The ESRIC Access Fund supported by the RS MacDonald Trust

The best possible super-resolution optical imaging can now be free!

The Edinburgh Super-Resolution Imaging Consortium (ESRIC;, in partnership with the RS MacDonald Trust, have established a new seed corn fund to provide bursaries for early career researchers throughout Scotland to be able to access the state-of-the-art systems and expertise within ESRIC at no cost to the user at the point of contact.

Recognising that super-resolution optical imaging is technically complicated, expensive, limited in availability to centres of excellence, but very much in demand for cutting-edge biology questions, these bursaries could include:
• Advice leading up to and throughout the project on sample preparation, optimal data acquisition and analysis as well as data presentation for publication
• Access to 3-D, multi-colour gated-STED for up to 5 working days, 37 hours, with the assistance of a post-doctoral super-resolution expert. This system can provide resolutions to ~50 nm, with 70 nm possible in all three-dimensions.
• Archived, secure data storage accessible from anywhere in the world
• Assistance and access to software analysis packages to best process and present the data acquired
• Access to excellent Level 2 tissue culture facilities and wet lab space
• Hotel accommodation on-site for up to six nights if required
• Travel expenses
• Attendance and accommodation at the ESRIC super-resolution Summer School for 2020 – this is one of Europe’s foremost imaging training events, with delegates and leading teaching Faculty annually from ~25 countries
• Opportunities to present findings at events including the ESRIC Symposium and the Scottish Microscopy Society Symposium 2019/2020.

Projects will be considered if they:
• are related to neurodegenerative diseases
• have a clear research question that can be investigated using super-resolution technologies such as STED microscopy (this can be determined in discussion with us)
• have defined outputs using the data acquired i.e. career development (e.g. Fellowship / tenure-track development) publication, or knowledge exchange. A clear route to leverage of future funding is particularly encouraged.

Applicants must be employed by a Scottish University at either Post-doctoral level or studying for their PhD.

It is recommended that prior to applying you discuss your research idea with our ESRIC manager at

Successful applicants will be asked to submit a brief report on their progress by 20th December 2019 and a final report of their project outcomes after the project is complete. If substantial progress has not been made by the December 2019 deadline, we reserve the right to retract funding.
Applications will be accepted from 2nd August until 20th September 2019. Apply online at