Postdoctoral Research Associate, Beamline I11

This vacancy is now closed
Job Title Postdoctoral Research Associate, Beamline I11
Job Reference DIA0917/TH
Post Type Full time, three year fixed term.
Division Physical Science
Salary information Circa £33k
Application deadline 18/05/2014
Date of interviews 06/06/2014

Job Description

The UK’s national synchrotron science facility, Diamond Light Source, conducts world-class research in virtually all fields of science. Located 20 minutes from Oxford, it sits in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and offers rewarding career opportunities.

The PDRA post will be based on beamline I11, which is built for high-resolution and time-resolved powder diffraction using a high brightness X-ray beam to study the structural properties of polycrystalline materials. With a wide range of non-ambient sample environments including cryogenic apparatus, humidity cell, gas cells and furnaces, the beamline provides new opportunities for researchers in the fields of materials science, energy, solid state chemistry, earth sciences, engineering and pharmaceuticals. As the beamline has been successfully operating as a dedicated user facility for a number of years, it has recently been upgraded with the construction of a second experimental hutch for long duration experiments (LDE). Included in the upgrade programme is the ongoing development of in-house and collaborative research in the fields of energy and the environment such as Li-ion batteries, gas storage materials, mineralisation and the natural environment; and other related natural and man-made environmental materials such as carbonate, silicate and other systems.

Suitable candidates should be familiar with the applications of synchrotron X-ray powder diffraction (SXPD) and preference will be given to those who are familiar with other diffraction/scattering methods such as PDF analysis. Applicants should have a strong research interest in one or more of the above, or in closely related, fields. The post holder will be required to work with the beamline team and others staff to ensure the new LDE hutch becomes a leading user facility. The position will include participation in beamline commissioning, user support and sample cell developments. It is essential that you are familiar with methods of SXPD data analysis. The selected candidate will also participate in individual and collaborative research activities on the beamline and elsewhere, with the specific remit of developing research relating to energy/environment, using new and existing beamline equipment; involving structural changes induced by variation of temperature, pressure or other physical conditions. Although SXPD is the principal technique on the beamline, the use and support of non-ambient apparatus, bench top instruments such as SEM, Raman, XRF, DSC and their data analysis will also be required.

The PDRA will be responsible for data analysis, in-house and collaborative research in the fields of energy or mineral formations.

Work in the team in the following areas:

  • carrying out in-house research activities;
  • performing experiments, analysing data and publication of results;
  • keeping up with latest results and research directions internationally;
  • support of users in performing experiments on the beamline, including data analysis and training;
  • data collection of samples (Rapid Access) sent to Diamond by users;
  • beamline upgrade, development and testing of new equipment and software;
  • maintenance of the beamline components and equipment during operations.

Qualification & Experience - Essential

  • Appropriate First Degree;
  • PhD degree;
  • Background in energy or mineral (or related) research;
  • Ability and initiative to get to the heart of the problem and take it effectively through to completion;
  • Good interpersonal, communication and presentational skills;
  • Good organisational and planning skills;
  • Ability to interact effectively with staff at all levels;
  • Ability to work as part of a multi-disciplinary team;
  • Self motivation;
  • Ability to work flexibly with occasional weekend and out-of hours;
  • Must be available to travel occasionally within the UK and abroad, including overnight absences.

Qualification & Experience - Desirable

  • Experience or knowledge of synchrotrons X-ray powder diffraction;
  • Experience of powder diffraction data analysis (e.g. structure solution and refinement);
  • Experience with X-ray beamline and optics;
  • Experience of sample environment equipment;
  • Experience with Windows/Linux/Unix.

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

Other information