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Application deadline: November 15, 2021.      

MESA+ NanoLab is seeking a Research and Application Scientist in high-end (Scanning) Transmission Electron Microscopy, (S)TEM), applied to the Materials Sciences. We are looking for applicants with a background in advanced (S)TEM covering a wide range of techniques, including excellent knowledge in data processing procedures.

The primary area of responsibility will be operating and handling our brand new Thermo Scientific Spectra 300 probe-corrected S/TEM.

You will join a team of academic and technical staff running a core central analysis facility, housing a High Resolution low voltage SEM, TEM, FIB-SEM, XPS, and XRD. With the other members of the team, you will contribute to supporting a broad and diverse user community.

Your main task will be to perform basic and advanced materials characterization for a wide range of research groups using (S)TEM and associated techniques. including Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDX), electron diffraction, Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy and its derivative mode Energy Filtered TEM (EELS, EFTEM), high-resolution TEM, atomic-resolution Scanning TEM (STEM), electron tomography, integrated Differential Phase Contrast STEM imaging (iDPC-STEM), and emerging technologies such as STEM-Ptychography (4D-STEM). There is an increased interest in in-situ and operando S/TEM studies using commercially available special dedicated specimen holders; experience with and/or a keen interest in these techniques will therefore be considered an asset.

You will also serve as the primary point of contact with users of S/TEM and auxiliary equipment, perform and/or organize scheduled maintenance and alignments, order and monitor use of supplies, perform troubleshooting to ensure efficient functionality, provide training and teaching, and overall user supervision. Basic and advanced TEM sample preparation by mechanical polishing and by DualBeam Focused Ion Beam (DB-FIB) using our new Thermo Scientific Helios 5 UX, are also part of your job.

Other activities include reviewing and implementing best practices and standard operating procedures, teaching and advising users on the accurate use of equipment from a procedural standpoint, and on the underlying physics of the various techniques and ensuring compliance with Institute policies, scientific protocols, regulatory agencies and safety practices.

The applicant is expected to contribute to the development of new project proposals in which (S)TEM plays a role, in close collaboration with the various research groups. We invite the candidate to participate in research activities and writing articles, promote MESA+ NanoLab’s mission and collaborate with external parties, such as within the Netherlands Electron Microscopy Infrastructure (NEMI). We are looking for a candidate that takes initiative to improve work processes that affect the functions of the primary area; anticipates problems and works proactively to resolve these, finds ways to exploit the present and future possibilities of S/TEM for the benefit of research and commercial interest.


  • You hold a PhD or equivalent in Physics, Materials Science, Engineering or related disciplines with a dissertation acquired from a research group specialized in (Scanning) Transmission Electron Microscopy (S)TEM) and associated techniques.
  • You have documented experience with advanced (aberration-corrected) (S)TEM and spectroscopy (EELS).

Required skills:

  • You have excellent interpersonal and communication skills to different audiences.
  • Fluent and oral communication skills in English.
  • Strong analysis and judgement skills.
  • Able to work independently and as part of a team and maintain a dedicated and flexible mindset.
  • Able to balance multiple functions at the same time.
  • Excellent time management, maintain good organizational skills.
  • Experience with (S)TEM simulations and advanced data analysis.

Desired skills:

  • Experience in the use of in situ TEM specimen holders for, e.g., heating experiments.
  • Experience with FIB-SEM and/or mechanical polishing (‘Dimple Grinding and argon ion polishing’) for TEM sample preparation.
  • Knowledge of and hands-on experience with the Velox software from Thermo Fisher Scientific, and the Gatan Microscopy Suite (GMS) software for image and spectroscopic analysis, and basic programming (Python, scripting in GMS, Matlab, or similar).
  • An ability to self-educate in current and evolving TEM techniques and transfer knowledge to the group in a team-oriented way.
  • Working knowledge of characterization techniques such as XRD, and High Resolution low Voltage SEM with Cathodoluminescence (CL) and EBSD, would be a strong advantage.


The position is for 32-40 hours and initially for one year. Before the end of the contract, you will be subject to a job performance evaluation. If positive and the circumstances of the organization remain the same, the contract may be converted into a permanent contract.
The terms of employment are in accordance with the Dutch Collective Labour Agreement for Universities (CAO-NU), and include

  • a gross monthly salary between € 2.836,- and € 4.474,- based on education and relevant work experience, a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and a year-end bonus of 8.3%;
  • A minimum of 29 leave days in full-time employment based on a formal workweek of 38 hours. Full time employment in practice means 40 hours a week, therefore resulting in 96 extra leave hours on an annual basis;
  • Excellent professional and personal development programs;
  • A solid pension scheme.


Are you interested in this position? Please apply before November 15, 2021. Include a motivation letter and a detailed CV, summarizing your education and previous work experience.

The job interviews are scheduled on one of the following days, please take this into account: November 24, December 2, and/or December 6.

For more information about the vacancy, please contact Gerard Roelofs via [email protected].