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Research engineer in cryo-electron microscopy for biology

Vacancy details

General information


The French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) is a key player in research, development and innovation in four main areas :
• defence and security,
• nuclear energy (fission and fusion),
• technological research for industry,
• fundamental research in the physical sciences and life sciences.

Drawing on its widely acknowledged expertise, and thanks to its 16000 technicians, engineers, researchers and staff, the CEA actively participates in collaborative projects with a large number of academic and industrial partners.

The CEA is established in ten centers spread throughout France



Division description

By conducting research in the fields of physics, chemistry and life sciences, the Fundamental Research Division (DRF) contributes to the advancement of knowledge and technological developments at the highest level worldwide. It contributes to the development of solutions that meet the challenges facing our society, in the service of all the CEA's missions. The DRF employs over 6,000 people in 10 institutes. Collaboration with other research organizations and universities, in particular through joint research units, is central to the DRF.

Description de l'unité

The Institute for Integrative Biology of the Cell (I2BC) ( is a joint research unit (UMR 9198), one of the 4 research entities of DRF's Frédéric Joliot Institute of Life Sciences (JOLIOT). JOLIOT brings together the life sciences teams on the Paris-Saclay campus, attached to the CEA Paris-Saclay. The I2BC gathers 650 staff from CEA, CNRS and Université Paris-Saclay. Its aim is to characterize the integrative functioning of the cell and, in particular, to understand the molecular processes that govern the cell's organization and overall physiology, as well as its interactions with the environment. The I2BC teams have access to technological platforms offering high-level services in genomics, biophysics, structural biology, proteomics, imaging and integrative bioinformatics.

Position description


Biology, biophysics and biochemistry


Permanent contract

Job title

Research engineer in cryo-electron microscopy for biology

Socio-professional category


Job description

You will work at the interface between the high-resolution electron microscopy department (300kV microscope) at the SOLEIL synchrotron (80% of your time) and the cryoEM platform (200kV microscope) at the I2BC (20% of your time).


You will be responsible to:

- design, manage and develop the implementation of the unique cryo-EM platform, cryoEM@UPSaclay (latest-generation microscopes: a 300kV Titan Krios G4 installed at the SOLEIL synchrotron and a 200kV Glacios 2 installed on the IBiSA/FRISBI platform at I2BC)

- maintain and regularly monitor equipment performance in conjunction with manufacturers and/or suppliers

- optimize microscope settings: 300kV at SOLEIL (including an additional 200kV setting) for single-particle cryoEM and cryoET data collection; 200kV at I2BC

- provide highly technical engineering expertise for SOLEIL's cryoEM and cryoET R&D projects

- define and manage data collection processes on both cryoEM SPA and cryoET microscopes

- drive the development and implementation of methods and equipment on site or in partner institutes for Cryo-ET sample preparation (HPF, Cryo-FIB-SEM, CryoCLEM). This may include the development and management of multi-purpose projects with the help of mechanical, electronic or IT engineers as required.

- supervise users of both instruments. Welcome and train users to define a data collection strategy and help launch experiments in conjunction with other SOLEIL and I2BC engineers assigned to cryoEM@UPSaclay.

- conduct or supervise experiments, process experimental data, interpret results in relation to research objectives

- participate in activity reports and presentations on microscope operation

- maintain a scientific and technological watch, and propose improvements to microscopes and sample preparation techniques over the years

- adapt instruments to new research needs

- contribute to the development of innovative methods, particularly in cryoET, using highly technical engineering skills

- disseminate and promote your results in the form of technical reports, publications or communications. In particular, represent the platform at scientific conferences to communicate work to a wide community of users in France and elsewhere.


Your activities will potentially involve on-call duty, in particular for the operation of the Titan Krios at SOLEIL.

Applicant Profile


 With a PhD in structural biology during which you were trained in cryoEM, you have professional experience (minimum 2-year post-doc or research engineer on a cryoEM/cryoET platform) that has enabled you to develop expertise in cryoEM data collection and analysis. Experience in cryoET is a major advantage. Service experience on a platform is also a plus.



- biological materials science (in-depth knowledge)

- instrumentation and measurement: sample preparation, data collection and analysis for cryo-electron microscopy methods for SPA and Cryo-ET

- ability to collaborate effectively and communicate clearly to ensure smooth coordination of personnel involved in both instruments

- professional environment and networks

- organization and functioning of higher education and public research

- knowledge of cryo-FIB/SEM and the correlation between cryoEM and cryo-optical microscopy (cryo-CLEM) is a plus

- knowledge of HPF and micropatterning is a plus

- English language: B2 to C1 (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages).


Operational skills

- use the IT tools required for instrument control and data processing, and in particular have an excellent knowledge of Cryo-ET control, alignment and data collection software (Serial-EM, etc.).

- data analysis software (Relion, cryosparc, eman2, imod, Amira, etc.)

- draw up technical specifications



Dossier required

- Motivation letter

- CV

- Summary of scientific achievements (2 pages)

- Contact details of at least 3 referees




Applications must be sent by 30/11/23 to :


Frédéric Boccard, Head of I2BC :



All our positions are open to people with disabilities. CEA's Mission Handicap can help you find the right accommodation to meet your specific needs.

Position location



Job location

France, Ile-de-France, Essonne (91)


Gif sur Yvette


Position start date