Facility staff member high-end EM (1.0 FTE)

Updated: about 19 hours ago

Facility staff member high-end EM (1.0 FTE)

Job description

The revolution in electron microscopy (EM) has greatly increased the demand for high-end EM in both Life Sciences and Materials Sciences. EM is the only technique available that can image the atomic structure of materials with (sub) nanometer resolution. Using analytical tools, also the chemical composition and electronic properties can be mapped in 2D or 3D at the nanometer scale. This detailed characterization is of major importance to research fields such as nanoscience, catalysis, semiconductor devices, geosciences, metallurgy, (hard matter), colloids, and polymeric materials (soft matter).
The Electron Microscopy Centre at Utrecht University houses both life sciences and materials sciences microscopes. We have a strong collaboration with the Cell Microscopy Core at the academic hospital UMCU. Together we are ‘Electron Microscopy Utrecht’. For the materials sciences, a double-aberration corrected TEM with advanced spectroscopic capabilities, the Spectra300, has recently been installed at Utrecht University. This specific microscope is also part of the National EM Infrastructure NEMI and will be opened soon for visitors. With the large investments into EM in Utrecht, both by Utrecht University itself and from the National Roadmap, there is much need for specific facility and research support for high-end EM, in particular for the materials science microscopes. Most materials science groups of Utrecht University are in the Debye Institute for Nanomaterials Science at the Faculty of Science and in the Structural Geology group of the Faculty of Geosciences. Applicants are invited to visit these web pages to have an overview of relevant materials science research taking place at UU.
As a facility staff member, you will be part of a team that consists of the Facility Manager and two other EM staff members that have specializations such as cryo-EM and in-situ EM. Together the team will also perform general tasks to make the facility run smoothly and serve the ~100 users of the facility.
This position can offer you a diverse and interesting mix of responsibilities, such as:

  • training of users on electron microscopes, for both TEM and SEM;
  • contributing to research projects by performing advanced experiments together with the materials science groups of Utrecht University, mainly on nanomaterials, colloids, and geomaterials;
  • keeping the high-end electron microscopes in a good condition by regular alignments;
  • overseeing installations, repairs, and upgrades of the microscopes by the supplier companies, all conducted in close collaboration with the Facility Manager;
  • implementation of safety regulations and ensuring these are adhered to;
  • staying up-to-date of existing techniques and the implementation of new research techniques as needed.

There is opportunity to perform management/outreach tasks as well, such as taking care of the booking system of the microscopes, updating the webpage of the electron microscopy centre, contributing to a newsletter, etc.
The position is not intended as a first step for a scientific academic career. You will be actively supported to develop your microscopy and managerial skills.


We are looking for a dedicated and positive new colleague to complement our team, both on a professional and personal level, and who has:

  • an HBO/BSc/MSc degree or equivalent in vacuum technology, applied physics, materials science, or related fields;
  • good communication skills in English (speaking and writing);
  • experience in high-end transmission electron microscopy (TEM), preferably also with aberration-corrected TEM and electron energy loss spectrometry (EELS);
  • experience in electron microscopy sample preparation and data processing;
  • prior experience in providing training (preferred).

  • the opportunity to work in an ambitious and expanding team of skilled experts;
  • a position for 2 years with the possibility of a follow-up to a permanent position;
  • a full-time gross salary ranging from €2,920 to €4,402 in scale 9-10;
  • benefits including 8% holiday bonus and 8.3% end-of-year bonus;
  • a pension scheme, partially paid parental leave, and flexible employment conditions based on the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities (cao).

In addition to the employment conditions laid down in the cao for Dutch Universities, Utrecht University has a number of its own arrangements. For example, there are agreements on professional development, leave arrangements, and sports. We also give you the opportunity to expand your terms of employment via the Employment Conditions Selection Model. This is how we like to encourage you to continue to grow.
More information about working at the Faculty of Science can be found here .

About the organization

The Electron Microscopy Centre at Utrecht University serves both life sciences and materials sciences microscopes and has the largest EM user group in the Netherlands (~100 users) with very diverse backgrounds (cell biology, structural biology, geosciences, catalysis, soft matter, nanoscience, etc). Also, several companies are regularly using the facility. The Scientific Manager of the EM facility is Dr. Marijn van Huis and the Facility Manager is Ing. Chris Schneijdenberg. Apart from the facility manager, there are two other EM staff members providing support to the facility and this position constitutes a third EM staff member position, focussed on high-end EM. Although the infrastructure of the facility is (financially) incorporated in the Department of Chemistry, all EM staff members are also member of one of the scientific groups in the physics or chemistry departments where you can join group meetings, etc. This particular position is associated with the Soft Condensed Matter group of Professor Alfons van Blaaderen where the head of the EM centre, Dr. Marijn van Huis, is an Associate Professor.  
The infrastructure of the EM centre is incorporated in the Department of Chemistry at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. The Department of Chemistry is renowned as a world-class centre of excellence and innovation in both research and education, fully resourced and equipped with state-of-the-art technological platforms. Our approach is characterized by a connected, open and can-do spirit that stimulates personal initiative and curiosity.
At the Faculty of Science , there are 6 departments to make a fundamental connection with: Biology, Chemistry, Information and Computing Sciences, Mathematics, Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Physics. Each of these is made up of distinct institutes that work together to focus on answering some of humanity’s most pressing problems. More fundamental still are the individual research groups – the building blocks of our ambitious scientific projects.
Utrecht University is a friendly and ambitious university at the heart of an ancient city. We love to welcome new scientists to our city – a thriving cultural hub that is consistently rated as one of the world’s happiest cities. We are renowned for our innovative interdisciplinary research and our emphasis on inspirational research and excellent education. We are equally well-known for our familiar atmosphere and the can-do attitude of our people. This fundamental connection attracts Researchers, Professors and PhD candidates from all over the globe, making both the university and the Faculty of Science a vibrant international and wonderfully diverse community.

Additional information

If you have any questions regarding the position, please contact the Facility Manager Chris Schneijdenberg at +31 (0)6 15 94 94 20 or c.t.w.m.schneijdenberg@uu.nl , or the Head of Facility Marijn van Huis, via +31 30 253 28 50, or m.a.vanhuis@uu.nl .
Do you have questions about the application procedure? Please send an email to science.recruitment@uu.nl .


Everyone deserves to feel at home at our university. We welcome employees with a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives. In particular, women are encouraged to apply. If you have the expertise and the experience to excel in this role, then simply respond via the “Apply now” button! Please enclose:

  • your letter of motivation;
  • your curriculum vitae;
  • the names, telephone numbers (optional), and email addresses of at least two references.

If this specific opportunity isn’t for you, but you know someone who may be interested, please forward this vacancy to them.
Initial interviews will most likely be conducted online. Interviews are planned to take place in the beginning of September.

Please note: Due to the current situation regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) the process of selection and interviews is subject to change.
Some connections are fundamental – Be one of them

The application deadline is 22/08/2021
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