fluorescence microscopy, confocal and super-resolution light microscopy, transmission EM, scanning EM, electron tomography, vEM (Serial Block Face SEM, Focused Ion Beam SEM and array tomography), CLEM, CMI pipelines and microCT. We use open-source image analysis software including FIJI, IMOD, Ilastik and napari, and deep learning methods in collaboration with the Crick Software Engineering & AI team.

The EM STP also holds two technology development grant awards, from CZI and UKRI MRC, to advance and democratise CLEM pipelines, and to translate correlative and multimodal imaging for prediction and detection of disease in human patients.


The position of ‘Deputy Lead (EM) - Electron Microscopy Science Technology Platform’ will work within the EM STP to deliver a world-leading imaging facility for Crick research scientists. The role reports to the EM STP Lead, and together the Lead and Deputy Lead have shared responsibility for the day-to-day operational management of the unit. This includes oversight of STP strategy, research projects, staff resource, collaborations, technology development, translation, symposia, community initiatives, grant funding, lab space, health and safety, instruments, workflows, procurement, training, demos, and workshops. The Deputy Lead (EM) will also work closely with the Deputy Lead (MP (Microscopy Prototyping)), who oversees the development of hardware and software to break through barriers in advanced imaging capabilities.


The allocation of key responsibilities between the Lead and the Deputy Lead (EM) will be tailored considering the skills, experience, and preferences of the successful candidate. The key responsibilities of the Deputy Lead (EM) may therefore include:

  • Support the STP Lead in management of a state-of-the-art science technology platform to deliver cutting edge imaging science for Crick researchers.
  • Deliver imaging science for research projects: produce high quality and timely results for multiple research groups, from initial consultation through to sample processing, image analysis and data interpretation.
  • Day-to-day management of the operations specialists within the team, who collectively operate and maintain rooms and equipment; deliver training programmes for staff and super users; and oversee service engineers and technical support.
  • Implement and monitor health and safety processes, develop lab protocols, SOPs, and risk assessments.
  • Collaborate with the Microscopy Prototyping team to roll out newly developed instrumentation, workflows, and algorithms, for application to Crick science and beyond.
  • Support the STP Lead in formulation of grant proposals for instrument acquisition, oversight of the procurement process, management of the installation of new equipment.
  • Engage with grant-funded technology development projects within the EM STP.
  • Organise meetings and workshops to deliver training in EM and CMI techniques and technologies for the wider imaging community.
  • Participate in national and international EM community initiatives.
  • Maintain continuing professional development in the EM and CMI field and in relevant scientific areas through attending scientific meetings, seminars and keeping abreast of the relevant literature.
  • Communicate science to a wider scientific and general audience through talks and events.
  • Support and promote education and equality, diversity and inclusion initiatives.


The post holder should embody and demonstrate our core Crick values - bold, open, and collegial, in addition to the following…


Technical Experience

  • A PhD or equivalent experience in biological sciences.
  • Extensive knowledge of all aspects of EM.
  • A record of delivery of high-quality imaging science projects for a broad range of life and/ or clinical science researchers.
  • Experience of a wide range of sample preparation and imaging techniques, including fluorescence microscopy, scanning EM and transmission EM.
  • Experience of advanced techniques including vEM and CLEM.
  • Experience of a broad range of manual and automated image analysis techniques for EM and CLEM.

Operational Experience

  • Significant experience of operational management of an electron microscopy core technology facility as a lead, deputy, or alternative senior role in a university or research institute, providing an outstanding service to researchers with high levels of user satisfaction and scientific excellence.
  • Proven track record of daily management and troubleshooting of core facility operations and delivery, including implementation of the highest standards of health and safety, maintenance of rooms and supplies, support for super users, and microscope maintenance.
  • Experience of managing the STP-industry interface, including experience of procurement, tenders, microscope installation, and interaction with service teams to minimise instrument downtime.
  • Experience of financial and resource management, grant preparation and management, and budgetary responsibility.
  • Experience of designing and delivering high quality training programmes.

People Management Skills

  • Experience of team leadership, including motivation of staff, delegation, objective-setting, constructive feedback, performance management, and employee development.
  • Interest in listening to and supporting others to be able to deliver to their best ability.
  • Ability to communicate complex issues simply and clearly.
  • Focus on delivery of a fair and equitable working environment.

Strategic Experience

  • A clear vision for the future of imaging science to support bioscience research that complements the strategic aims of the Crick and the EM STP.
  • Ability to think and contribute strategically to activities at the institute, and at the national and international level in imaging science.
  • Ability to deputise for the EM STP Lead in strategic meetings at the Crick and externally.
  • Ability to identify areas of need within a core facility and develop/adopt new technologies to meet these needs.
  • Ability to collaborate and build effective relationships with a wide range of stakeholders.

Personal Skills

  • Ability to work independently and to contribute effectively to the work of a multidisciplinary team.
  • Strong organisational and planning skills, the ability to prioritise workload in the face of competing demands, and proven success in delivering work to tight deadlines.
  • Flexible and cooperative approach to working with others.
  • Effective communication skills.
  • Ability to think creatively and problem-solve.
  • Energy and drive with a focus on project delivery.
  • Enthusiasm for imaging science to support discovery and clinical science to improve human health.


  • Experience of super resolution light microscopy, X-ray microscopy, electron tomography, cryo preparation methods, nanoSIMS, and/ or spatial ‘omics techniques.
  • Experience of correlative multimodal imaging.
  • Experience of developing new imaging techniques and technologies with demonstrable application to real world bioscience research.
  • Experience of science communication: press interviews, teaching on courses and workshops, public engagement, schools’ engagement.

Find out what benefits the Crick has to offer:

For more information on our great pay and benefits package please click here:

Equality, Diversity & Inclusion:

We welcome applications from all backgrounds. We are committed to providing equal employment opportunities, regardless of ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, pregnancy, age, disability, or civil partnership, marital or family status. We particularly welcome applications from people who are Minority Ethnic as they are currently underrepresented in the Crick at this level.

Diversity is essential to excellence in scientific endeavour. It increases breadth and perspective, leading to more innovation and creativity. We want the Crick to be a place where everyone feels valued and where diversity is celebrated and seen as part of the foundation for our Institute’s success.

The Crick is committed to creating equality of opportunity and promoting diversity and inclusivity. We all share in the responsibility to actively promote dignity, respect, inclusivity and equal treatment and it is our aim to ensure that these principles are reflected and implemented in all strategies, policies and practices.

Read more on our website:


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At the Crick, we’re committed to advancing, promoting, and sharing understanding of human health and disease. We do that by attracting talented and ambitious people from all disciplines and backgrounds and giving them the support and freedom they need to succeed. Inside the Crick, you’ll discover scientists working to stretch the very limits of what we know about how life works. Their research holds the key to answering fundamental questions about human health and disease. Our bold and innovative research projects bring together scientists and technicians from all disciplines in the pursuit of discovery without boundaries. With the support of our partners, we’re bridging the gap between discovery and application to help change lives for the better. And through our dynamic structure, we’re able to develop the science leaders of tomorrow. That’s our bold idea, tell us yours.

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