Postdoctoral Research Associate

This vacancy is now closed
Job Title Postdoctoral Research Associate
Job Reference DIA0645/TH
Post Type
Division Science
Salary information Circa £33k
Application deadline 27/11/2011
Date of interviews

Job Description

Diamond Light Source is the UK’s national synchrotron science facility. Located at Harwell Science & Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire, we enable world-leading research across a wide range of scientific disciplines and industrial applications.

Beamline I13 is one of the latest beamlines, dedicated to imaging and coherence and will be operational from October 2011. The scientific applications for the two independently operating beamline branches relate to imaging in real (X-ray microscopy; absorption & phase contrast tomography) and reciprocal space (coherent X-ray diffraction imaging). Micro- and nano-structured materials from different scientific fields such as biology, materials science or earth science will be studied in the energy range of 6-30keV. The project is unique in many aspects. The 250m long beamline provides space in large hutches for advanced experimental methods, new electron optics (mini-beta) and X-ray optics have been developed along the project. The beamline team closely partners with Manchester University, providing interesting academic opportunities.

You will have some experience in the fields and application examples described below and on the I13 web pages. Several research subjects are available and will be agreed according to the ability of the candidate, namely; Imaging branch in the following:
Hard X-ray microscopy - The beamline team currently develops a full-field microscope for the hard X-ray energy range (>8keV). You will be involved in the development of the instrument and lead research with the new instrument.
Tomography with X-rays - Tomography is one of the main activities at the beamline offering possibilities for theoretical as well as experimental work. Scientific applications cover the field of hearing research and materials science.
Coherence branch, Imaging with phase information - New methods for coherent diffraction imaging are currently implemented at the beamline. Candidates with an interest in phase retrieval methods or new experimental techniques such as Ptychography will find an ideal working environment interacting with neighbouring institutes on the Harwell/Oxford site.

To work within the I13 team to undertake research. The PDRA will be expected to devote 25% of his/her time to support the I13 beamline, fulfilling duties such as acting as local contact, taking part in beamline development projects and discussing experiment and data analysis with outside Users.

Work in the I13 team in the following areas:

  • carrying out and support in-house research activities,
  • planning and realising experimental setups, carrying out experiments, analysing data and publishing the results,
  • maintenance of the beamline during operations,
  • development and testing of new equipment and software,
  • procurement, installation and commissioning of beamline components and instrumentation,
  • support of users in performing their experiments at Diamond,
  • testing of samples sent to Diamond by users,
  • development of new instrumentation to upgrade the performance of the beamline,
  • Keeping up with latest results and research directions internationally,
  • assisting users with data analysis,
  • developing experimental and data analysis techniques and implementing them on the beamline,
  • Jython scripting for data acquisition.

Qualification & Experience - Essential

  • Appropriate first degree or equivalent qualification
  • Second degree in appropriate subject
  • Experience in imaging/tomography data analyses
  • Experience of beamline instrumentation
  • Notions about coherence, microscopy, imaging or tomography
  • Experience form relevant fields such as laser physics or electron microscopy
  • Experience of software packages and programming
  • Successful scientific publication record
  • Good laboratory research skills
  • Ability to write research papers
  • Ability to plan and then carry out a research project
  • Good Problem solving skills
  • Fault diagnosis abilities
  • Ability and initiative to get to the heart of the problem and take it effectively through to completion
  • Good interpersonal, communication  and presentational skills
  • Ability to interact effectively with staff at all levels
  • Ability to work flexibly with occasional weekend and out-of hours working
  • Self motivated
  • Ability to work as part of a multi-disciplinary team
  • Must be available to travel occasionally in UK and overseas including overnight absences

Qualification & Experience - Desirable

  • Relevant synchrotron research experience,
  • Experience or knowledge of synchrotrons.

Further Information

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

Other information