Microscopist (Bioimaging)

Woking, United Kimgdom Microscopy Specialist

This post will provide support to the Bioimaging core facility at Pirbright which underpins our studies on the cell biology of host-pathogen interactions. This will include providing support for instrument users, troubleshooting equipment and experimental design, some maintenance of equipment, contributing towards training programmes for staff and carrying out sample preparation protocols alongside performing microscopy experiments. Following appropriate training, this post will form part of the team that enables the use of confocal, superresolution (STED) and transmission electron microscopy at Pirbright. The post will be line managed by the Head of Bioimaging and managed on a day-to-day basis by the Bioimaging Laboratory Manager, both of whom have substantial experience in this subject area.

Main duties and responsibilities
The main duty of the post is to act as support to the Bioimaging Laboratory Manager to enable collaborations, equipment and services in this area to run smoothly and with a minimum of instrument downtime.

Performing microscopy experiments, which will include:

  • Sample preparation for immunofluorescence, use of confocal and STED microscopes and image interpretation (training will be provided)
  • Sample preparation for electron microscopy, and use of transmission electron microscopes (training will be provided)
  • Providing advice to users on experimental design, sample preparation and image interpretation
  • Presenting image data to managers and other scientists within the Institute

Assisting with users, which will include:

  • Liaising with scientists wishing to use the Bioimaging facility.
  • Training a diverse array of users in safe and effective use of equipment.
  • Working with the Bioimaging Lab Manager to develop training courses and assess their effectiveness.

Performing laboratory management duties, which will include:

  • Bioimaging laboratory and equipment maintenance (including troubleshooting).
  • Reviewing and ordering laboratory consumables, preparing communal solutions to maintain a constant supply.
  • Hosting external microscope engineers.
  • Working with the Bioimaging Lab Manager to write and maintain existing methods, risk assessments and SOPs.

This job description is only an outline of the tasks, responsibilities and outcomes required of the role. The jobholder will carry out any other duties as may be reasonably required by his/her line manager. The job description and personal specification may be reviewed on an ongoing basis in accordance with the changing needs of The Pirbright Institute.

All employees shall actively participate in the Institute-wide quality assurance system in conjunction with the Institute’s Quality Manager. Employees are also expected to safeguard their own health and safety and security by following policies and all employees are responsible for the Health and Safety and security of staff under their management.

Personal specification
The successful candidate must be able to demonstrate that they have the following attributes/skills:

  • Good time management
  • Reliability under pressure
  • Collaborative attitude
  • Diplomatic
  • Passionate and engaging
  • Tenacity
  • Flexibility
  • Manual dexterity

You might also have

  • Minimum BSc (Hons) in a biological sciences subject or equivalent experience
  • Experience in microscopy techniques (confocal microscopy and/or electron microscopy)
  • Experience of working in the field of cell biology and/or virology
  • Evidence of high attention to detail and the ability to plan work effectively
  • Evidence of excellent oral communication skills, including the ability to communicate effectively with a diverse range of people
  • Evidence of ability to work with minimal supervision


  • Experience of advanced light microscope techniques, e.g. STED, live cell imaging, animal tissue immunofluorescence
  • Experience of working in a biological containment environment
  • Experience of cell culture techniques
  • Experience of molecular virology techniques
  • Evidence of working within a quality assurance framework

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