Job Description

Payroll Title:
Hiring Salary Range
$63,400 - $103,100 /year
Appointment Type:
Appointment Percent:
Total Openings:
Work Schedule:
8 hrs/day, Mon-Fri

#108517 Cryo-EM Research Engineer

Extended Review Date: Thu 6/3/2021

For the safety and well-being of the entire university community, the University of California requires, with few exceptions, that all students, faculty and staff be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus before they will be allowed on campus or in a facility or office. For more information visit:

UCSD Layoff from Career Appointment: Apply by 03/29/21 for consideration with preference for rehire. All layoff applicants should contact their Employment Advisor.

Special Selection Applicants: Apply by 04/0/21. Eligible Special Selection clients should contact their Disability Counselor for assistance.

Job posting will remain open until position is filled.


Uses skills as a seasoned, experienced engineering professional with a full understanding of state-of-the-art methodologies in materials sciences and theoretical concepts associated with it, and an expert in electron microscopy. Demonstrates good judgment in selecting and developing methods and techniques for obtaining solutions.

Under direction of Principal Investigator (PI), responsible for development and implementation of new technological uses of instrumentation used for cryo-electron microscopy of biological molecules and cells, including high-end transmission electron microscopes and dual beam (FIB/SEM) instruments. Day to day responsibilities include imaging and acquiring data for scientific projects in the lab; working with the lab members and collaborators in developing new methodologies or adapting existing ones for imaging cells using cryo-electron microscopy, including planning, organizing, testing, and performing all engineering functions required.

Analyze and interpret research data from facility and help write grants and proposals. Responsible for installation and maintenance of cryo-electron microscopy instrumentation and ancillary equipment, including testing/assessing the performance, and training and supervising scientists in all aspects of the use of microscopy equipment. Interface with current staff at the cryo-EM facility to assist in the facility management.


  • Thorough knowledge and experience with engineering principles and methods to independently perform the full range of engineering professional design work. Expertise operating transmission electron microscopes and dual beams, particularly those equipped with field emission guns including optimized alignment to acquire sub-angstrom resolution data.

  • Extensive experience in in designing and conducting experiments, collecting data, and reporting results, typical of a PhD level.

  • Thorough knowledge necessary to apply principles, practices and procedures in the completion of assignments. Advanced experience in the design and implementation of complex microscopy projects. Must have an acute attention to detail and demonstrated ability to keep accurate and clear records.

  • Demonstrated independent experience with FEI (Thermo Fisher Scientific) electron microscopes.

  • Proven experience with EFTEM, EELS, and STEM. Experience with image processing.

  • Proven experience using software for automated data collection (Leginon and Appion preferred)

  • Strong organizational and decision-making abilities to prioritize competing work assignments in order to meet deadlines and adherence to quality standards. Ability to independently manage time, set priorities and meet deadlines.

  • Strong analytical and judgment skills to independently conduct analyses and develop appropriate recommendations. Proven ability to think creatively to recommend action steps or strategize solutions relative to research.

  • Effective written and verbal communication and presentation skills. Must be able to quantitatively analyze scientific results and communicate effectively with faculty, students, staff, vendors, and service engineers.

  • Ability to lead and influence others. Ability to lead and influence within and external to project team. Must have the ability to help manage a large, multi-user research facility and to perform all duties with limited supervision.

  • Proven ability to assist in the planning and writing of instrument-related grant proposals as needed, keep abreast of scientific literature concerning relevant new instrumentation and specimen preparation and imaging techniques.

  • Demonstrated experience with sample preparation, including some knowledge of FIB milling.

  • Skill to operate a personal computer and knowledge of databases, general computer applications, and programs including word processing and spreadsheets. Ability to update and increase computer skills and knowledge as needed.

  • Knowledge/understanding and at least some experience with Safety Data Sheets, hazard communication and Injury and Illness Prevention Program. Familiarity with a Chemical Hygiene Plan addressing safety precautions including appropriate clothing and shoes, safe handling of chemicals, use of protective items. Willingness and ability to keep safety training current and consistent with research involvement.

  • Strong proven publication record in the field.

  • Excellent manual dexterity and visual acuity are required.


  • Must be willing to work with hazardous materials, including but not limited to cryogens.

  • Must be willing to be available to other users on site, via various communications modalities.

  • Must be willing to come on site when problems arise that require immediate attention, including nights, holidays, and weekends.

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have impacted UC San Diego Campus hiring. UCSD Campus will continue to recruit for essential positions and we ask for your understanding and patience with our application process during this unprecedented time. For more information regarding steps we are taking to keep applicants and staff safe during this time, please view: Additional information about UC San Diego’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic: and

Job offer is contingent on successful engagement in the UC COVID-19 Vaccination program (fully vaccinated with documented proof or approved exception/deferral).

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, protected veteran status, gender identity or sexual orientation. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see:

UC San Diego is a smoke and tobacco free environment. Please visit for more information.

Application Instructions

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