Postdoctoral Research Associate, I08

This vacancy is now closed
Job Title Postdoctoral Research Associate, I08
Job Reference DIA0992/TH
Post Type Full time, 3 year fixed term
Division Physical Science
Salary information Circa £34k
Application deadline 15/02/2015
Date of interviews 06/03/2015

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 beamline I08-SXM is a dedicated facility for scanning x-ray microscopy with a broad range of applications including earth and environmental science, biological and bio-medical science, and materials sciences. The central theme of the beamline is the ability to obtain morphological (absorption and phase contrasts), and chemically-specific information (micro-XRF and NEXAFS). Other imaging modalities include soft X-ray diffraction imaging, in particular ptychography.

We are seeking a self motivated candidate to work as a PDRA on this beamline. You will be required to work within the beamline team and with other staff to ensure efficient beamline operation, user support and instrument developments.

You would join the group working on the soft X-ray diffraction spectromicroscopy or ptychography project. You would play an active role in the development of this novel technique and play a leading role in extending this imaging technique to full spectromicroscopy using absorption and phase information. You would have the opportunity not contribute to ptychography experiments with the existing scanning X-ray microscopy but also to construct, commission and operate a dedicated ptychography end station to be established at the I08 side branch. There will be opportunities to join existing projects plus you will be encouraged to establish your own projects.

You are expected to have a good background in X-ray imaging and spectromicroscopy. Applicants with knowledge or experience of other microscopy techniques are preferred. The nature of the project requires that you have very good computing skills and are familiar with diffraction analysis techniques.

The PDRA will be responsible for development of the technique of soft X-ray diffraction spectromicroscopy or ptychography as to be carried out at BL I08-SXM at Diamond Light Source.

Work in the team in the following areas:

  • Carrying out research activities independently or in collaboration with others as appropriate;
  • Performing experiments, analysing data and publication of results;
  • Keeping up with latest results and research directions internationally;
  • Interaction with users of the facility including providing advice and expertise;
  • Development and testing of new equipment and software.
  • Data collection of samples (Rapid Access) sent to Diamond by users;
  • Maintenance of the beamline components and equipment during operations.

Qualification & Experience - Essential

  • Appropriate First Degree;
  • PhD degree;
  • Experience in the use of scientific instrumentation;
  • Experience in scientific data collection;
  • Experience in computing and data analysis for diffraction imaging;
  • 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 including weekend and out-of hours working as required;
  • Must be available to travel occasionally within the UK and abroad, including overnight absences.

Qualification & Experience - Desirable

  • Experience in X-ray spectromicroscopy;
  • Experience in other microscopy techniques as for example electron or visible light microscopy;
  • Experience with X-ray beamline and optics;
  • Experience of sample environment equipment;
  • Experience with Windows/Linux/Unix.

Further Information

  • Ability to work flexibly including weekend and out-of hours working as required;
  • 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