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Research Scientist - Materials Research Lab (A1800358)

Job description


Research Scientist
Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory


University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory (MRL) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is seeking a highly motivated Research Scientist to work in its Electron Microscopy instrumentation core facility. The Research Scientist will serve as a member of the MRL Central Research Facilities staff with a focus on enabling soft materials and biological imaging research by training and advising users in electron microscopy and related methods (including specimen preparation), and by engaging in collaboration with various local and regional users on active research projects.

The individual's job responsibilities include:

  • Supporting research on soft materials and biological imaging in MRL by serving as the technical point of contact to the research community. Activities include managing user interactions, developing research proposals, and assisting with data interpretation.
  • Developing expertise in the instruments and techniques by remaining abreast of advances in the field to advance the local research community's proficiency in the techniques. Activities in this area include ongoing review of relevant scientific literature, participation in professional societies and conference/workshop/training opportunities, and advising facilities leadership on emerging instrumentation needs.
  • Training and advising users in electron microscopy and related methods, including preparation of soft materials and biological samples for electron imaging. Activities beyond hands-on training include developing and improving training materials as needed (based on developments in the field, maintenance or service alerts, and user feedback), and engaging in collaborative research projects with various local and regional users by providing direct support in electron imaging and assistance in data interpretation.
  • Coordinating instrument updates and/or major repairs with manufacturers/vendors, other support personnel and facilities leadership as appropriate. Specific activities include: assuring that instrumentation is kept in optimum working condition by actively monitoring its usage and performance against established metrics; developing standard schedules for routine maintenance based upon manufacturer documentation, use patterns and facilities best practices; performing routine maintenance in conjunction with other supporting staff; and troubleshooting the root cause of suboptimal performance and making minor repairs as needed.
  • Assisting with the MRL's outreach activities, including participating in the development of new research initiatives and providing improvements to existing outreach programs.
  • Performing additional research scientist duties to promote the unit's mission as needed.


The successful candidate should demonstrate excellent verbal and written communication skills and must be able to work independently and proactively with multiple users. The candidate must have a Bachelor's degree or higher in physical or life sciences or engineering. The candidate must have one to three years of demonstrated, hands-on experience with electron microscopy. Preference will be given to candidates with a Master's degree, Ph. D, or a Bachelor's degree and three or more years of demonstrated, hands-on experience with biological or soft materials electron microscopy, including handling of biohazardous materials. Experience with cryo-electron microscopy instrumentation and techniques, including cryo-ultramicrotomy and cryo-plunge, and image analysis is preferred.

This is a full-time, benefits-eligible academic professional position appointed on a 12-month service basis. The expected start date is as soon as possible. Salary is commensurate with experience and qualifications. To apply, please complete a candidate profile at http://jobs.illinois.edu and upload the following as a single file: a cover letter, resume, and the names and contact information for three professional references. To ensure full consideration, all requested information must be submitted by August 10, 2018. Applicants may be interviewed before the closing date; however, no hiring decision will be made until after that date.

The successful candidate will become a member of the dedicated staff of about 20 scientists and engineers, who maintain major research instruments in the MRL's core facilities for soft materials characterization, scanning probe microscopy, laser and optical spectroscopy, electron microscopy, surface analysis, x-ray diffraction, and nanofabrication facilities including two cleanrooms. Over 1,000 researchers from across our campus as well as other academic institutions, industry, and national laboratories use the facilities, logging more than 100,000 user hours annually. The lab is recognized as one of the premier mid-sized user facilities in the nation. For details, please visit us online at https://mrl.illinois.edu/facilities/.

The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer.

The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer. Minorities, women, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. For more information, visit http://go.illinois.edu/EEO. To learn more about the University's commitment to diversity, please visit http://www.inclusiveillinois.illinois.edu

College Name or Administrative Unit: Engineering
Category: Academic Professional
Title: Research Scientist - Materials Research Lab (A1800358)
Open Date: 06/11/2018
Close Date: 08/10/2018
Organization Name: Materials Research Lab

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Job No:
Posted: 6/12/2018
Application Due: 8/11/2018
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