Postdoctoral Research Scientist – Advanced Optical Microscopy Development

United Kingdom
£32,817 to £40,322 (grade 7)
28 Jul 2021
29 Aug 2021

Job title: Post-doctoral Research Assistant
Location: School of Science and Engineering, University of Dundee, Dundee, UK
Reporting to: T. Vettenburg
Grade 7, Salary £32,817 to £40,322
Full time
Initial term: 2 year


Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Research Assistant to develop the next generation of light-sheet microscopes for biomedical imaging. The successful candidate will be involved in all steps of the process, from design to implementation and application. The central aim of this research is to overcome the imaging depth limit in biological microscopy. Inhomogeneities within biological samples affect the path of the light entering and exiting the specimen of interest, thus preventing a sharp, high resolution, image. The project will involve the implementation of new microscope systems that fuse computational imaging and adaptive optics in microscopy, as well as the further development of existing systems with a range of modalities such as light-sheet microscopy, structured illumination, phase contrast, and confocal microscopy.

The appointment will be made on the University of Dundee postdoctoral salary Grade 7 scale plus superannuation with initial placement depending on achievements and experience. This contract is for a fixed term period of 2 years with the possibility of extension. Appointment as a Postdoctoral Research Assistant on the Grade 7 salary scale is dependent upon you having been awarded a PhD. An appointment may be considered if you are shortly expected to be awarded a PhD. The initial appointment will be made as a Research Assistant on the Training Grade 7 salary scale. The diversity of our staff and students helps to make the University of Dundee a UK university of choice for undergraduate, postgraduate and distance learning. Family friendly policies, staff networks for BME, Disabled and LGBT staff, membership of Athena SWAN, the ECU Race Equality Charter and Stonewall as well a full range of disability services, create an enjoyable and inclusive place to work.

We are one of the UK’s leading universities – internationally recognised for our expertise across a range of disciplines and research breakthroughs in multiple areas, including science, medicine and engineering. Conveniently located on the banks of River Tay, our main city-centre campus is at the heart of Dundee — an up-and-coming, friendly, compact and affordable city with a rich heritage in design and technology. A short walk from the V&A Museum of Design Dundee, we’re close to both the train and bus stations.


Specific duties

  • The design and optimization of optical imaging systems. This includes optics, mechanics, interfacing, as well as software for control and data processing.
  • The simulation of novel optical systems using custom software.
  • The construction, alignment, and critical evaluation of proof-of-principle optical instruments in the laboratory.
  • Close liaison with collaborators, including the installation and testing of instruments at other laboratories.
  • Analysis of experimental data, testing of hypotheses, and producing publication-ready figures.
  • Supporting research students with their scientific projects and thesis.
  • Maintaining documentation and write up research results for scientific publication.

Additional duties

  • Represent the research group at external meetings/seminars.
  • Collaborate in the preparation of scientific reports, journal articles, and patents.
  • Contribute ideas for new research projects, and develop detailed research proposals.
  • Advice other members of the group on scientific protocols and experimental techniques.
  • Carry out collaborative projects with industry and academia.
  • Manage own academic research and administrative activities.
  • Any other duties appropriate with the role.

Selection criteria


  • Completed a PhD, or be close to completion, in physics, engineering, or related discipline.
  • The ability to independently solve complex problems through research and experimentation.
  • Experience with the design and implementation of optical imaging systems.
  • Capable of modifying and optimising existing designs and imaging instruments.
  • A track record of scientific publication commensurate with experience.
  • Evidence of initiative in the formulation, planning, and implementation of research activities.
  • Capable of managing own academic research and associated activities to meet deadlines.
  • The ability to work flexibly as part of a cross-disciplinary collaborative research team.
  • Excellent communication skills, both verbally and written.


  • Previous experience developing optical microscopes.
  • Experience with computational imaging and adaptive optics.
  • Experience of independently managing a research project.
  • Demonstrable experience developing and maintaining large software projects.
  • Experience with handling and imaging biological samples.

For further information please contact Tom Vettenburg