Rosalind Franklin Institute

PDRA in Multimodal Cryo-Imaging (10333)

Rosalind Franklin Institute

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

Seeing life in 4-dimensions (space and chemistry) is crucial in understanding development and disease. Some of the most pressing needs for new insight in bioscience are neurodegeneration, cancer, cellular transport, metabolomics, and bacterial multi-resistance. To enable new insights for treatment researchers, need new tools and methods able to probe life in new ways across scale and disciplines. The Franklin aim to impact life science delivering next generation instrumentation, in this case, for meso- and nanoscale imaging and chemical mapping of cells and tissue.

As a Research Associate, you will be adapting in-house a workflow to prepare vitrified tissue and cell for 3D chemical imaging using secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) and serial FIB/SEM. This will require you to work closely with the engineer on site to modify sample holders compatible for both the SIMS and the pFIB-SEM.  You will also develop methods to register the sample between the two imaging methods to allow correlation. You will be part of a larger team working across different disciplines (Biological Mass Spectroscopy, Structural Biology, Artificial Intelligence). engaging in building novel MS instrumentation.  As part of this team, your primary focus will be to characterise the impact of the size of the water cluster on the sputtering yield of vitrified biological sample. You will also characterise the impact of such milling on the sample to evaluate compatibility with subsequent correlative electron imaging technics.   In parallel, you will be involved in the effort to develop ion transfer and post ionisation in SIMS using lasers and plasmas to increase the sensitivity of our instruments.

The post reports to the Franklin's SIMS expert, Dr Felicia Green and will be supported by Technology Lead Dr Gwyndaf Evans and Dr Maud Dumoux and her team. 


You will:

  • Embrace the primary project of the role, namely developing the cryo-SIMS workflow.
  • Collaborate with specialists at the Franklin and in the wider community to set up SIMS post ionisation and develop novel SIMS sources.
  • Collaborate with SEM and TEM experts at the Franklin to ensure cohesive sample preparation and applications.
  • Work with SEM experts to develop suitable protocols for comparing milling sources.
  • Work with MS experts and structural biologists from the RFI and broader UK user community to understand the broader context of the application.
  • Develop the scientific scope of the project, formulate relevant research questions, conduct individual research, analysing detailed and complex qualitative and/or quantitative data from a variety of sources, and generate original ideas by building on existing concepts.
  • Publish research articles in leading academic journals.
  • Present findings at national and international meetings/conferences.
  • Take a formal or informal role (as required) in the supervision of research students, including recruitment, mentorship, and career development.
  • Participate in and support the public engagement and widening access activities of the Franklin.

Please note whilst the role is a Postdoctoral Research level and requires candidates to hold a PhD/DPhil (or equivalent), we may consider candidates who are close to completion of their PhD/DPhil qualification, in which case the initial appointment will be made at £34,500 per annum (to be increased on completion of the PhD/DPhil qualification).

Before submitting your application, please ensure you read the Job Information Pack for full details of this role by clicking on the attachment at the bottom of this page: PDRA in Multimodal Cryo-Imaging (10333) - Rosalind Franklin Institute (

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

Location: The Franklin is based in Harwell Campus, UK’s innovation hub and well-established as one of the leading science and innovation campuses in Europe. 

The Franklin’s underlying aim is to produce the best science for research today, and this means resolutely embracing a diverse team, who have a wide range of experiences, skills, and knowledge to push forward on the innovative work our institution delivers. Both our work and our institution are better for it. For further information, view our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy

At the Rosalind Franklin Institute we welcome applications from all around the world!

To be considered for this role, please send a CV and cover letter through explaining why you think you are the right person for this job. Please including information about your education and work experience.

Closing date: Closing date for applications is 23:59 on Sunday 14th July 2024.

Applicants should refer to our Candidate Privacy Policy

Area: Scientific

Period of appointment: 2 Years Fixed-Term Contract (with the possibility to extend, subject to external funding)