EMBL - European Molecular Biology Laboratory

Head of Imaging Infrastructure Strategy and Development

EMBL - European Molecular Biology Laboratory

Heidelberg, Germany

Staff Category: Staff Member
Contract Duration: 3 years
Grading: Commensurate with experience and qualifications
Closing Date: 3 September 2017
Reference Number: HD_01161

Job Description

The European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) is one of the highest ranked scientific research organisations in the world. The Headquarters Laboratory is located in Heidelberg (Germany), with additional sites in Grenoble (France), Hamburg (Germany), Hinxton near Cambridge (UK), Rome (Italy) and Barcelona (Spain).

Innovative imaging techniques are key tools for all life scientists to understand living systems at the molecular level, from biological model systems to patients. Imaging technologies are core enabling platforms of tomorrow’s biology and medicine, and access to these technologies, high level expertise, training and image data services therefore represent essential research infrastructure for the life sciences.

EMBL has developed new imaging technologies since its foundation and its mission is to provide access to technologies and develop infrastructure services for its Members States. EMBL is a founding member of the European Light Microscopy Initiative (ELMI) and coordinates the preparatory phases of Euro-BioImaging (EuBI), the pan-European imaging technology infrastructure project on the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) roadmap, which is currently being implemented for operation as a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC).

As a foreseen founding and coordinating member of the EuBI-ERIC, EMBL is preparing for hosting the future Bio-Hub and provide the general image data services for this new infrastructure. In addition, EMBL will continue its active role in Imaging Infrastructure Strategy and Development (IISD) in general to support its research, service and technology development missions in this key area. The IISD Unit is associated with the Cell Biology and Biophysics Unit (CBB), home to several imaging technology development research groups as well as EMBL’s light and electron microscopy service facilities.

The IISD Head will lead an international team and work closely with the Head of the CBB Unit, Jan Ellenberg, as well as with EMBL’s delegates in the EuBI-ERIC Board. In addition, the Head will coordinate EMBL’s administrative and technical support for EuBI’s interim operation and provide the Interim Phase Secretariat in support of the Chairs of the Interim Board. The Head will be responsible for carrying out EMBL’s tasks in the EC-funded projects that support Euro-BioImaging’s implementation, currently comprising EuBI Preparatory Phase II, Global-BioImaging, iNext and CORBEL. Current deliverables in these projects include implementation of the EuBI infrastructure services (user access, training, image data) establish operational practice among the three Hub Hosts (University of Turku, University of Torino and EMBL) and with the 29 Nodes, located in 11 European countries, as well as building joint access and services with ESFRI partner infrastructures and establish a sustainable international network of open access imaging infrastructure providers with currently 8 non-European countries.

Pursuing these tasks successfully, entails managing the organizational, scientific, strategic, legal and political aspects of these large pan-European and international projects, and proactively identifying and addressing potential bottlenecks. Close personal interactions with 16 current and more future Member States as well as national and European research infrastructure funding organizations are essential. The IISD Head will support the organization of national imaging communities in 26 European countries to prepare their potential participation in the EuBI ERIC. Supervision of administrative and managerial staff in the IISD team at EMBL and close collaboration with the corresponding staff at the Hub partner institutions in Finland and Italy as well as in related European research infrastructures are part of the responsibility.

The position holder is expected to identify and secure new European and national funding opportunities for imaging infrastructure in the future and therefore continuously communicate with national and European funders.

Qualifications and Experience

The candidate should have a PhD in natural sciences or equivalent and a strong background in development and application of biological imaging technology in molecular life science research. In addition, the candidate should have demonstrated experience in preparation and management of large international research networks including EC-funded consortia, as well as strategy and policy development on the national and European level. The candidate needs to have excellent communication and interpersonal skills at the scientific, managerial and political level. Strong personal networks in the European and international imaging communities the European research infrastructure communities (ESFRI, EC) are expected. Experience in leading and developing an international team and communication across many levels of authority is required. Ability to engage in frequent business trips in Europe and internationally is required. Fluency in English is required, advanced knowledge of French and German is an asset.

Application Instructions

Please apply online through

Additional Information

Interviews are planned to take place on 8 September.

EMBL is an inclusive, equal opportunity employer offering attractive conditions and benefits appropriate to an international research organisation with a very collegial and family friendly working environment. The remuneration package comprise a competitive salary, a comprehensive pension scheme, medical, educational and other social benefits, as well as financial support for relocation and installation, including your family.

Please note that appointments on fixed term contracts can be renewed, depending on circumstances at the time of the review.

Don't forget to mention EuroBrussels when applying.

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