Principal Scientist X-FEL Hub

This vacancy is now closed
Job Title Principal Scientist X-FEL Hub
Job Reference DIA1020/CH
Post Type Full time / 3 year Fixed Term Contract
Division Life Science
Salary information Competitve + Benefits
Application deadline 03/05/2015

Job Description

Diamond Light Source is the UK’s national synchrotron and a leading scientific facility of its type in the world. Located on the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in South Oxfordshire, we host research facilities supporting cutting edge research in all fields of science.

As part of our vision to provide an integrated facility for structural biology we have recently received funding to provide a national facility that will aid the UK structural biology community to fully exploit the potential of hard X-FEL sources worldwide. As part of this initiative the UK will lead in the construction and operation of a dedicated crystallography beamline (SFX) at the European X-FEL in Hamburg, Germany.

The Principal Scientist for the UK X-FEL Hub will be responsible for developing and managing the X-FEL Hub at diamond. In particular (s)he will lead development of sample environment(s) and novel sample delivery systems for submicron diffraction experiments at Diamond light source beamlines and will collaborate with our partners at the European X-FEL in development of novel sample delivery systems for serial femtosecond nanocrystallography diffraction experiments at the SFX/SPB instruments.

The Principal Scientist will establish and direct user operations of the X-FEL Hub at diamond including supporting users who will use the facility to prepare for X-FEL experiments both pre and post experiment.

The successful candidate will be expected to develop an internationally competitive research programme that complements the research and development activities within the European SFX project and the MX village at Diamond.


Lead in the management of the operation, maintenance and development of the UK X-FEL Hub at Diamond and work closely with other scientists within the SFX project both in Hamburg and Diamond. Pursue an internationally competitive research programme to complement the capabilities of the SFX beamline at the European X-FEL and the Diamond MX village beamlines.

Contribute to the UK X-FEL Hub in the following areas: -

  • Lead the development of novel sample delivery systems for sub-micron crystals at Diamond and nanocrystals at the European X-FEL;
  • Establish and Develop a sample evaluation facility for serial femtosecond crystallography experiments at X-FEL facilities;
  • Responsible for coordination and operation of the UK X-FEL user access programme;
  • Ensure the X-FEL Hub at Diamond continues to meet the scientific requirements as agreed with the user community;
  • Budget Management;
  • Carry out an independent and internationally competitive research programme to compliment activities at Diamond and the SFX project at the European X-FEL.

Qualification & Experience - Essential

  • Appropriate First Degree
  • Relevant Postgraduate degree (or ability to demonstrate significant relevant experience);
  • Demonstrated expertise in all aspects of macromolecular crystallography;
  • Experience in instrumentation development and or commissioning and operation of a beamline or equivalent;
  • Experience with developing X-FEL sample environments;
  • Experience with conducting X-FEL experiments;
  • Experience with Windows/Linux/Unix;
  • Good interpersonal, communication and presentational skills;
  • Strong organisational skills and methodical record keeping;
  • Ability to design, plan, organise, and implement projects and tasks within an allotted timeframe;
  • Ability to work flexibly with occasional weekend and out-of-hours working.

Qualification & Experience - Desirable

  • Experience of project management;
  • Experience in Python and/or Java programming;
  • Experience in managing a user facility.

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

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