Kickstart Placement - Microscopy Laboratory Assistant
The Natural History Museum
London, GB
47m ago

Role summary

This is a Kickstarter Scheme position. These are 6 month placements and open ONLY to applicants who been referred through the DWP & Job Centres.

The Natural History Museum is both a world-leading science research centre and the most visited natural history museum in Europe.

With a vision of a future in which both people and the planet thrive, it is uniquely positioned to be a powerful champion for balancing humanity’s needs with those of the natural world.

It is custodian of one of the world’s most important scientific collections comprising over 80 million objects. The scale of this collection enables researchers from all over the world to document how species have and continue to respond to environmental changes - which is vital in helping predict what might happen in the future and informing future policies and plans to help the planet.

We are at a pivotal moment in our history as we launch a new strategy setting out our role as the natural world faces increasing threats.

Building on our world-leading collection, global reputation for science and as one of the world’s leading visitor attractions, the NHM has ambitious plans leading up to the 150 anniversary of the opening of the Waterhouse Building in 2031, making this a truly exciting time to be part of the NHM team.

About the role

The Natural History Museum coordinates an educational outreach programme that sends portable scanning electron microscopes to schools for use in research, teaching and outreach.

This project is led from within the Museum’s Imaging and Analysis Centre which offers state of the art microscopy, analytical and data-processing facilities to the Museum’s researchers, visitors and students.

The requirement is for an organised person with good communication and technical skills to assist with the management of an Educational STEM (Science Technology Engineering & Maths) Outreach programme making use of Scanning Electron Microscopes (SEM) in a school setting.

Part of the project requires the preparation of samples for the programme, so the applicant will be taught how to prepare biological samples for SEM and how to use SEM to acquire images of the samples to contribute to the programme.

During the placement period, two scientific meetings focussed on electron microscopy will take place and the applicant will have the opportunity to attend both meetings.

One concentrates on scientific research using electron microscopy, the other on best practice in working in and managing a core imaging laboratory.

Both meetings would give the applicant a good understanding of the different career pathways in scientific research laboratories.

There will be an opportunity to take part in scientific outreach events, either online or in person, dependent on the circumstances.

Ideally split over 4 days, but flexibility is available depending on the individual’s needs. Some home working would be possible.

About you

The following skills and experience would be advantageous for the placement. A good background, experience or proven interest in biological sciences.

Good computer skills and a basic experience of Outlook, Word, Powerpoint and Excel. The role will require good organisational and communication skills.

The following would also be advantageous but not essential if you had experience of a laboratory, especially knowledge and understanding with microscopy.

In addition experience in outreach, education or training would be helpful

Closing date : 9am on Monday 27 September 2021

Interviews expected : Wednesday 29 September 2021 and no later than Friday 1 October 2021

Start date : Tuesday 5 October 2021

What we offer

  • 27.5 days holiday plus 8 bank holidays (full time equivalent)
  • Generous defined contribution Natural History Museum Pension Scheme (employer contribution up to 10%)
  • Free admission to our exhibitions and many other paid exhibitions at museums, galleries and institutions across the country, such as the British Museum, V&A, National Gallery, Royal Academy and Tate
  • Affordable membership to the Civil Service Sports Council which offers a range of benefits including a free digital Tastecard, discounted cinema tickets and corporate membership of English Heritage sites (including Dover Castle and Stonehenge).
  • For more details, visit

  • Membership to our Sports and Social Association (for a small fee), which includes access to our in-house gym and clubs such as football, softball, table tennis and tennis and classes in Middle Eastern dance, yoga and Tai Chi
  • Staff discounts at a range of local businesses and services
  • Staff discount at our Museum shops and cafes
  • Season ticket, bicycle and rental loans
  • Eye care vouchers
  • Professional development opportunities - We are committed to the professional development of our staff and offer a range of courses to ensure they reach their potential.
  • We also sponsor professional qualifications and job-related professional membership fees.

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