Research Scientist / Technical Officer X-ray Imaging at European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL)

About the team/job

We are seeking two highly motivated X-ray Imaging Research Scientists/Technical Officers to join EMBL Hamburg.

EMBL Hamburg has implemented a full-field X-ray microscope on beamline P14 on the PETRA III synchrotron at DESY (Hamburg, Germany). For recent references, see: Polikarpov et al. (2019) Acta Cryst. D75:975, Geier et al. PNAS (2021) 118:e2023773118. In order to establish this new technique, sitting at the interface between life and physical sciences, within the EMBL Research Program we recently recruited a new Team Leader for X-ray imaging at EMBL Hamburg ( We also seek to make X-ray Imaging accessible to a wide user community by including the technology into our synchrotron user program.

EMBL’s future scientific directions “From Molecules to Ecosystems” includes a vision to advance our understanding of ecosystems at the molecular level, applying expertise in molecular biology to study life in its natural context. X-ray imaging has great potential to contribute to this realisation. With progress in the production of synchrotron radiation there are plenty of opportunities to develop novel approaches to the study of cells, tissues and populations including how organisms interact with each other and respond to environmental change.

Opportunities for close interaction with EMBL colleagues across all sites will be plentiful including interactions with the teams at EMBL-EBI as we ensure that routine deposition of X-ray imaging data and reconstructions is established from the outset in this rapidly emerging technique. Being sited on the DESY campus allows interactions with multiple groups and facilities such as other beamlines on PETRA III and activities on the Free Electron Lasers FLASH and European XFEL. With the proposed upgrade of PETRA III to PETRA IV being discussed EMBL Hamburg has many exciting possibilities for ambitious and motivated biological X-ray imaging scientists.

We are seeking two highly motivated X-ray Imaging Research Scientists/Technical Officers to join EMBL Hamburg. One position will join Liz Duke ( and the other will join Thomas R. Schneider’s group ( . Together the roles will be central in establishing the biological X-ray imaging user program and will make original, innovative scientific contributions to biological X-ray imaging. 

Your role

Liz Duke is establishing a team to work on the development of the novel technique of high throughput X-ray tomography (HiTT) and apply it to “bulk” biological samples up to a few mm3. The role within Liz’s team will provide opportunities to work alongside world leading biologists both within EMBL and internationally. You will also have opportunity to develop your own projects within the area of biological X-ray imaging.

The role within Thomas Schneider’s group will focus on establishing and supporting an X-ray imaging user program on the EMBL P14 beamline that will enable Life Scientists to image their systems of interest on the EMBL P14 beamline using full-field phase contrast X-ray imaging. You will be instrumental in developing and implementing standard workflows for high throughput full-field X-ray imaging including data collection, data processing and analysis and data deposition. 

You have

For the  role in Liz Duke’s group you have:

  • A PhD in an area broadly relevant to X-ray imaging in biology
  • An aptitude for methods development at the interdisciplinary physics:biology boundary
  • An affinity for collaborative multidisciplinary work

For the role in Thomas R Schneider’s group you have: 

  • Solid practical expertise in X-ray imaging
  • Significant experience in programming algorithms and/or workflows for the analysis of X-ray Imaging data. 

You might also have

For the role in Liz Duke’s group you might also have specific expertise in one or more of the following areas:

  • Detailed knowledge and understanding of X-ray imaging particularly in relation to its application to soft biological tissue.
  • Computer programming and software development for data analysis
  • Experience in 3D Image segmentation
  • Biological sample preparation techniques similar to those used for volume electron microscopy

For the role in Thomas R Schneider’s group you might also have: 

  • Experience in 3D image segmentation
  • Experience in training X-ray Imaging users in data handling and analysis techniques. 

Why join us

EMBL is an inclusive, equal opportunity employer offering attractive conditions and benefits appropriate to an international research organisation with a very collegial and family friendly working environment. The remuneration package comprises a competitive salary, a comprehensive pension scheme, medical, educational and other social benefits, as well as financial support for relocation and installation, including your family.

Staff working at the synchrotron radiation beamlines operated by EMBL Hamburg Unit benefits from cutting-edge technology and opportunities for career development and collaboration with colleagues from all six EMBL sites. 

What else you need to know

We are Europe’s flagship research laboratory for the life sciences – an intergovernmental organisation performing scientific research in disciplines including molecular biology, physics, chemistry and computer science. We are an international, innovative and interdisciplinary laboratory with approximately 2000 employees from many nations, operating across six sites, in Heidelberg (HQ), Barcelona, Hinxton near Cambridge, Hamburg, Grenoble and Rome.

Our mission is to offer vital services in training scientists, students and visitors at all levels; to develop new instruments and methods in the life sciences and actively engage in technology transfer activities, and to integrate European life science research. Please note that appointments on fixed term contracts can be renewed, depending on circumstances at the time of the review.

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