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Light Microscopy Specialist

Posted by on 29 May 2024

Job type: Academic - Core Facility

Location: Austin, Texas

Closing Date: 1 July 2024

Job Details:
The Center for Biomedical Research Support (CBRS) is a collection of 10 service centers that operates under the Vice President for Research, Scholarship and Creative Endeavors (OVPR) and broadly supports the research community on campus and externally. CBRS serves a central role across all of campus to provide access to cutting-edge technology, expert advice, and centralized services. CBRS is comprised of core facilities including Biomedical Imaging, Bioinformatics, Biological Mass Spectrometry, Biomedical Research Computing, Cryo-EM imaging, Genome Sequencing, Microscopy/Flow Cytometry and Mouse Genetic Engineering. In addition, CBRS provides laboratory support in stockrooms, electronics repair, and external services drop boxes.
The Microscopy and Imaging Facility (MIF) is a core facility in the Center for Biomedical Research Support.  Our mission is to support multidisciplinary research and further scientific knowledge by providing access to state-of-the-art light microscopy, flow cytometry, and other research instrumentation; consultations with our expert staff; instrument trainings; and educational seminars and workshops.
We are seeking a skilled and motivated Light Microscopy Specialist to join our team. In this role, you will be responsible for training and experimental support for fluorescence microscopes, particularly confocal microscopes.  As a member of our team, you will play a critical role in advancing research projects at UT.
We provide excellent customer service to our researchers, and we believe in making our instrumentation accessible to any researcher, no matter their previous experience level or knowledge. By training researchers in this role, you will contribute to the development of the next generation of scientists.  Through working in a multidisciplinary core facility, you will gain experience with a wide variety of sample types and experiments. We are looking for someone who can work full-time on-site in the Microscopy and Imaging Facility to provide instrument support when needed.
UT Austin offers a competitive benefits package that includes:  
– 100% employer-paid basic medical coverage  
– Retirement contributions
– Paid vacation and sick time
– Paid holidays
Please visit our Human Resources (HR) website to learn more about the total benefits offered.

Purpose

This position will support research at the University of Texas at Austin by providing training on advanced fluorescence microscopes and consultations with users on their experiments. 

Responsibilities

  • Trains researchers on the theory behind advanced fluorescence microscopes and on how to acquire quantifiable light microscopy data.  Instructs researchers on proper operation and ensures safe, responsible use of microscopes. Provides additional support for troubleshooting and new microscopy techniques after training.
  • Advises researchers about experiment design, data acquisition, and image analysis. Responds to researcher inquiries in a timely manner during working hours.
  • Stays current with advances in light microscopy instrumentation and techniques.  Works with the facility director to identify upgrades to our instrumentation.
  • Provides periodic maintenance of current and future instrumentation and related computer systems in the Microscopy and Imaging Facility.  Monitors use of microscope rooms and ensures spaces are kept tidy.  Performs routine quality control of advanced fluorescence microscopes and document results.  Consults with the facility director to diagnose microscope issues.  Schedule with external service technicians as needed.
  • Operates microscopes on behalf of researchers as assisted use.
  • Develops operating and safety protocols as required for current equipment and changes in methodology.  Assists the facility director with adherence to laser safety requirements.
  • Conducts lab administrative duties, including imaging supplies management and monthly billing.  Maintains record keeping and scheduling for microscopy instrumentation.
  • Other related functions as assigned.

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree with 4 years’ experience or master’s degree with 2 years’ experience in life science, engineering, or another related field
  • Hands-on experience with a laser scanning confocal microscope
  • A working knowledge of the fundamentals of confocal microscopy and other fluorescence microscopy techniques
  • A working knowledge of fluorescence microscopy sample preparation techniques and best practices
  • Experience teaching and/or training others to use scientific instruments
  • Ability to work independently to complete responsibilities
  • Strong organizational and time management skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills to work in a customer-facing role
  • Demonstrated ability to work successfully in a team environment
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
    Relevant education and experience may be substituted as appropriate.

Preferred Qualifications

  • PhD in life science, engineering, or another related field
  • Hands-on experience using other advanced fluorescence microscopes, such as PALM/STORM, SIM, spinning disk, TIRF, multiphoton, STED, or selective plane illumination light sheet
  • Experience with microscopy sample preparation protocols, including clearing
  • Experience with image processing and analysis with ImageJ, Imaris, NIS-Elements, MATLAB or other software
  • Experience with microscope maintenance, including cleaning, alignment, and quality control
  • Prior professional experience in a core facility

Salary Range

$65,000 + depending on qualifications 

Working Conditions

  • Uniforms and/or personal protection equipment (furnished)
  • May work around chemical fumes
  • May work around standard office conditions
  • May work around biohazards
  • May work around chemicals
  • Repetitive use of a keyboard at a workstation
  • Use of manual dexterity
  • Lifting and moving

Required Materials

Please mark “yes” on the application for required materials. Failure to attach all additional materials listed may affect candidates being considered for the position.
– Resume/CV
– 3 work references with their contact information; at least one reference should be from a supervisor
– Letter of interest

Important for applicants who are NOT current university employees or contingent workers: You will be prompted to submit your resume the first time you apply, then you will be provided an option to upload a new Resume for subsequent applications. Any additional Required Materials (letter of interest, references, etc.) will be uploaded in the Application Questions section; you will be able to multi-select additional files. Before submitting your online job application, ensure that ALL Required Materials have been uploaded.  Once your job application has been submitted, you cannot make changes.

Employment Eligibility:

Regular staff who have been employed in their current position for the last six continuous months are eligible for openings being recruited for through University-Wide or Open Recruiting, to include both promotional opportunities and lateral transfers. Staff who are promotion/transfer eligible may apply for positions without supervisor approval.

Retirement Plan Eligibility:

The retirement plan for this position is Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS), subject to the position being at least 20 hours per week and at least 135 days in length.

Background Checks:

A criminal history background check will be required for finalist(s) under consideration for this position.

Equal Opportunity Employer:

The University of Texas at Austin, as an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, complies with all applicable federal and state laws regarding nondiscrimination and affirmative action. The University is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, religion, or veteran status in employment, educational programs and activities, and admissions.

Pay Transparency:

The University of Texas at Austin will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. However, employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is (a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or (c) consistent with the contractor’s legal duty to furnish information.

Employment Eligibility Verification:

If hired, you will be required to complete the federal Employment Eligibility Verification I-9 form.  You will be required to present acceptable and original documents to prove your identity and authorization to work in the United States.  Documents need to be presented no later than the third day of employment.  Failure to do so will result in loss of employment at the university.

E-Verify:
The University of Texas at Austin use E-Verify to check the work authorization of all new hires effective May 2015. The university’s company ID number for purposes of E-Verify is 854197. For more information about E-Verify, please see the following:
E-Verify Poster (English) [PDF]
E-Verify Poster (Spanish) [PDF]
Right To Work Poster (English) [PDF]

Right To Work Poster (Spanish) [PDF]

Compliance:
Employees may be required to report violations of law under Title IX and the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act). If this position is identified a Campus Security Authority (Clery Act), you will be notified and provided resources for reporting. Responsible employees under Title IX are defined and outlined in HOP-3031.
The Clery Act requires all prospective employees be notified of the availability of the Annual Security and Fire Safety report. You may access the most recent report here or obtain a copy at University Compliance Services, 1616 Guadalupe Street, UTA 2.206, Austin, Texas 78701.

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