Electron Microscopy Facility Manager

Updated: 16 days ago
Location: Durham, ENGLAND

Electron Microscopy Facility Manager (
Job Number:
Department of Biosciences
Grade 7: - £34,304 - £40,927 per annum
Open-Ended/Permanent - Full Time
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
Closing Date
: 10-Jun-2022, 6:59:00 PM 


When appointing to this role the University must ensure that it meets any applicable immigration requirements, including salary thresholds which are applicable to some visas.

The Department and role purpose: 

The Department of Biosciences seeks a talented and dedicated electron microscopist to manage the Electron Microscopy (EM) Facility  and to carry out and/or oversee all EM work in the facility. The role is to work with research groups, collaborators and external users, to provide and help to provide, high quality EM data for publication, grant applications and commercial collaborators , as well as training and teaching EM methods and theory to users and students at all levels. This is an exciting and challenging opportunity. It will involve a wide range of research projects using a variety of organisms and specimens. It will also involve maintaining and developing the facility.

Currently, work in the department involving EM includes biomedicine, biofuels, plant sciences, bioengineering, viruses, protozoan parasites and numerous model organisms such as Drosophila , C. elegans , yeasts and Arabidopsis. For instance, EM is used to assess skin and other complex 3D model systems, cytoskeletal organisation in plants, mammals and invertebrates, extracellular matrix secretion and organisation, nuclear pore complex and nuclear envelope structure, organisation and roles in cellular functions and biomechanical properties, as well as analysis of isolated proteins and complexes.

Imaging is a strategic focus of the department, and the EM facility works closely with the Light Microscopy facility, which has the latest super-resolution, functional imaging, confocal and live microscopies. We would like to continue to directly develop this link with correlative light and electron microscopy methods.  

This is a modern facility with state-of-the-art specimen preparation and imaging instrumentation including: Leica EM ICE high pressure freezer (HPF) with light stimulation; Leica robotic freeze substitution (FS) units with agitation modules; Leica EM TRIM; Leica UC7 and UC6 ultramicrotomes with cryo-stages and array tomography; Carbon coating/metal evaporation unit; High resolution chromium/platinum/other metal sputter coater with cryo-stage; Hitachi H7600 TEM with EMSIS Xarosa 20MP camera; Hitachi S-5200 field emission, in-lens high resolution SEMwith cryo-stage.

The role offers:

  • A vibrant research environment in an expanding biosciences department with an imaging focus
  • Well-equipped modern but established facilities
  • Opportunities to develop methods
  • Opportunities to develop research interests and publish in collaboration with internal and external research groups
  • Potential opportunities to develop own research and publish when compatible with facility duties
  • Additional training (e.g. external courses) when required


Core responsibilities:

  • Recognised professional Electron Microscopy practitioner and management and/or service specialist with responsibility for the management of 1 further team member.
  • Provide input to the design and development of service processes, techniques and deliverables for one or more service areas or projects. 
  • Manage operational service activities to ensure excellence in the stakeholder experience.
  • Contribute to the analysis of stakeholder feedback to help define needs and requirements, inputting to the design and planning of services.
  • Internal and external relationship development and partnership working, networking and participation to engage and influence future services and the University reputation.
  • Provide feedback on team and individual performance and identify development needs, conducting regular staff ADR and performance reviews.
  • Handle the vast majority of welfare issues within a team, referring more complex welfare issues to appropriate support services/senior management.
  • Delivery of ongoing coaching, mentoring and training to team members.
  • Maintain an awareness of current policy for University business goals such as widening participation and access.
  • Contribute to business meetings, working groups and sub-committees at departmental and operational service levels.  
  • Responsible for managing small budgets for consumables and some capital items, keeping records and processing invoices.
  • Devolve responsibilities to team members to ensure continuity of service provision and encourage skills development.

