Post Doctoral Research Associate - MIRIAM / B22

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Job Title Post Doctoral Research Associate - MIRIAM / B22
Job Reference DIA0993/CH
Post Type Full time / 3 year, fixed term contract
Division Life Science
Salary information Competitive
Application deadline 22/03/2015

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, we host research facilities supporting cutting edge research in all fundamental and applied fields from Life to Physical Sciences.

The Multimode InfraRed Microspectroscopy And Imaging (MIRIAM) Beamline B22 is a state of the art IR facility for molecular microspectroscopy/imaging not only in biomedicine but also in material sciences. It provides the highest spatial resolution and molecular sensitivity optically attainable over the full IR range, including THz spectroscopy.

At MIRIAM the experimental new frontier of performing full field IR microscopy via Focal Plane Array (FPA) detector in combination with Synchrotron Radiation (SR) illumination has been recently demonstrated (L.Quaroni, T.Zlateva, B.Sarafimov, H.W.Kreuzer, K.Wehbe, E.L.Hegg and G.Cinque, Synchrotron based infrared imaging and spectroscopy via focal plane array on live fibroblasts in D2O enriched medium, Biophysical Chem. 189 (2014) 40–48). The use of high magnification (36x or 74x objectives) is highly beneficial for achieving full field microscopy, allowing high definition IR map on e.g. sub-cellular structures or in aqueous environments.

The Post Doctoral Research Associate (PDRA) position will be based on MIRIAM beamline B22. The PDRAs primary area of research will be full field IR microscopy via FPA detector and SRIR illumination for fast IR imaging over the wide range of applications covered in collaborative and in house research by B22 staff: e.g. from the study of inter-/intra-cellular structures, gas/liquid inclusions evolution in mineralogical sections driven by temperature, micromolecular mapping of thin film/polymer interfaces, biofilms growth, microcrystal gas-solid reactions in situ, well as catalysis dynamics in microfluidic devices.

With the method already implemented at MIRIAM, the PDRA will be dedicated an innovative scheme of specialised optics for exploiting the SR brightness advantage for optimal signal-to-noise IR microspectroscopy at single pixel level. The multipixel detection and image oversampling (beyond the diffraction limit via high magnification) implemented by the PDRA will conclude with the experimental proof of the ultimate spatial resolution achievable in IR imaging, ideally including application of point spread function deconvolution algorithms.

Suitable candidates should be familiar with microscopy techniques and/or vibrational spectroscopy, and should have a strong interest in developing any of the research field areas involving Synchrotron Radiation IR imaging and/or microspectroscopy. The position will include participation in beamline commissioning, optics design/tests, user support and sample compartment developments. He/She will also participate in individual and collaborative research activities, with the specific remit of developing research in the fields already carried on at MIRIAM beamline B22. The use and support of off line apparata, bench top instruments such as microRaman, visible/fluorescence microscopy will also be required.

The PDRA will be responsible for the upgrade of full field IR imaging via FPA detector and SR, so to perform in-house and collaborative research mainly in the fields of life sciences.

Work in the team in the following areas:

  • Design, implementation and commissioning of new optics;
  • performing experiments and analysing data,including software development;
  • carrying out in-house research activities and publication of results;
  • keeping up with latest results and research directions internationally;
  • beamline upgrade, development and testing of equipment and software;
  • maintenance of the beamline components and equipment during operations;
  • supporting users during experiments on the beamline, including data analysis and training.

Qualification & Experience - Essential

  • Appropriate First Degree;
  • PhD degree;
  • 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;
  • Must be available to travel occasionally within the UK and abroad, including overnight absences;
  • Experience with microscopy.

Qualification & Experience - Desirable

  • Knowledge or experience in optics design/installation;
  • Experience or knowledge in vibrational microscopy/spectroscopy;
  • Experience in data and image analysis;
  • Experience or knowledge of synchrotron radiation and infrared;
  • Knowledge or experience in programming.

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

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