Group Leader – Cell Biology and Biophysics


Key information

  • Location: EMBL Heidelberg
  • Staff category: Staff Member - Science, research and training
  • Contract duration: 5 years
  • Grading: 9
  • Closing date: 20 September 2020
  • Reference number: HD01796

Continue reading for more information about this position, or apply now.




About this position

The Cell Biology and Biophysics (CBB) Unit is a vibrant interdisciplinary department where biologists, physicists, mathematicians and chemists work closely together. The Unit’s highly collaborative research groups employ approaches ranging from advanced electron and light microscopy, chemical biology and biochemistry, genetics and functional genomics to bioimage informatics, modelling and computer simulations. The research in the Unit focuses on comprehensive understanding of the molecular mechanism of essential cellular functions, currently including transport, signalling, migration, differentiation and division. We are seeking to recruit two highly motivated group leaders who wish to carry out cutting-edge molecular cell biology research or imaging technology development. In the area of cell biology, we would for example welcome applications that plan to work in unusual, including marine, model systems, or that take a theoretical approach to model dynamic cell biological processes. In the area of imaging technology, we would for example welcome applications that develop novel microscopy technologies to probe the molecular or physical structure and function of cells.

Your role

You will lead a research group to pursue highly ambitious and original research goals. The future group leader will be embedded in the multidisciplinary and collaborative environment of EMBL, which provides many opportunities for interaction with other research groups.

You have

The successful candidate should have a concise research plan with clearly outlined highly original and ambitious research goals. A PhD degree in natural sciences is required, with an interest in the wider field of Cell Biology and Biophysics. Applicants with a degree in (bio)informatics/mathematics, engineering, chemistry, physics and a keen interest in cell biological applications of their discipline are especially encouraged to apply.

You might also have

EMBL’s future scientific directions, Molecules to Ecosystems, include a vision to advance our understanding of ecosystems at the molecular level, applying expertise in molecular biology to study life in its natural context. New research areas will focus on applying experimental, computational and theoretical approaches to study at multiple levels (molecules, cells, tissues and populations) how organisms interact with each other and respond to environmental change. CBB will be happy to host molecular cell biology or imaging technology development activities related to the new transversal themes.

  • Planetary Biology – aiming to understand how microbes, plants, and animals interact with each other and with their abiotic environments at the molecular level.
  • Microbial Ecosystems – studying microorganisms in communities and how they interact with their environments, including host organisms. Infection biology will be an important focus.
  • Human Ecosystems – applying computational and experimental approaches to reveal the impact of the environment on human health and physiology, both at the individual and the population level.
  • Theory – using modelling, mathematical reasoning, and conceptual approaches to study complex and dynamic biological systems.

Why join us

EMBL appoints group leaders from early on in their career and provides a very supportive environment for your first independent position in order to achieve your research goals. The initial "Lead your Lab" management training  is provided for all incoming group leaders. EMBL offers a highly collaborative, uniquely international culture. The various EMBL units are strongly connected and cross-unit collaborations are not only possible but also strongly encouraged. It fosters top quality, interdisciplinary research by promoting a vibrant environment consisting of young independent research groups with access to outstanding graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and core facilities.

EMBL is an inclusive, equal opportunity employer offering attractive conditions and benefits appropriate to an international research organization with a very collegial and family friendly working environment. The remuneration package comprises a competitive salary, a comprehensive pension scheme, medical, educational and other social benefits, as well as financial support for relocation and installation, including your family and the availability of an excellent child care facility on campus. EMBL is committed to internationality, diversity and equality, and as such encourages applications from underrepresented groups.

What else you need to know

We are Europe’s flagship research laboratory for the life sciences – an intergovernmental organisation performing scientific research in disciplines including molecular biology, physics, chemistry and computer science. We are an international, innovative and interdisciplinary laboratory with more than 1700 employees from more than 80 countries, operating across six sites, in Heidelberg (HQ), Barcelona, Hinxton near Cambridge, Hamburg, Grenoble and Rome. The working language of the institute is English. In your online application, you will be asked to include a cover letter, your CV, the names and contact details of 3 referees and a concise description of research interests & future research plans, typically not exceeding five pages. In addition, you will be asked to provide your potential interests in one (max two) transversal themes and are also invited to apply for multiple positions if relevant:

Interviews are planned for 18 – 23 November 2020. Same interview conditions will be applied to all candidates, despite of the potential travel restrictions due to the Covid-19 situation. If you provide additional choices, interviews might also happen between  10 - 26 November 2020.

Information on Group Leader appointments can be found here http://www.embl.org/gl_faq.

An initial contract of 5 years will be offered to the successful candidate. This is foreseen to be extended to a maximum of 9 years, subject to an external review.

Further information about the position can be obtained from Stephanie Alexander, Research Manager in the Cell Biology and Biophysics Unit.

Join EMBL and you’ll join a community of world-class researchers and skilled professionals working together to uncover the secrets of life.

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The European Molecular Biology Laboratory is a single organisation spread across six European locations. Each of our sites hosts its own research units, services and facilities.

EMBL is Europe’s leading life sciences laboratory.

EMBL seeks to better understand the molecular basis of life. In the process, we’re changing European science.