Postdoctoral researcher position at MISTRAL

Website ALBAsynchrotron ALBA Synchrotron

ALBA is the Spanish synchrotron light source, a large research infrastructure operating ten beamlines, complementary facilities, and an Electron Microscopy Center, this last in partnership with other institutions. Currently constructing multiple more beamlines, expanding the Electron Microscopy Center, and integrating advanced data analytics, it sums up a wide range of infrastructures geared toward finding solutions to societal challenges.

Located in Cerdanyola del Vallès (Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain), it is funded by the Spanish Government (Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación) and the Catalan Government (Generalitat de Catalunya, Departament de Recerca i Universitats). The synchrotron light produced by 3 GeV electrons is used by thousands of researchers to analyse and understand the properties and functionality of matter, spanning a wide variety of fields, such as catalytic research, health, energy production/storage, environmental research, communication technologies, or cultural heritage.

Our highly motivated staff works in a multidisciplinary work environment with an atmosphere formed by lived diversity, inclusion and respect for our colleagues. Located close to Barcelona in a natural park and well connected by car and public transportation, with excellent connectivity to the world and an employer who understands the importance of life-work balance.

Facing an upgrade to ALBA II, a 4th generation facility, which will increase dramatically brightness and coherent flux, ALBA is in a phase of growth and dynamics.
Being a part of the ALBA team will promote your career and will give you the opportunities to explore new territories.

As postdoctoral researcher and a member of the MISTRAL group, you will be part of the interdisciplinary team operating a state-of-the-art Transmission soft X-ray
Microscope at our beamline; by supporting a user community of international reputation and developing new approaches, you will find wide ranging opportunities to focus and expand your own science program and establish yourself as potential leader in the health and life science community or in the magnetism community.

For more information, you can take a look on our history watching this video:


As the successful candidate, you will be guided by the expert team of MISTRAL, external collaborators and users to fully develop the capabilities of cryo correlative 3D imaging in life science research or magnetic imaging, and contribute to the development of a long-term vision for X-ray imaging on a 4th generation synchrotron. You will develop your own scientific program aligned with the group, section, and facility goals and at the same time support users mostly, but not exclusively, aligned with your own scientific interests. In a diverse, highly interactive team, you will have excellent conditions to refine your scientific expertise, the technical and computational background, and most importantly build a broad and carrying network for your future scientific career. You will build national and international recognition by using opportunities to publish and present your scientific results and approaches at conferences, workshops and seminars.

As a postdoctoral researcher, you will support the user program of the beamline. This will include Local Contact duties for selected experiments, to a smaller fraction engagement in the operation and maintenance of the beamline infrastructure and all experimental facilities of the beamline, and development of technique and instruments. As a Local Contact, you will take ownership of providing excellence in user support, by guiding the user in the preparation phase, ensuring optimum experimental conditions during the experiment, and offering analytical help and, depending on the degree of collaboration, scientific discussions during the analysis phase.

As a postdoctoral researcher who is developing a thriving research program with a good network in your science community, you will understand the research needs of the community; specifically, your scientific interest may focus on developing cryocorrelative 3D imaging applied to life sciences or magnetic imaging on nanostructures. By building your own research program as partner of larger collaborations, you will create new workflows and analysis, or instrumentation improvements and additions; the research program will give you a platform to test these capabilities and demonstrate their effectiveness and uniqueness to solve an important scientific problem. You will disseminate the progress of your research in scientific meetings and peer reviewed publications, proving your scientific leadership, demonstrating to the larger existing and potential user community the effectiveness of the approach. As a good team player with excellent soft skills, you will engage with staff and management not only of the MISTRAL group but all ALBA, searching and exploring scientific and technological synergies. With the same spirit you will also shape your relationship with the user community.

