In the evolving landscape of advanced research, core imaging facilities are essential in life sciences, requiring specialized expertise for equipment maintenance and elevating research standards. Imaging Scientists play a crucial role, in bridging the gap between external and internal researchers igniting collaboration and innovation.
To attract and retain these professionals, institutions must carve out dedicated career pathways, expand evaluation criteria, and invest in continuous growth. GBI's Career Path Working Group has addressed universal challenges faced by Imaging Scientists, paving the way for career progression.
The recommendations they compiled to support the careers of Imaging Scientists around the world are presented in the GBI Career Path Whitepaper.
Input from around the world
The Global Bioimaging White Paper provides a clear analysis of the imaging scientists ecosystem and identifies the challenges they face in their career development. The paper makes recommendations that can be applied on an individual level, facility level, but also by communities and funders. One strength of the paper is that it highlights success stories from around the world, ranging from funding initiatives to community building. Several success stories from Euro-BioImaging are highlighted in this document. One example comes from Peter O’Toole, Head of Imaging and Cytometry at University of York, part of our UK Node, who has negotiated, within his university system, progression and promotion pathways specifically designed for core facility staff. ;
Another success story comes from Sweden, where the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research provides specific funding awards for “Research Infrastructure Fellows.” This money – 1.5 Million euros over 5 years - is given to researchers working in Swedish infrastructures who are committed to driving improvements and developing services at their facility. In 2022, this special fund was awarded to Rafael Camacho-Dejay, of the Centre for Cellular Imaging (CCI), University of Gothenburg, and Linda Sandblad of the Electron Microscopy facility at Umeå University, both part of our Swedish NMI Node, allowing them to develop a Smart Microscopy offer and pioneering methods to get the best results out of the novel Electron Microscopy technologies, respectively. In 2015, Julia Fernandez-Rodriguez, Head of the CCI facility at the University of Gothenburg, was awarded the grant money, allowing the facility to build up a world-class Electron Microscopy offer and furthermore allow for correlative workflows between Light and Electron Microscopy.
France BioImaging is also recognized in this White Paper for two initiatives, their unique image analyst community and their excellent training program. Indeed, a group of bioimage analysts, led by Jean-Yves Tinevez, are building a community to support and engage individual analysts working in isolation across France. In addition, Caroline Thiriet and Fabrice Cordelieres are creating a progressive training portfolio of democratised FAIR complaint resources dedicated to biological imaging. In 2024, they plan to launch a number of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) for the community.
How you can contribute
It’s not too late to be part of the continuing story. On behalf of Global BioImaging, we strongly encourage the Euro-BioImaging community to enrich these ideas with their perspectives by filling in the TOP5 challenges.
If you’ve already contributed to this, then the next step is to ensure that these clear recommendations and inspiring success stories are adopted by the global imaging community, so please spread the word.
Many thanks to everyone who participated in writing this important paper, especially the Global BioImaging Career Path Working Group.
About Global Bioimaging (GBI)
Global Bioimaging (GBI) is a collaborative network of bioimaging facilities, uniting institutions and experts to advance the field of bioimaging. GBI fosters international collaboration, knowledge exchange, and professional development within the bioimaging community. Anyone can join! (https://globalbioimaging.org/)