Postdoc Position – Method development of cryogenic 4D-STEM imaging

Updated: about 1 month ago

Your Job:

At the ER-C-3, the Structural Biology department of the ER-C, we use a comprehensive electron microscopy approach to study the biological structures of membrane-associated protein complexes in the context of neurodegenerative diseases. In close cooperation with experts in the development of methodologies in 4D-STEM, new approaches for low-dose imaging at high contrast in cryo-EM are worked out both theoretically and experimentally. The research is embedded in the vibrant research consortium 4D-BioSTEM with the Müller-Caspary and Stahlberg groups from LMU Munich and EPFL Lausanne funded by an ERC Synergy Grant.

We are offering an interesting postdoctoral research position dedicated to the advancement of cryo-STEM imaging methods at the interface of structural biology and materials science electron microscopy at the Forschungszentrum Jülich. Cryo-EM has become a very powerful method to visualize ice-embedded samples including purified proteins at close to atomic resolution. Single-particle cryo-EM as well as cryo-ET are based on conventional transmission electron microscopy (TEM) exposures taken in underfocus. In this project, we aim to further develop the imaging capabilities based on 4D-STEM including differential phase contrast as well as ptychography in order to apply them to vitrified biological specimens.

Your tasks include:

  • Develop novel methods for the application of 4D-STEM methods to biological specimens.
  • Operate high-resolution electron microscopes with ice-embedded biological samples including hybrid pixel detectors.
  • Perform image analysis of 4D-STEM data to determine high-resolution cryo-EM structures of ice-embedded test specimens and in situ cellular samples.
  • Employ advanced imaging methods together with an interdisciplinary team of physicists and structural biologists.

Further information on our research and the project can be found here:

We have prepared a short video for you to introduce some of the team members and to give you a deeper insight into our institute and what we do: https://go.fzj.de/video_er-c

Your Profile:

  • Masters with subsequent PhD degree in biophysics, biochemistry, molecular or cell biology or related field. Applications from Physics PhDs are particularly encouraged.
  • Strong experimental skills in biophysics, molecular cell biology experiment design including associated data analysis.
  • Knowledge of either physical and/or structural biology electron microscopy techniques is of great advantage.
  • Strong communication skills and ability to work in an international and interdisciplinary team.

Our Offer:

We work on the very latest issues that impact our society and are offering you the chance to actively help in shaping the change! We offer you:

  • The chance to work at one of the largest research centers in Germany, with excellent scientific equipment and leading European computational resources, located on a green campus, and near the cultural centers Köln, Düsseldorf, and Aachen. The Jülich campus also hosts a vibrant biophysics, bioinformatics and structural biology community.
  • The activities are embedded in a well-supported scientific infrastructure within outstanding electron microscopy environment together with the Biological and Physical sciences.
  • Direct access to high-level cryo-EM infrastructure at the Ernst-Ruska Centre. The facility has been extended with state-of-the-art cryo-microscopes and FIB-SEMs of ThermoFisher Titan Krios (including STEM setup), Talos Arctica and FIB-SEM Aquilos 2.
  • Working in a dynamic team of researchers with backgrounds in different disciplines across biology, chemistry, physics and informatics to advance cryo-EM methods.
  • A wide range of scientific challenges covering microscope operation, image processing and structure determination for structural biology.
  • Working in a dynamic team of researchers with backgrounds in different disciplines across biology, chemistry, physics and informatics to advance cryo-STEM methods
  • Comprehensive training courses and individual opportunities for personal and professional further development
  • Extensive company health management
  • Ideal conditions for balancing work and private life, as well as a family-friendly corporate policy
  • Flexible work (location) arrangements
  • Targeted services for international employees, e.g. through our International Advisory Service
  • 30 days of annual leave and an attractive regulation for bridging days
  • Capital-forming benefits and an employee pension scheme
  • Flexible working hours in a full-time position (39 hours/week) with the option of slightly reduced working hours
  • Targeted services for international employees, e.g. through our International Advisory Service
  • Exploration and preparation of next career opportunities, supported by our Career Center & Postdoc Office: https://www.fz-juelich.de/en/career-center-postdoc-office


We offer you an exciting and varied role in an international and interdisciplinary working environment. The position is initially for a fixed term of 2 years, with possible long-term prospects. Salary and social benefits will conform to the provisions of the Collective Agreement for the Public Service (TVöD-Bund) depending on the applicant’s qualifications and the precise nature of the tasks assigned to them.

In addition to exciting tasks and a collaborative working atmosphere at Jülich, we have a lot more to offer: https://go.fzj.de/benefits

We welcome applications from people with diverse backgrounds, e.g. in terms of age, gender, disability, sexual orientation / identity, and social, ethnic and religious origin. A diverse and inclusive working environment with equal opportunities in which everyone can realize their potential is important to us.



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