Job: Research Assistant, Microscopy

Department: EMB – Embryology

Salary: TBD

Location: Baltimore, MD

The Department of Embryology of the Carnegie Institution for Science is recruiting a Research Assistant to support optical and electron microscopy. The Department conducts basic research using a wide variety of model organisms and systems and maintains an extensive portfolio of imaging instruments, including widefield fluorescence, confocal, super-resolution, and transmission electron microscopes.

This individual will assist the Department’s Electron Microscopy Specialist and the Imaging Facility Manager by conducting routine instrument upkeep and maintenance, EM sample preparation and processing, operation of various microscopes, user training, and lab management.


  • EM specimen preparation: room temperature resin embedding of various plant, animal tissues, cells, and microbes; negative staining of microbes, purified organelles, and macromolecular complexes; high-pressure freezing and freeze substitution (HPF/FS); microwave processing; ultramicrotomy using diamond knives
  • Maintain records of all processed specimens including a detailed account of all steps used in processing each specimen.
  • Operate the TEM, and train users on the operation of the TEM and other related instruments. Perform image post-processing and analysis of results.
  • Perform general maintenance and basic troubleshooting of electron microscopes and ancillary equipment.
  • Lab management: record keeping, ordering, and reagent preparation; managing the storage and disposal of biohazardous reagents; supervising daily lab usage in the absence of the EM Specialist.
  • Perform general maintenance and basic troubleshooting of various optical microscopes and related equipment.
  • Assist and train users in the operation of a wide variety of automated and manual optical imaging systems (widefield fluorescence, confocal, stereoscopic, imaging scanners, and other instruments).
  • Assist users with the proper use of image analysis and visualization software.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • BA/BS in biology, chemistry, or related scientific or engineering field with hands-on experience in basic laboratory and scientific methods in a research environment.
  • Knowledge and skills in TEM sample processing and instrument operation is preferred but not required.
  • Hands-on experience with optical microscopes and microscopy techniques is required; familiarity with image acquisition and processing software is strongly preferred.

Individuals with advanced degrees are encouraged to apply. Candidates with a combination of education and experience will be considered. Salary will be commensurate with education and experience.


May require training related to occupational safety and health, environmental compliance, shipping of hazardous materials, and/or ionizing radiation.

At Carnegie, we are committed to building a diverse and inclusive community. We believe academic environments should be places where diverse groups of people with various viewpoints and ideas can thrive and work together. As such, we encourage applicants from under-represented groups and backgrounds to apply.

Carnegie is an equal-opportunity employer. All applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, genetic information, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristics protected by law.