Openings: Information

Last modified by Simon F. Nørrelykke on 2023/03/29 17:09

Further information

Here is some more information about working in the Image Analysis Collaboratory related to the openings posted here.

PDF of opening.

Imaging at Harvard Medical School

Harvard Medical School (HMS) is a world leader in biological and biomedical imaging, with an outstanding community of researchers developing and using cutting edge microscopy of all kinds to push forward the boundaries of knowledge. HMS researchers image biological systems at length scales ranging from individual molecules, to functioning organs and nervous systems, to entire model organisms, using technologies such as cryo-EM and advanced light microscopy, with data acquisition modalities ranging from 2D static imaging to 3D, multiplexed time-lapse volumetric imaging. 

Quantitative interpretation of such images demands sophisticated computer vision experimental design and methodology at new levels of sophistication and scale.

The Image Analysis Collaboratory was founded to meet this demand. 

Types of projects

Most projects will be collaborations with HMS researchs groups from departments "on the quad". Image data are mostly acquired on fluorescence microscopes in one of the local microscopy  facilities, but also frequently on lab-operated and custom built instruments. In addition to standard fluorescence, we may also see data from super-resolution, light sheet, histopathology, and electron microscopy. Images from medical scanners are rarer.

The scientific questions vary widely--we see it as one of the attraction of this job that we get to work with stellar research groups from a very wide range of disciplines, ranging in scale from single-molecules to entire organism, from genetics to developmental biology. We also work with hospitals associated with HMS, when capacity allows.

Departments on the quad

These are the most relevant departments (here are all); relevant in the sense that they produce image data that we work on

  1. Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology (BCMP)
  2. Cell Biology
  3. Genetics
  4. Immunology
  5. Microbiology
  6. Neurobiology
  7. Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology
  8. Systems Biology


We teach bioimage analysis to the graduate students, postdocs, technicians, and anyone else that wants to learn. Our audience typically consist of highly motivated researchers from HMS and affiliated hospitals.

Topics can and will range from the ever-requested "introduction to bioimage analysis using ImageJ/Fiji", over how to effectively use particular softwares solutions, e.g. Imaris, ilastik, CellProfiler, or QuPath, to more focused topics such as training and applying neural networks for segmentation/detection/classification/reconstruction, spatial statistics (co-localization analysis), and analysis with MATLAB, Julia, or Python.

The format is typically so-called nano-courses, meaning they run for one or two days. However, we are free to experiment with whatever format we prefer---success being measured mainly by participants satisfaction. In the past we have run international summer schools (ZIDAS) in Switzerland and imagine doing something similar here in Massachusetts.


We are proud members of NEUBIAS and its upcoming global version soBIAS, and are getting involved with BINA . That is, we work actively to connect bioimage analysts locally and globally. If you are interested in community building you are coming to the right place.

Equal Opportunity Employer

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Frequently Asked Questions

If your questions are not answered here, please send an email and we will try to answer as best we can, copying the answer here if deemed of general interest. 

Do I need a PhD?

Yes you do. You also need your title to have been officially conferred, i.e. a copy of your degree is needed before you can begin.

Can I work remotely?

To some extend, but not initially and probably not ever fully, though 2-3 days per week from home-office is considered reasonable. The exact answer obviously depends on your personal preferences, type of project, teaching activities, etc. Re. the location of the home-office, there are some restrictions on where you can live (see below).

Can I live in another state or country?

Great question, Harvard is working on an answer for you.  Generally it seems like the answer is "no, you cannot live in another country, but you can live in another state", see list of states here---unless you are on a J1 visa, then you (most likely) have to live in Massachusetts. Also, given the high degree of interactivity of this job you do need to be on-site every week, at least for some days.

What are my career progression options?

We are currently hiring into two categories: Postdoctoral Fellows, which is the entry point and Research Associates, which requires more experience. A third category is that of Staff, which doesn't require a PhD, but does require a very narrow job description---we are not hiring directly into this third category in this round. It will be possible to transition internally from one category to another upon mutual agreement.

What is the salary level?

For postdocs, it depends on your level of experience, but not much else, and we are not allowed to pay you more---here are some actual numbers. Re. the "specialist role": The framework is new and hasn't been tested yet, so it is unclear who will be allowed into it; if you qualify, we will push for it. For Research Associates the answer is again "it depends" and we will have to talk to HR first; shouldn't be less than a postdoc though

Is there a travel budget?

Yes, we imagine something like $5,000/year, per person, for attending conferences, events, etc.

Is there a computer budget?

Yes, but the amount is not fixed. You will certainly be allowed to pick a laptop or workstation to your liking (within reason) and with your favorite operating system. In addition to that, we have access to O2: a platform for Linux-based high performance computing at Harvard Medical School. Hardware should not be the limiting factor for your productive work here. 

Where will I be located?

We have office space in the departments of Cell Biology and Systems Biology, see here for details. But, we work with the entire school. 

How long does it take to get a visa?

If you need one, Harvard university will sponsor your visa. Postdocs will get a J1 visa and the processing time is 1-3 months.

How does IAC differ from a core facility?

Firstly, this obviously depends on which facility you are comparing us to. Still, here are some examples: We don't count and invoice for time spent consulting, training, or working on projects. We are selective in the projects we choose to collaborate on---we only engage if we see we can truly move a project forwards and that our collaborator would not be able to do this on their own. We are all research-grade PhDs. 

How does IAC differ from a traditional research group?

Again, this depends on your reference point. Our projects are very collaborative by nature: we work on data that has been acquired by other researchers. We likely do more consulting, teaching, and training. Publishing, especially first-author papers, while encouraged, is not required. However, we do engage in our own methods-centered research, in addition to the collaborative research projects, especially if it is seen to help one or more other projects succeed. Another main difference may well be a strong focus on building and maintaining institutional know-how, to provide continuity in the image analysis knowledge on tap at HMS.

Created by Simon F. Nørrelykke on 2023/02/10 13:32
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