Role responsibilities:

  • Provide day-to-day management for the delivery of a high-quality technical and/or experimental facility/platform and service to ensure teaching, research and knowledge exchange outputs.
  • Collaborate with internal and external academics, industry and technical specialists to support the delivery of teaching and research projects.
  • Take responsibility for the design, set-up, maintenance and integrity of teaching, research and learning facilities, technology and resources within a specialist area.
  • Provide technical problem-solving advice to inform activity and project planning, continuous improvement and service development.
  • Apply maintenance schedules to ensure the smooth, safe and efficient use of technology, facilities and services to teaching, research and learning activities.
  • Oversee a service which provides practical and test teaching and research work activities, projects, and self-directed sessions.
  • Provide support to ensure the delivery of undergraduate and post graduate teaching and learning activities, and income generation where appropriate.
  • Develop, modify and optimise protocols and methodologies.
  • Contribute to the planning, design and delivery of research outputs and prepare innovative teaching/research proposals.
  • Contribute to promotional events and conferences.
  • Liaise with internal and external agencies, local authorities, industries and visitors where appropriate.
  • Design, build and maintain complex, specialist teaching and research apparatus, equipment, instruments, systems and appliances
  • Keep in contact with a network of technical and other professionals, as well as attend meetings and courses to ensure continuing professional development in the field of electron microscopy, other imaging techniques and facility management.

Specific role requirements 

Working Arrangements

At Durham we recognise that our staff and students are our greatest asset and we want to support the health and wellbeing of all.  Hybrid working supports this ethos and provides many benefits to our colleagues, including empowering people, where their role allows, to work in a manner which is more suitable for them, whilst encouraging our commitment to environmental sustainability.

Depending on the needs of the business and the job role, Durham University is piloting hybrid working for all Professional Services colleagues in the academic year 2021/2022, which may include the opportunity to work both on and off campus and to flex working hours.  If appointed to the post, your line-manager will discuss the specific arrangements with you.  Any hybrid arrangements are non-contractual and may change within the pilot and when the pilot ends.



Reward and Benefits

To support the delivery of the University's People Strategy to attract, retain and reward the very best, we offer a fantastic range of rewards and benefits to our staff, including:

  • 27 days annual leave, plus 4 customary days and 8 bank holidays (pro-rata for part time) and the option to purchase additional leave;
  • Automatic enrolment into a pension scheme;
  • Corporate and local discounts;
  • Wellbeing resources and discounted health benefits;
  • Health discounts on sports and activities at Maiden Castle Health and Activity Centre;
  • Reward and Recognition Schemes;
  • Personal and career development;
  • And SO much more, with further information available here

Recruiting to this post

In order to be considered for interview, candidates must evidence each of the essential criteria required for the role in the person specification.  In some cases, the recruiting panel may also consider the desirable criteria, so we recommend you evidence all criteria in your application.  

Please note that some criteria will only be considered at interview stage.

How to apply 

We prefer to receive applications online.

Please note that in submitting your application Durham University will be processing your data. We would ask you to consider the relevant University Privacy Statement https://www.dur.ac.uk/ig/dp/privacy/pnjobapplicants/ which provides information on the collation, storing and use of data.

Information if you have a disability

The University welcomes applications from disabled people. We are committed to ensuring fair treatment throughout the recruitment process. We will make adjustments to support the interview process wherever it is reasonable to do so and, where successful, adjustments will be made to support people within their role.

If you are unable to complete your application via our recruitment system, please get in touch with us on e.recruitment@durham.ac.uk .

What you are required to submit 

1. A CV; 

2. A covering letter 

3. Completion of the application questions / A Word document, with examples of how you satisfy the person specification 

Please ensure that you submit all documentation listed above or your application cannot proceed to the next stage.

Contact details Dr Martin Goldberg, m.w.goldberg@durham.ac.uk

Contact information for technical difficulties when submitting your application

If you encounter technical difficulties when using the online application form, we prefer you send enquiries by email.  Please send your name along with a brief description of the problem you’re experiencing to e.recruitment@durham.ac.uk

We will notify you on the status of your application at various points throughout the selection process, via automated emails from our e-recruitment system.  Please check your spam/junk folder periodically to ensure you receive all emails.

At Durham University, our aim is to create an open and inclusive environment where everyone can reach their full potential and believe our staff should reflect the diversity of the global community in which we work.  We welcome and encourage applications from members of groups who are under-represented in our work force including people with disabilities, women and black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.

As a University we foster a collegiate community of extraordinary people aligned to the University’s values .  Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) are a key part of the University’s Strategy and a central part of everything we do.  At Durham we actively work towards providing an environment where our staff and students can study, work and live in a community which is supportive and inclusive, and in doing so, recruit the world’s best candidates from all backgrounds and identities. It’s important to us that all of our colleagues are aligned to both our values and commitment to EDI.

