Career Accelerator for Research Infrastructure Scientists

ESRF – the European Synchrotron


The ESRF – the European Synchrotron – was the world’s first third‐generation synchrotron and is the world’s most intense X‐ray source providing unrivalled opportunities for scientists in the exploration of materials and living matter. Each year more than 30 ESRF‐based experimental facilities, each equipped with state‐of‐the‐art instrumentation, welcome more than 9000 scientists for experiments in areas ranging from hard condensed matter to Cell/Structural Biology. Activities in Structural Biology, including the development of state‐of‐the‐art instrumentation and automation overseen by the ESRF‐EMBL Joint Structural Biology Group, have been a major success story of the ESRF, supporting Nobel Prize‐winning work in structural studies of membrane proteins, ribosomes and G‐ protein coupled receptors and providing diffraction and, more recently, cryo‐electron microscopy data for 15,000 depositions in the Protein Data Bank. 2020 will see the completion of the construction of the Extremely Brilliant Source (ESRF‐EBS). Here, X‐ray performance will increase by a factor 100, providing exciting new opportunities in X‐ray science including systems, cell and structural biology.

As a partner in this project, the ESRF intends to cooperate with the EMBL towards training the Fellows. ESRF can host up to three Fellows per year in the period 2020‐2024 through secondments, and introduce them to the methods, instrumentation and procedures at the ESRF. Duration of secondments will be between 2 and 6 months and will be arranged in communication with the Fellow. Fellows who will be seconded to the ESRF will come from the fields related to or complementary to the fields of work of the ESRF.

At the ESRF, Fellows will have a possibility to learn about synchrotron‐based facilities for structural, cell and systems biology including those exploiting X‐ray diffraction, small‐angle X‐ray scattering (SAXS), X‐ray imaging and fluorescence microscopy. The Fellows will also have a chance to become acquainted with the operation of synchrotron beamlines for macromolecular crystallography, including high throughput and serial methods, SAXS and beamlines for cell and systems biology. The ESRF will dedicate supervision capacity for each fellow on secondments. During secondments, Fellows will remain employed by EMBL but will have Visiting Scientist status at the ESRF.

The ESRF intends also to host mini‐secondments of a duration of up to two weeks, during which Fellows will shadow operations at its facilities (see above).