The Max Planck Society is Germany's premier research organization. The 83 Max Planck Institutes conduct research at highest levels, in the service of the general public, in the natural sciences, life sciences, social sciences, and the humanities.

The Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) investigates dynamical phenomena within matter, studying processes on the elementary time- and length-scales of atomic and electronic motions: the femtosecond or attosecond timescale and Ångström length scale.

The Institute is also a partner in the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science (CFEL), collaborating with the Deutsches Elektronen Synchrotron (DESY) and the University of Hamburg for the development of science based on the X-ray Free Electron Lasers (XFELs).

We are looking for a

Data Scientist (m/f/d): Computational Imaging

Your position:

Our research group develops methods for imaging the structure and dynamics of small nanoscale objects like biomolecules using X-rays. One such method is single-particle X-ray imaging where ultra-bright X-ray pulses from XFELs are used to take millions of snapshot images of approximately identical particles. The terabytes of data hence collected must then be sorted and classified to obtain high resolution 3D structures of these particles.

You will be developing machine learning algorithms to process single particle X-ray diffraction images from XFELs. The tasks include robust rejection of non-single particle hits and classification of conformational heterogeneity in these patterns. The algorithms will have to be implemented efficiently to process millions of megapixel diffraction patterns.

In addition to imaging reproducible particles, you will also be developing algorithms to classify and analyze highly heterogeneous patterns in single-shot 2D imaging experiments using deep learning. The goal would be to adapt conventional convolutional neural networks to the diffractive imaging domain.

Your qualification:

● You must have a university degree in a relevant subject plus at least a Master’s degree in  
   computer science, physics or a related field.
● A strong track record in theoretical or computational sciences, with a programming
   component is necessary.
● Fluency in English is required to communicate and collaborate effectively both within and 
   outside of the research group.
● The working environment involves considerable flexibility and freedom, so independence         and self-motivation are important.

In addition, some prior experience with one or more of the following is beneficial: 
● Deep learning frameworks such as Tensorflow, Torch, Chainer etc.
● High-performance computing (HPC) tools such as MPI
● Python programming
● Modern software development paradigms
● GPGPU programming using CUDA

Our offer:

We offer an innovative environment, which will give you the opportunity to develop your own ideas embedded in the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science (CFEL). We offer a position according to the German public pay scale (TVöD). The position is for two years with possibility for an extension.

The Max Planck Society strives for gender and diversity equality. We welcome applications from all backgrounds.

Furthermore, the Max Planck Society is committed to increasing the number of individuals with disabilities in its workforce and therefore encourages applications from such qualified individuals. 

Your application:

To apply, please complete the online application form and attach your English CV and motivation letter as well as a list of three possible contacts for reference letters by 31st of October, 2019.

For further information please contact Kartik Ayyer, phone: +49 40 8998-88150,

Detailed information about the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter can be found at

We look forward to your application.


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