The successful candidate will:
• Provide support to the general users of BL09-MISTRAL as Local Contact.
• Develop your own scientific program which will be strongly aligned with the scientific program of the beamline and in the larger context of the section and facility.
In details this includes, developing the research plan, contributing to the preparation of experimental proposals applying for general user beamtime at ALBA and/or other facilities, and contributing to the analysis and publication of the results.
• Participate on the maintenance, commissioning and upgrade activities of the beamline and facility.
• Engage in the on-going beamline research program, national and European projects and collaborations. This may also include the initiation of new projects if
• Contribute to develop the X-ray imaging program within ALBA II, the upgrade project of ALBA to a 4th generation synchrotron, which includes an extensive upgrade of MISTRAL beamline.


The requirements for participation must be met on the date of the deadline for the submission of applications and will be accredited by means of the CV attached to it, without prejudice to the power of the selection body to require the contribution of the originals of the certifications accrediting the qualifications, training and work experience invoked in the CV.

Applications that do not present the aforementioned or required documentation during the selection procedure will not be accepted.

Expected skills and knowledge:
* PhD degree in physics, chemistry, biology or related disciplines
* Experience in imaging techniques

The working language at ALBA is English. A good level of English both written and spoken is strictly required.

Everyone who meets the requirements is eligible for the position. This position is reserved for those candidates having the legal status of person with disabilities, with a degree of disability equal or greater than 33%. In case of one or more eligible applicants with this status of disability, these candidates will be evaluated at first. In the event that no candidate with the status of disability is finally selected for the position, the selection process shall continue and the rest of the applicants will be evaluated.

Selection Process Development
The selection will be carried out through the competition-opposition system.

As a first phase, an analysis of the curriculum will be carried out (assessment of previous experience and / or scientific history, degree, training and other professional information relevant to the position). The assessment of the CV in the competition phase will be scored up to 40 points, and will consider the following aspects:

• Previous experience in an operational X-ray imaging beamline at a synchrotron user facility. (10 points)
• Sound experience in correlative X-ray bio-imaging or in magnetic imaging.
• Experience in conducting independent research programs using the MISTRAL instrumentation ideally focused towards cryo correlative 3D imaging combining
cryo-3D-SIM and cryo-SXT in life science research or magnetic imaging applied to nanostructures. (10 points)
• Good knowledge of visible light super resolution imaging techniques, TEM or related techniques. (5 points)
• Strong coding experience (10 points)
• Publication record. (5 points)

The best rated candidates, at least three if possible, will be invited to an interview where the technical competence, knowledge, skills and professional experience linked to the position will be assessed, with a total score of 60 points. A minimum of 30 points must be obtained out of a total of 60 points to be eligible.

The interview will assess the following aspects, among others:
• Relevant scientific publication record on X-ray imaging techniques. (10 points)
• Capability in conducting independent research programs using the MISTRAL instrumentation ideally focused towards cryo correlative 3D imaging combining
cryo-3D-SIM and cryo-SXT in life science research or magnetic imaging applied to nanostructures. (10 points)
• Coding experience in Python (5 points)
• Experience in image processing methodologies, including pipelines. (5 points)
• Knowledge in data workflow programming. (5 points)
• Good interpersonal and communication skills. (5 points)
• Ability to interact with providers and facility users. (5 points)
• Ability to work in a multidisciplinary team. (5 points)
• Good organizational and planning skills. (5 points)
• Self-motivation. (5 points)

The merits will be accredited by means of the CV attached to the application. The selection body may require accreditation by additional documentation, originals or certified copies confirming the experience invoked in the CV.

In case of a tied final score, the position will be awarded to the person who belongs to the most underrepresented gender in the corresponding Division and subsidiarily to the overall company.

If necessary, alternates of the members of the Board Selection will be appointed by the president of the selection process, and the change will be published in the

The resolution of the selection procedure will be carried out within a maximum period of six months from the deadline for submitting applications for participation.

The selection process may be declared vacant if the selection body considers not to have found suitable candidates for the position although they might meet the minimum requirements.

Other information

Temporary contract (3+3 years after positive evaluation).

The Selection Board is composed by the following members: Josep Nicolas Roman, Judith Juanhuix Gibert and Eva Pereiro López.

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