Person specification - skills, knowledge, qualifications and experience required

Essential Criteria:

  • TEM: experience and proven track record in preparing samples for thin section TEM, including, fixation, embedding, ultramicrotomy, knife making, grid preparation, staining as well as TEM operation and imaging
  • Knowledge and implementation of all appropriate health & safety issues for electron microscopy 
  • Ability to teach or train others with specific technical skills.
  • Ability to solve problems and resolve issues, plan solutions and make pragmatic decisions.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills and the ability to develop excellent working relationships both internally and externally. 
  • Experience of being able to network effectively and develop strong and productive working relationships.
  • Knowledge and experience of ensuring compliance with regulatory and organisational policy and guidelines, including health and safety.
  • Experience of implementing policies and procedures.  

Desirable Criteria


  • High pressure freezing, freeze substitution, cryo sectioning and immuno-EM
  • Experience providing EM services and maintaining EM equipment
  • Experience developing methodology

Durham University

OUR CHARACTERISTICS: We are a globally outstanding centre of teaching and research excellence, a collegiate community of extraordinary people, in a unique and historic setting.    

OUR VALUESWe are inspiring, challenging, innovative, responsible and enabling.

Durham University is one of the world's top universities with strengths across the Arts and Humanities, Business, Sciences and Social Sciences. We are home to some of the most talented scholars and researchers from around the world who are tackling global issues and making a difference to people's lives. 

The University sits in a beautiful historic city where it shares ownership of a UNESCO World Heritage Site with Durham Cathedral, the greatest Romanesque building in Western Europe. A collegiate University, Durham recruits outstanding students from across the world and offers an unmatched wider student experience.

Durham University seeks to promote and maintain an inclusive and supportive environment for work and study that assists all members of our University community to reach their full potential. Diversity brings strength and we welcome applications from across the international, national and regional communities that we work with and serve.

It is expected that all staff within the University:

  • Contribute to our learning culture by engaging in mentoring, training and coaching.
  • Positively contribute to fostering a collegial environment; as well as demonstrating commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.
  • Have due regard to Health and Safety requirements appropriate to grade and role.

This post is aligned to the Technical, Research and Teaching Services Job Family

Family key attributes

Roles in this family provide creative and analytical input to facilitate the delivery of world-class teaching, learning and research activities.

Overall family purpose

  • Support stakeholders to ensure the delivery of research, teaching and scholarly activities.
  • Align and tailor services to meet strategic and operational research, teaching and learning objectives.
  • Prepare and set-up equipment, apparatus and resources to ensure the successful delivery of scheduled academic activities.
  • Monitor, manage and maintain teaching, learning or research facilities, workshops, laboratories and experimental environments to ensure compliance with internal and external regulations.
  • Contribute guidance, advice and/or professional expertise to increase intellectual and creative capacity for world-class teaching and research outputs.
  • Actively participate with peers and specialists internally and externally to expand knowledge and practice.
  • Design and construct equipment, environments, tools, techniques and methodologies to meet research and learning objectives.
  • Adapt and develop equipment, techniques and methodologies to meet research and learning outputs and timescales.
  • Engage and network with internal and external specialists and experts to facilitate knowledge exchange and enhance research, teaching and learning activities.
  • Work collaboratively and network across the University with staff in other families to ensure a smooth, timely and high-quality delivery of service.

Link to key strategic plan

  • An economically sustainable approach to delivering technical and experimental support services across the University;
  • Support and facilitate world-leading research across all academic departments;
  • Support and facilitate research that has a positive impact on global, national and regional challenges and which benefits culture, society, health, the economy and the physical environment;
  • Support and facilitate a rewarding research environment and an exceptional research-led learning experience;
  • Support and facilitate programmes that offer intellectual challenge, cohesiveness and a strong sense of progression;
  • A stakeholder-focused orientation, offering satisfying careers to all staff;
  • Ensure that an increasingly diverse workforce is treated equally, fairly and with respect, and that all staff are demonstrably valued and actively engaged.


DBS Requirement: Not Applicable.
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