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Job id: 087288. Salary: £37,337 - £42,099 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance.

Posted: 04 April 2024. Closing date: 01 May 2024.

Business unit: Research Platforms. Department: CUI.

Contact details: Amy Griffin and Leanne Allison. Amy.Griffin@kcl.ac.uk; leanne.allison@kcl.ac.uk

Location: Guy’s Campus. Category: Professional & Support Services.

Job description

We have an exciting opportunity at King’s College London (KCL), UK, for an experienced, enthusiastic, and adaptable Electron Microscope Technician to join our busy team in the Centre for Ultrastructural Imaging (CUI) on a 9-month contract. The CUI is one of the Core Facilities within the Research Management and Innovation Directorate (RMID) and provides access to some of the most advanced electron microscopy equipment in Europe.

​The post holder will work on multiple projects covering various disciplines (cell biology, neurology, infectious disease, material science and many more), to deliver outstanding imaging data to members of King’s College London, other academic institutions, and industrial collaborators. It is essential that the successful candidate has prior experience in various electron microscopy sample preparation techniques such as chemical processing for scanning and transmission electron microscopy (SEM and TEM), ultramicrotomy, high pressure freezing, and freeze substitution.  The role holder should also be keen to learn and have an interest in developing new skills to support a broad range of EM techniques.  

This post will be offered on a 9-month contract.

This is a full-time post - 100% full time equivalent.

Key responsibilities

  • Plan and carry out well-structured sample preparation techniques that answer the scientific needs of the researcher. This may include using numerous, differing preparation techniques, optimising protocols, and using different imaging modalities. (e.g.  dehydration and embedding for TEM, dehydration, critical point drying and gold coating for SEM, as well as high pressure freezing and freeze substitution protocols).
  • Take responsibility for specific aspects of project management including planning experiments and liaising proactively with CUI collaborators.
  • Build strong working relationships with CUI staff and users across the organisation to support the needs of the centre and King’s researchers.
  • Active engagement in method development (that falls within this role) to improve EM techniques and EM success/data quality.
  • Learn new techniques as required, under the guidance of CUI staff and collaborating companies such as JEOL UK.
  • Work both independently and with CUI users across an array of equipment and scopes.
  • Manage time and working pattern effectively, prioritising tasks to achieve objectives and meet expected customer deadlines and CUI targets. 
  • Provide instruction/training in the use of TEM/ SEM instruments and practical EM techniques to CUI collaborators.
  • Maintain appropriate records and logging of specimens, SOPs, EM methodology and data.
  • Assume responsibility for monitoring and maintenance of Departmental equipment which may include problem solving, troubleshooting and occasional out of hours support.
  • Monitor and prepare stock solutions such as buffers and fixatives.
  • Participate in the good housekeeping of CUI and to ensure that their work is performed to the prescribed quality systems.
  • Act responsibly with regards to one’s health and safety and that of colleagues and users, complying with risk assessments, local rules and procedures and working to defined protocols.
  • Working in a way that supports the manager in the safe management and operation of the facility, including clearly communicating the hazards and controls in place when delivering training, reporting incidents or non-compliances and assisting in writing procedures and risk assessments. Training will be provided where required.

Skills, knowledge, and experience

Essential Criteria

  1. BSc/MSc, or equivalent experience in Electron Microscopy or related subject.
  2. Practical experience of working in Electron Microscopy in a basic research setting. 
  3. Have an in-depth knowledge of current methods and procedures for both specimen preparation and imaging technology (e.g., SEM and TEM, ultramicrotomy, high-pressure freezing, freeze substitution).
  4. Expertise in protocol optimisation and previous responsibility for experimental design.
  5. Experience using various imaging modalities (eg. TEM, SEM).
  6. Excellent communication, orally and in writing and ability to communicate effectively with colleagues, clients, and industry partners.
  7. Detailed and focused approach, ability to record and manage data accurately, and in accordance with GDPR and legislation requirements. 
  8. Proactive and flexible, able to meet strict deadlines and respond to shifting priorities.
  9. Willing to learn new techniques and skills to support service delivery.
  10. Good understanding of Health and Safety practices in a laboratory setting and knowledge of legal requirements and relevant policies, including the Human Tissue Authority Legislation and COSHH.

Desirable criteria

  1. Previous experience in SBF-EM, array tomography, Tokuyasu, CEMOVIS, CLEM and cryo techniques.
  2. Previous experience in teaching/training new users.
  3. Experience of EM data handling and processing.

Further information

This role is lab based and will be offered on a full time, 9-month fixed term contract.