Group Leader - X-ray imaging of biological samples

Hamburg, Germany Group Leader

EMBL is seeking to recruit a group leader to develop X-ray imaging applications in the life sciences towards a future user facility.

EMBL Hamburg has pioneered the use of synchrotron radiation in the Life Sciences and has provided service facilities for the use of X-rays in Structural Biology for decades on the DESY campus, Hamburg, Germany. At present, the EMBL Integrated Facility for Structural Biology provides access to structure determination pipelines employing crystallography and/or small-angle X-ray scattering to a large international user community.

EMBL’s future scientific directions, Molecules to Ecosystems, include a vision to advance our understanding of ecosystems at the molecular level, applying expertise in molecular biology to study life in its natural context. New research areas will focus on applying experimental, computational and theoretical approaches to study at multiple levels (molecules, cells, tissues and populations) how organisms interact with each other and respond to environmental change.

Inspired by ground-breaking experiments in the field of X-ray imaging of biological samples, scientists from EMBL have recently started to explore the possibilities of making high-energy X-ray imaging accessible to a wider biological scientific community. Here, we are looking for a candidate with the ability to expand the research and service portfolio of the EMBL Hamburg Unit into X-ray imaging applications. While the current synchrotron PETRA III already provides excellent conditions, the planned upgrade of the on-site synchrotron ring in Hamburg to PETRA IV will open unprecedented new opportunities for X-ray imaging as well.

Your role

  • Establish an independent and innovative research program towards new approaches in X-ray imaging of biological samples, encompassing experimental, technical or computational developments.
  • Facilitate experiments in X-ray based and correlative imaging of biological materials, ranging from cells to organoids, organs and organisms, using existing facilities at EMBL and other relevant research infrastructures.
  • Develop concepts for a future integrated user facility for biological X-ray imaging; participation in the overall planning for facilities at the future PETRA IV synchrotron.

You have

  • A PhD in a relevant research area.
  • Profound expertise and track record in X-ray based imaging of biological material, with a particular interest in methodological developments. Additional expertise in correlate imaging approaches would be advantageous.
  • Strong motivation to work at highly collaborative and multidisciplinary environment of EMBL.
  • A concise research plan with clearly outlined, original and ambitious research goals.

Why join

EMBL appoints group leaders from early on in their career and provides also a very supportive environment for your first independent position in order to achieve your research goals. The initial management training (the "Lead your Lab" course) is provided for all new incoming group leaders.

EMBL offers a highly collaborative, uniquely international culture. The various EMBL units are strongly connected and cross-unit collaborations are not only possible but also strongly encouraged. It fosters top quality, interdisciplinary research by promoting a vibrant environment consisting of young independent research groups with access to outstanding graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and core facilities.

EMBL is an inclusive, equal opportunity employer offering attractive conditions and benefits appropriate to an international research organization with a very collegial and family friendly working environment. The remuneration package comprises a competitive salary, a comprehensive pension scheme, medical, educational and other social benefits.

EMBL is committed to internationality, diversity and equality, and as such encourages applications from underrepresented groups.

What else you need to know

EMBL is Europe’s flagship research laboratory for the life sciences – an intergovernmental organisation performing scientific research in disciplines including molecular biology, physics, chemistry and computer science. We are an international, innovative and interdisciplinary laboratory with more than 1700 employees from more than 80 countries, operating across six sites, in Heidelberg (HQ), Barcelona, Hinxton near Cambridge, Hamburg, Grenoble and Rome. Further information about research at EMBL Hamburg and CSSB can be found on the respective web pages. In your online application, you will be asked to include a cover letter, your CV, the names and contact details of 3 referees and a concise description of research interests & future research plans, typically not exceeding five pages. Further information about the position can be obtained from Matthias Wilmanns. Interviews are planned to take place on the 15th - 16th September 2020.

Information on Group Leader appointments can be found here. An initial contract of 5 years will be offered to the successful candidate. This is foreseen to be extended to a maximum of 9 years, subject to an external review. Please apply online through: