Support / Senior Support Scientist-BLI15-1

This vacancy is now closed
Job Title Support / Senior Support Scientist-BLI15-1
Job Reference DIA1002/TH
Post Type Full time, permanent
Division Physical Science
Salary information Circa £26 or Circa £33k for appointment at the senior level
Application deadline 08/03/2015
Date of interviews 25/03/2015

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.

Diamond is currently constructing I15-1, the first X-ray Pair-Distribution-Function (XPDF) instrument of its kind in Europe. I15-1 will be ready for first users in 2016. It will interface directly with the current diffraction and Extended X-Ray Absorption Fine Structure capabilities on offer at Diamond, and will collaborate with the scientific programmes of the Extreme Conditions (I15) and Engineering (I12) beamlines.

We are seeking a highly motivated (Senior) Support Scientist who will participate in the installation and commissioning of several major beamline components, as well as helping to develop the sample environment 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.

I15-1 will offer very versatile sample environments to be able to accommodate high-throughput including variable temperature experiments at ambient pressure. Once the beamline is operational, the support scientist will assist users with their experiments and eventually be responsible for the day-to-day running of the beamline.

The work will involve both control and maintenance of beamline components and helping users with preparing the experiment, aligning samples, collecting and analysing data. A thorough knowledge of X-ray diffraction and total scattering methods as well as experience with PDF analysis programs such as PDFgui and RMCProfile is highly desirable. Candidates will have an appropriate degree and will have experience in the use of scientific instrumentation and data collection.

Working with the I15-1 beamline team in the following areas:

  • Local contact support to users by setting up and providing advice and guidance on the best approach to experiments, data analysis and research techniques;
  • Assist users in experiment preparation;
  • Assist in the procurement, installation, assembly, and maintenance of a range of equipment and systems on the beamline and support laboratories, including testing and commissioning;
  • Produce reports and documentation (e.g. manuals) to support the beamline;
  • Support of in-house research programmes;
  • Maintenance of the beamline during operations;
  • Assist in undertaking problem solving and fault diagnosis of the beamline;
  • Collaborate with users within area of expertise;
  • Testing samples sent to Diamond by users, including data analysis and basic reports.

Additional duties, for appointment at Senior level:

  • Scientific data collection including data analysis and contribution to publications;
  • Develop and maintain expertise in a scientific field, and apply it to user support;
  • Develop new instrumentation, equipment and software to upgrade the performance of the beamline.

Qualification & Experience - Essential

  • Appropriate science degree;
  • Appropriate PhD degree in Physics, Chemistry, Materials or Earth Sciences (or equivalent qualification);
  • Experience in the use of scientific instrumentation;
  • Experience in scientific data collection;
  • Experience or knowledge of synchrotron X-ray powder diffraction;
  • Capability of providing full data analysis to the users;
  • 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 and facility users 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 working;
  • Must be available to travel occasionally within the UK and abroad, including overnight absences.


Qualification & Experience - Desirable

  • Appropriate PhD degree in Physics, Chemistry, Materials or Earth Sciences (or equivalent qualification) and three years relevant experience (essential for appointment at Senior level);
  • Good organizational and planning skills (essential for appointment at Senior level);
  • Experience of diffraction or total scattering methods (essential for appointment at Senior level);
  • Rietveld analysis experience (e.g. Topas, GSAS) and/or modelling of pair distribution function/total scattering data (e.g. PDFgui, RMCProfile). (essential for appointment at Senior level);
  • Experience in programming (e.g. Python, Matlab, IDL) (essential for appointment at Senior level);
  • Experience with Windows/Linux/Unix;
  • Experience in supporting scientists in the conduct of research in a synchrotron or equivalent facility (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

Other information