Postdoc position (2 years) in cryo-electron tomography

Umeå University

Application deadline

September 15, 2023

Postdoc position (2 years) in cryo-electron tomography

Umeå universitet, Teknisk-naturvetenskaplig fakultet

Umeå University is one of Sweden’s largest higher education institutions with over 37,000 students and about 4,700 employees. The University offers a diversity of high-quality education and world-leading research in several fields. Notably, the groundbreaking discovery of the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing tool, which was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, was made here. At Umeå University, everything is close. Our cohesive campuses make it easy to meet, work together and exchange knowledge, which promotes a dynamic and open culture.

The ongoing societal transformation and large green investments in northern Sweden create enormous opportunities and complex challenges. For Umeå University, conducting research about – and in the middle of – a society in transition is key. We also take pride in delivering education to enable regions to expand quickly and sustainably. In fact, the future is made here.

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The Department of Chemistry invites highly motivated electron microscopists to apply for a postdoctoral research position, for research with cryo-electron tomography (cryo-ET) and related methods, with the dedication to research using cryo-lamella preparation by focused ion beam (FIB), cryo-electron tomography and 3D image processing. The postdoc is funded by a project grant by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg foundation. The employment is full time for 2 years starting in Autumn 2023, according to agreement.

Project description

We will be studying fertilization by imaging different stages of interaction between gametes using cryo-ET. In particular, the aim is to get an understanding of the overall architecture of the mammalian zona pellucida and investigate how changes in the structure of this extracellular matrix contribute to the block of polyspermy. More information about the overall context of this research, which will involve EM studies of frozen-hydrated samples, may be found at

Available for the project are a Scios DualBeam SEM with Aquilos-upgraded cryo-FIB, a Titan Krios 300 kV cryo-TEM with selectris energy filter and a Glacios 200 kV cryo-TEM, both with new Falcon 4i detectors. A Leica Thunder fluorescence microscope with cryo stage, as well as full access to all additional instruments and sample preparation equipment at Umeå Centre for Electron Microscopy (UCEM) are also available.

The research project is a collaboration between Jovine’s research group at Karolinska Institutet (KI), Huddinge, Sweden and Sandblad’s research group at the Department of Chemistry, Umeå University, Sweden, associated with the UCEM. The postdoc will be located at the Department of Chemistry, Umeå University and short visits at the KI partner laboratory will be included.

Working tasks

As a postdoc you will work within the research project, by independently planning and performing specimen preparation, electron microscopy operations, image analysis and visualisation. You will also document, write and present project research results as scientific publications and conference contributions. The postdoc will be involved in teaching shorter methodology courses at postgraduate level and method development together with UCEM facility staff. The work is planned together with the research groups and the facility’s staff. Our working language is English.


To be eligible, a doctoral degree or a foreign degree deemed equivalent to a doctoral degree is required. This qualification requirements must be fulfilled no later than at the time of the appointment decision. To be appointed under the postdoctoral agreement, priority should be given to candidates who completed their doctoral degree, according to what is stipulated in the paragraph above, no later than three years prior. If there are special reasons, candidates who completed their doctoral degree prior to that may also be eligible. Special reasons include absence due to illness, parental leave, appointments of trust in trade union organizations, military service, or similar circumstances, as well as clinical practice or other forms of appointment/assignment relevant to the subject area.

The required qualification is a doctoral degree in molecular and structural biology or equivalent. It is required to have documented experience in one, or several, fields related to the project such as: molecular and structural biology, electron microscopy, 3D visualization and image processing. Candidates must be able to conduct independent scientific research, present results at meetings and to write scientific reports. Fluency in written and spoken English is a requirement. Emphasis will be placed on personal suitability such as technical skills, ability to collaborate with department, group members and research infrastructure staff. We welcome applicants with a genuine enthusiasm for cell and structure biological research is essential.

Application details

The application should include:

(1) CV containing personal contact details, education and full list of publications.

(2) A cover letter including a summary of your research experience (max. 500 words), as well as your motivation for applying, suitability for the fellowship and project ideas (max. 500 words).

(3) Copies of doctoral degree certificate and other relevant degree certificates and grades

(4) Contact details of two referees (no recommendation letters)

You apply via our e-recruitment system Varbi no later than September 15th. Log in and apply via the button at the bottom of the page. Application language is English or Swedish. Documents sent electronically must be in Word or PDF format.  

For further information please contact

Linda Sandblad,, phone: +46 709 324936

We look forward to receiving your application!

Information about the department

Department of Chemistry is the largest department in the Faculty of Science and Technology, with approximately 200 employees, including about 40 doctoral students, and with a strong and expanding research. Three major areas of research; Biological Chemistry, Environmental and Biogeochemistry and Technical Chemistry, represents the research and chemistry education of our department. We are also a strong partner in KBC, The Chemical-Biological Centre. For more information about working at Umeå University:

Umeå University strives to offer an equal environment where open dialogue between people with different backgrounds and perspectives lay the foundation for learning, creativity and development. We welcome people with different backgrounds and experiences to apply for the current employment.

We kindly decline offers of recruitment and advertising help.

Last updated: 2023-08-25

Content Responsible: Hampus Persson(