Team Leader, Cellular Structure and 3D Bioimaging
Location:EMBL-EBI Hinxton near Cambridge, UK
Staff Category:Staff Member
Contract Duration:3 Years
Closing Date:26 February 2017
Reference Number:EBI_00872

Job Description

We are seeking to recruit a Team Leader for the Cellular Structure & 3D Bioimaging team at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) located at the Wellcome Genome Campus near Cambridge in the UK. EMBL-EBI is a world-leader in archival and dissemination of 3D biomacromolecular and cellular structure data. We accept and curate depositions of structural data for three global archives, PDB, EMDB and EMPIAR. We also maintain a number of databases that support advanced search, analysis and visualisation services for structural biologists and the wider scientific community.

The Cellular Structure & 3D Bioimaging team at EMBL-EBI manages the EMDB and EMPIAR archives and thus plays a key role in the global archival and dissemination of 3DEM data. We are now looking to recruit a Team Leader to provide visionary leadership of this team. The team is relatively small at present (6 posts, funded by EMBL-EBI, NIH, MRC and BBSRC), but we expect it to grow under the new team leader, as EMBL-EBI is establishing itself as a global leader in image-data repositories. This is a faculty level position reporting to Gerard Kleywegt, Head of the Molecular and Cellular Structure cluster.

The team leader will work closely with the Protein Data Bank in Europe team that is also part of EMBL-EBI’s Molecular and Cellular Structure cluster, as well as with UK and international collaborators. The team leader will also initiate new collaborations and raise funds via competitive peer-reviewed grants to supplement core funding allocated to the team. A key task of the team leader will be the continued development of EMBL-EBI's high-value 3D bioimaging resources designed to serve as a platform for research into molecular medicine and other areas of the life sciences.

At EMBL-EBI, we help scientists realise the potential of ‘big data’ in biology by enabling them to exploit complex information to make discoveries that benefit mankind. Working for EMBL-EBI gives you an opportunity to apply your skills and energy for the greater good. As part of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), we are a non-profit, intergovernmental organisation funded by 22 member states and two associate member states and proud to be an equal-opportunity employer. We are located on the Wellcome Genome Campus near Cambridge in the UK, and our 600 staff are engineers, technicians, scientists and other professionals from all over the world.

Qualifications and Experience

The ideal candidate will have:

  • A PhD and at least 6 years post-doctoral experience in the area of 3D bioimaging (preferably, cryo-EM), supported by a solid publication record;
  • Thorough knowledge and understanding of major 3D bioimaging modalities, including cryo-EM (both TEM and SEM), electron and soft X-ray tomography, CLEM, and super-resolution light microscopy. In addition, practical experience with at least one of these modalities is required;
  • Proven ability to attract grant funding;
  • Experience in managing complex software-development projects, using Scrum or similar techniques; experience in managing projects involving external collaborators; experience in personnel management.

The following are advantageous:

  • Experience in software development (e.g., in C/C++, Python, Java) as well as web development (front-end and back-end);
  • Experience in organising workshops and other scientific meetings as well as a keen interest in teaching, training and other outreach activities;
  • Familiarity with related archives and bioinformatics resources and ontologies such as PDB, EMDB, UniProt and GO;
  • Familiarity with relevant formats and data models such as mmCIF and the EMDB data model.

Excellent written and oral communication skills, fluency in English (to be demonstrated in the cover letter), ability to work in a team and with international collaborators, as well as attention to detail are all required. The position requires frequent national and international travel.


EMBL is an inclusive, equal opportunity employer offering attractive conditions and benefits appropriate to an international research organisation. The remuneration package comprises a competitive salary, a comprehensive pension scheme and health insurance, educational and other family related benefits where applicable, as well as financial support for relocation and installation.

We have an informal culture, international working environment and excellent professional development opportunities but one of the really amazing things about us is the concentration of technical and scientific expertise – something you probably won’t find anywhere else.

If you’ve ever visited the campus you’ll have experienced first-hand our friendly, collegial and supportive atmosphere, set in the beautiful Cambridgeshire countryside. Our staff also enjoy excellent sports facilities including a gym, a free shuttle bus, an on-site nursery, cafés and restaurant and a library.

Application Instructions

To apply please submit a covering letter and CV, with two referees, through our online system.

Additional Information

Applications are welcome from all nationalities - visa information will be discussed in more depth with applicants selected for interview.

EMBL-EBI is committed to achieving gender balance and strongly encourages applications from women, who are currently under-represented at all levels. Appointment will be based on merit alone.

The initial contract is for a period of three years with the possibility of a fixed-term extension.

Applications will close at 23:00 GMT on the date listed above.

It is envisaged that interviews will take place on 2nd March 2017.