Central Analytical Facilities

Senior Analyst / Analyst: Electron Microscopy

(Ref. SAF/275/1019)

The Central Analytical Facility (CAF) at Stellenbosch University (www.sun.ac.za/caf) is a rather unique comprehensive core facility which employs approximately 40 members of staff supporting a wide range of analytical facilities. The CAF is organised into Units and Divisions which specialise in the following areas: Electron Microscopy; Fluorescence Microscopy and Flow Cytometry; ICP MS and LA ICP MS, including geochronology applications; LCMS including proteomics applications; GCMS; NMR including solid state applications; x-ray CT Scanning; Neuromechanical Analysis; PET/CT Scanning; DNA Sequencing; and Vibrational Spectroscopy. The aim of the CAF is to ensure optimal utilisation of expensive multi-user research equipment in the service of the research community at Stellenbosch University, and the South African research and development sector in general.

The Electron Microscopy (EM) Unit of CAF houses state-of-the-art EM equipment, including a Zeiss Merlin FESEM with S-TEM, EDS, CL, SE, BSE and cryo capabilities, a Zeiss EVO MA15 analytical SEM which includes EDS, WDS, SE, BSE and a cryo stage, a LEO Variable Pressure-SEM which includes SE, BSE and CL detectors, as well as a state-of-the-art ThermoScientific Apreo Volumescope with in situ ultramicrotome for 3D imaging. Additionally we house a Zeiss Axioimager with Zeiss's Shuttle-and-Find system for correlative imaging of light and electron microscopy (CLEM). The Unit operates laboratories on both the Stellenbosch campus and the Tygerberg (medical) campus of the University. The aim of the EM Unit is to support and advance imaging and analytical electron microscopy for all scientific disciplines at Stellenbosch University, as well as the broad scientific community throughout South Africa.

We seek to employ an electron microscopist to support the further development of biological electron microscopy on both the main and medical campuses of Stellenbosch University. The ideal candidate will have extensive experience in the operation of Scanning Electron Microscopes, as well as the preparation of biological samples for SEM and TEM. This includes optimisation of preparation protocols, resin embedding and ultramicrotomy of cells and soft materials An understanding of 3D volume reconstruction and application of computational EM will be an advantage. Development of new protocols for electron microscopy, as well as support of current staff will be prominent. Operation and maintenance of all ancillary equipment as applied in biological sample preparation will be a requirement. An enthusiasm for electron microscopy and good work ethics are required. The ability to work with people and plan projects with EM users will form a major part of the daily routine. The position offers a great opportunity for an experienced Electron Microscopist in biomedical and life sciences to be part of an exciting development at Stellenbosch University.

The incumbent will report to the Manager, CAF Electron Micoscopy Unit.


The incumbent will be responsible for the functioning of the EM Unit and the management of its staff, including:

  • Overseeing the proficient operation of the Apreo Volumescope on the Tygerberg campus of Stellenbosch University;
  • Overseeing correct sample preparation for application in Medical and Life Sciences on both the Main and Medical campus of SU;
  • Training users on the Apreo VolumeScope and in biological sample preparation;
  • Supporting the EM Unit manager in maintenance of the VolumeScope and ancillary equipment such as coating and drying apparatus, pumps, water chillers and UPS systems;
  • Efficient scheduling of users and projects for an optimal workflow;
  • Accurate keeping of logbooks for equipment and projects;
  • Writing reports to industry;
  • Ensuring efficient managing of data storage and user access control;
  • Presentation of results at local meetings and national conferences;
  • Publication of novel methods and findings in accredited journals.


  • MSc or PhD in a relevant field;
  • Experience in the operation of Scanning Electron Microscopes (SEM);
  • Extensive experience in sample preparation for biological EM applications;
  • An understanding of, and relevant research experience in biomedical sciences as evidenced by publications in accredited journals that were a direct result of the applicant's own work;
  • A keen interest in 3D electron microscopy and excellent computing skills;
  • Good interpersonal skills;
  • Expertise in technical aspects of Electron Microscopy;
  • Enthusiasm for Electron Microscopy;
  • Excellent communication skills in English.

Candidates selected for an interview will be expected to complete practical tests relating to some of the requirements.


  • Bi- or multilingualism in languages relevant to the Stellenbosch research community (South African indigenous languages, German, French and Portuguese being the most relevant).

Commencement of duties: 1 December 2019 or as soon as possible thereafter
Closing date: 23 October 2019
Enquiries regarding this post: G Stevens on 021 808 3127, or at gs@sun.ac.za
Enquiries regarding remuneration/benefits as well as technical assistance with the electronic application process: Human Resources Client Services Centre on 021 808 2753

The University will consider all applications in terms of its Employment Equity Plan, which acknowledges the need to diversify the demographic composition of the staff corps, especially with regard to the appointment of suitable candidates from the designated groups.

The University reserves the right not to make an appointment.

Your application, comprising a comprehensive curriculum vitae (including the names and e-mail address of at least three referees), must reach the University before or on the closing date of the advertised post.

Apply online at www.sun.ac.za/english/careers

The University reserves the right to investigate qualifications and conduct background checks on all candidates.

Should no feedback be received from the University within four weeks of the closing date, kindly accept that your application did not succeed.

posted: 09 October 2019     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.