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Job Title Support Scientist / Senior Support Scientist, Beamline I21
Job Reference DIA0954/TH
Post Type Full time / Permanent
Division Physical Science
Salary information Circa £26k or circa £33k for appointment at the senior level
Application deadline 21/09/2014
Date of interviews 09/10/2014

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.

Diamond is currently constructing I21, a soft X-ray RIXS (Resonant Inelastic X-ray Scattering) beamline. The beamline will include a long RIXS spectrometer (maximum length of 15 m) in a dedicated external building. The beamline will be optimised for condensed matter physics research, including the study of novel magnetic materials, new functional materials, and strongly-correlated electron systems.

We are seeking a highly motivated support scientist to assist in the planning, building and commissioning of the beamline. The support scientist will have the possibility to lead the design, construction and commissioning of several different beamline sub-systems, as well as helping to develop all of the beamline equipment and associated software. A candidate appointed as a Senior Support Scientist will be expected to contribute significantly to the beamline’s in-house research projects.

Once the beamline is operational, the support scientist will support users with their experiments and help maintain the beamline. Candidates will have an appropriate degree and will have experience in the use of scientific instrumentation and data collection.

Scientific support to designated beamline and the user operation:

  • Assist in the design, procurement, installation, assembly, and maintenance of some sub-systems on the beamline and support laboratories, including testing and commissioning;
  • Liaise with various suppliers of the beamline components;
  • Produce reports and documentation (e.g. manuals, web pages) to support the beamline;
  • Provide support to users by setting up and providing advice and guidance on the best approach to experiments, data analysis and research techniques;
  • Assist and support in-house research programmes;
  • Maintenance of the beamline during operation;
  • Assist in undertaking problem solving and fault diagnosis of the beamline;
  • Collaborate with users and the in-house staff to ensure optimal beamline operation;
  • Management of beamline peripheral laboratories where appropriate.

Additional duties, for appointment at the higher level:

  • Contribute to scientific publications as part of in-house research or external research;
  • Develop and maintain expertise in a scientific and/or technical field related to I21 beamline;
  • Develop new instrumentation, equipment and software in collaboration with support teams to enhance the performance of the I21 beamline;

Qualification & Experience - Essential

  • Appropriate science degree;
  • Experience in the use of scientific instrumentation;
  • Capability of assisting users with data analysis;
  • Experience of synchrotron radiation techniques;
  • Good interpersonal, communication and presentational skills;
  • Ability to interact with staff and facility users at all levels;
  • Ability to work flexibly with occasional weekend and out-of hours working;
  • Ability and initiative to get to the heart of the problem and take it effectively through to completion;
  • Ability to work as part of a multi-disciplinary team;
  • Self-motivation;
  • Must be available to travel occasionally within the UK and abroad, including overnight absences.

Qualification & Experience - Desirable

  • Appropriate PhD and three years relevant experience (essential for appointment at senior level);
  • Good organizational and planning skills (essential for appointment at senior level);
  • Experience of UHV (Ultra-High Vacuum) techniques and their scientific applications (essential for appointment at senior level);
  • Knowledge of at least one of the following X-ray synchrotron radiation techniques (x-ray photoemission, resonant soft x-ray scattering, soft x-ray spectroscopies) (essential for appointment at senior level);
  • Experience in macro programming (e.g. Python, Matlab, IDL) (essential for appointment at senior level);
  • Experience in supporting scientists in the conduct of research in a synchrotron or equivalent facility (essential for appointment at senior level);
  • Ability to abstract complex problems where major constituents lie outside your expertise (essential for appointment at senior level).

Further Information

  • Ability to work flexibly with occasional weekend and out-of hours working;
  • 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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