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Instrument Specialist, Microscopy

Department: Microscopy

Instrument Specialist, Microscopy Ė Cell Science

The mission of the Allen Institute is to unlock the complexities of bioscience and advance our knowledge to improve human health. Using an open science, multi-scale, team-oriented approach, the Allen Institute focuses on accelerating foundational research, developing standards and models, and cultivating new ideas to make a broad, transformational impact on science.

The mission of the Allen Institute for Cell Science is to create multi-scale visual models of cell organization, dynamics, and activities. Our approach encompasses large scale data collection, observation, theory, and predictions to understand cellular behavior in normal and pathological contexts. As a division within the Allen Institute, the Allen Institute for Cell Science uses a team-oriented approach, focusing on accelerating foundational research, developing standards and models, and cultivating new ideas to make a transformational impact on science.

This Instrument Specialist position will assist with the maintenance of the microscopes to ensure that they are operational and functioning at the required standards for experimental imaging needs of the Institute. The Instrument Specialist will troubleshoot malfunctioning microscopes (both hardware and software) and coordinate with vendors for repair and preventive maintenance tasks as well as assist in developing and implementing microscopy quality control standards. The successful candidate will work closely with the members of the Microscopy Committee, who oversee microscope operations and usage, adjustment to microscope setups and incorporating new technologies as needed for the programmatic goals of the Institute. This role will also work closely with the microscope users to coordinate and enable optimal microscope scheduling and usage.

The Allen Institute believes that team science significantly benefits from the participation of diverse voices, experiences and backgrounds. High-quality science can only be produced when it includes different perspectives. We are committed to increasing diversity across every team and encourage people from all backgrounds to apply for this role.

Essential Functions

  • Coordinate with vendors, microscopy users, Institute facilities, and scientific support staff on maintenance and repair of microscopes, microscope usage, facility improvements and training of microscope users
  • Perform maintenance and troubleshooting of microscopes (both hardware and software)
  • Assist in evaluating, monitoring, and improving quality of microscope performance
  • Advise microscopy users and management in microscope best practices and new technologies
  • Assist in developing and implementing a training plan for users and a quality control plan for microscopes
  • Coordinate with other programs in the Institute to ensure seamless integration and sharing of resources and data
  • Maintain rigorous quality control standards and meticulous records
  • Adherence to SOPs, GLPs and regulatory requirements

Note: Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. This description reflects managementís assignment of essential functions; it does not proscribe or restrict the tasks that may be assigned.

Required Education and Experience

  • Bachelorís Degree or equivalent in a science, computation, or engineering field; or equivalent combination of degree and experience
  • 4+ years hands-on experience with operation, maintenance, and troubleshooting of high-end light and fluorescence microscopy systems
  • Extensive knowledge of microscopy technology
  • Extensive knowledge of and experience with camera-based, confocal and spinning disk microscopes for live cell imaging

Preferred Education and Experience

  • Basic understanding of cell biology
  • Work experience with commercial microscope manufacturers is a plus
  • Extensive knowledge of microscopy theory and optics
  • Experience with computer coding (preferably python) and configuration of Windows computers is a plus
  • Excellent communication skills required
  • Experience working in a multi-disciplinary environment in academic or industrial settings
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Careful attention to detail

Work Environment

  • May enter laboratory environment, including potential exposure to lasers, biohazards

Physical Demands

  • Occasional lifting to 30 pounds
  • Fine motor movements in fingers/hands to operate computers and other office equipment
  • Occasional working in confined environment (e.g. under table, in small instrument compartments)
  • Because of COVID-19 extended time working with PPE might be necessary

Position Type/Expected Hours of Work

  • This role is currently working onsite and remotely when possible, due to COVID-19 and our focus on employee safety. We continue to evaluate the safest options for our employees.


  • Attendance and participation in national and international conferences may be required [note that travel may not be required to attend]

Additional Comments

  • **Please note, this opportunity offers relocation assistance**
  • **Please note, this opportunity offers work visa sponsorship**


It is the policy of the Allen Institute to provide equal employment opportunity (EEO) to all persons regardless of age, color, national origin, citizenship status, physical or mental disability, race, religion, creed, gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, genetic information, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local law. In addition, the Allen Institute will provide reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities.





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