Postdoctoral Research Associate in Biological Sample Production

Updated: 4 months ago
Location: Harwell, ENGLAND
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 18 Mar 2021

5 years’ fixed-term contract

The Rosalind Franklin Institute is a new national institute, funded by the UK government through UK Research and Innovation, dedicated to bringing about transformative changes in life science through interdisciplinary research and technology development.

Electrifying Life Science is a major UK wide initiative with the goal of shifting structural biology into a new era of discovery. Spearheaded by the Rosalind Franklin Institute, Diamond Light Source and the MRC-LMB, the initiative has recently been awarded a major grant from the Wellcome Trust.

The Franklin component of Electrifying Life Science has at its core, the AMPLUS project, an ambitious plan to revolutionise electron cryo tomography and enable high-resolution, large-volume visualisation of biological specimens (cryoET). A partnership with ThermoFisher will see the delivery of two cutting edge electron microscopes (Dorothy and Hodgkin) that will sit alongside two state of the art plasma cryo FIBs (Rosalind and Franklin).

The LMB-MRC team lead by Richard Henderson and Chris Russo, are working to deliver a low cost high performance electron microscope, cryoEM100.

Diamond, led by David Stuart and Gwyndaf Evans will deliver an entirely new high energy electron diffraction instrument to revolutionise crystallography (HEXI).

The Wellcome funding allows the Franklin, led by Jim Naismith and Mark Basham, to expand the AMPLUS team and recruit scientists at different levels of experience to work alongside our existing team. We are looking for scientists with expertise in biology, cell culture, instrumentation and hardware development, cryo electron microscopy, and software development. An ability to work effectively as part of an interdisciplinary team will be vital.

As part of these ambitious plans, we are looking to appoint one Postdoctoral Research Associate in Biological Sample Production. The successful candidate will join the team that will be working on preparing biological materials for tomographic analysis involving labelling, milling and fluorescent microscopy.

Our internal scientific program will focus on infectious disease but there will be opportunities for collaboration with leading UK groups. This team will also prepare protein samples, particularly membrane protein samples, for single particle analysis.

Selection criteria


  • A PhD in a relevant discipline.
  • Ability to direct your own work and that of others.
  • Ability to formulate scientific hypothesis.
  • Demonstrable ability to report on scientific progress.
  • Laboratory experience in preparing either proteins for structural analysis or biological samples for imaging.
  • Awareness of scientific literature.
  • Excellent organisational skills with ability to meet deadlines.
  • Ability to work as part of the team.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.


  • Experience in protein structure determination.
  • Experience with complex membrane proteins.
  • Advanced expertise in protein assay/biochemistry.
  • Experience in cell culture.
  • Postdoctoral experience.
  • Scientific publications and grant writing experience.
  • Experience in supervising PhD students.
  • Experience using a pFIB machine

In return we offer:

  • 25 days holidays
  • Generous pension scheme (employer’s contribution currently up to 18%)
  • Training and development opportunities for staff at all levels
  • Bus pass discount scheme
  • Access to employee discount platform
  • Subsidised canteen
  • Free on-site parking
  • Campus location in beautiful countryside with social and sports clubs open to staff

Closing date: 18th March 2021 at 09:00am

If you would like to informally discuss this role with Professor James Naismith, please email for this to be arranged.

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