Senior Beamline Scientist / Beamline Scientist - I23

This vacancy is now closed
Job Title Senior Beamline Scientist / Beamline Scientist - I23
Job Reference DIA1069/CH
Post Type Full time / Permanent
Division Life Science
Salary information £32k - £55k
Application deadline 20/09/2015
Date of interviews

Job Description

Diamond Light Source is the UK’s national synchrotron science facility. Located on the Harwell Science & Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire a 20 minute drive south of Oxford in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Diamond Light Source conducts world-class research in virtually all fields of science and offers rewarding career opportunities covering both technical and scientific disciplines.

The long-wavelength macromolecular crystallography beamline I23 will be a unique facility for solving the crystallographic phase problem, using the small anomalous signals from sulphur or phosphorous which are present in native protein or RNA/DNA crystals. This will be of increased importance for projects where protein labelling to introduce anomalous scatterers is not feasible. In addition, the beamline's wavelength range will provide access to the M-edges of elements, with huge anomalous signals offering new opportunities for phasing large molecular complexes. The beamline is currently in commissioning phase. First successful experiments are demonstrating the huge potential of this novel instrument.

We are seeking a highly motivated Beamline Scientist to help establishing a world-class user program for long-wavelength macromolecular crystallography. In addition, the successful candidate will play an active role in the commissioning of the beamline and then to assist users with their experiments once the beamline is operational.

As the beamline will be tunable over a wavelength range not accessible at any other MX beamline at the moment (down to λ = 4 Å), this position will allow you to design novel experiments, pushing the boundaries of MX at synchrotrons. Candidates are encouraged to indicate their personal research interests in the application.  

The Rutherford Appleton site with its world leading facilities, including Diamond, ISIS and CLF offers a highly multidisciplinary environment. Together with the suite of five existing MX beamlines and the Membrane Protein Laboratory (MPL) embedded in Diamond, the adjacent Research Complex at Harwell houses a range of life and physical science activities, including both CCP4 and OPPF-UK, the national facility for protein production and crystallization providing exceptional opportunities for synergies and collaborations. If you enjoy working as part of a highly motivated team, this position will offer you a great opportunity to contribute to this unique project and to work at a world-class facility.
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The Beamline Scientist will work closely with the Principal Beamline Scientist in the continuing development of the beamline including design, procurement, construction, commissioning of upgrades as well as ongoing user support.  The successful candidate will be expected to develop an internationally competitive research programme in methods development or structural biology that complements the research and development activities within the MX village.


To support the Principal Beamline Scientist for I23 in the following areas:

• Continued commissioning and further optimisation of the beamline;
• Assist in operation of the beamline for users including a user support role and out of hours support via the local contact system;
• Provide operational support and analysis of operational systems including fault diagnosis and resolution;
• Carry out own research in an area relevant to the beamline and disseminate through publications and presentations;
• Assist in the development of new equipment on the beamline, including testing and commissioning;
• Carry out own internationally competitive research in an area relevant to Long-wavelength Crystallography.

Additional duties for appointment at Senior level:

• Take the lead in the design, procurement, installation and commissioning of significant beamline components;
• Develop own research/technical expertise to become internationally recognised through publications and presentations for own work in an area relevant to beamline;
• Enhance the operation of the facility by collaboration and dissemination of specialist knowledge with the other Diamond staff and users;
• Lead in the delivery of significant packages of project work, co-ordinating internal and external resource to deliver the project on time and to budget.

Qualification & Experience - Essential

  •  Appropriate PhD degree or equivalent qualification or experience;
  • Experience of macromolecular crystallography data collection at a synchrotron;
  • Experience with Windows/Linux/Unix;
  • Experience with experimental phasing techniques (SAD/MAD);
  • Good interpersonal, communication and presentational skills;
  • Ability to interact effectively and diplomatically with staff and facility users at all levels;
  • Ability to design, plan, organise, and implement projects and tasks within an allotted timeframe;
  • Ability and initiative to get to the heart of the problem and take it effectively through to completion;
  • Ability to work flexibly with occasional weekend and out-of-hours working.

Qualification & Experience - Desirable

  • Demonstrated track record in macromolecular crystallography (essential for appointment at the senior level);
  • Substantial postdoctoral or equivalent experience (essential for appointment at the senior level);
  • Commissioning and operation of macromolecular crystallography x-ray equipment (“home source” or synchrotron beamline) (essential for appointment at the senior level);
  • Supervision of students (essential for appointment at the senior level);
  • Project management;
  • Python and/or Java programming.

Further Information

Must be available to travel occasionally within the UK and abroad, including overnight absences.

Applying for employment

For further details on applying for employment at Diamond, please visit our 'Application Form' page.

Appointments will be made depending on the skills and experience of the candidate. Electronic Diamond application forms in MS-Word are preferred. These should be emailed to

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