Laboratory Manager - Fragment Soaking Facility

This vacancy is now closed
Job Title Laboratory Manager - Fragment Soaking Facility
Job Reference 0017/16/TH
Post Type Full time (although part time will be considered) / Fixed term for for 3 years
Division CEO
Salary information Circa £33k
Application deadline 27/03/2016

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 world-first XChem facility at Diamond recently officially opened to users, and offers routine and fast crystal-based fragment screening to academia and industry.  Following a highly successful commissioning phase, it is now taking regular visitors: the highly streamlined process enables visitors to screen over 1000 compounds per week individually in crystals, and supports all steps from crystal soaking and harvesting to data collection and analysis.  The facility is part of the MX beamline I04-1 and closely linked to the Industrial Liaison group.

The facility is now recruiting a laboratory manager in order to increase capacity for users, and ensure its long-term sustainability.  The successful candidate will assume executive management of the soaking laboratory, ensuring that the laboratory is at all times able to meet the demands of a user facility, supporting academic and industrial users with experiments, managing the scheduling and overall user program, working with the existing team and developing new methodologies. 

The nature of the role requires graduate or postdoctoral experience in crystallography and crystallization, but additionally someone who has the ability to manage diverse range of people with varying requirements and challenging situations.

The aim of the role is manage the Fragment Soaking Facility by providing scientific and technical support to users of the facility, administering the fragment screening user program, ensuring the facility is optimally usable, and participating in developments to keep it cutting-edge.

Key Responsibilities:

Working closely with the PBS of I04-1 to carry out the following duties: -

  • Executive management of the Soaking Laboratory which entails working independently and taking ownership of general and specific lab organisation, enforcing tidiness, ensuring appropriate stocking of reagents and labware, and generally ensuring that the laboratory at all times can function as a user facility;
  • Provide scientific guidance to the users of the fragment soaking facility, both academic and industrial, from beginning to end of the fragment screening experiment, including beamtime and data analysis; this includes user induction and training, but also scientific guidance and advising on experiment design;
  • Co-ordinate the fragment screening user program, including managing proposals and review decisions, scheduling of lab users, setting the laboratory rota, liaising between Users and Diamond staff when necessary, and generally ensuring frictionless timing of user and staff experiments;
  • Perform experiments in the context of soaking and fragment screening, aimed both at improving the process and contributing to the science program of the Diamond MX group;
  • Take responsibility for equipment maintenance, including liaising with service companies, ensuring regular service, performing routine operation tests, and scheduling;
  • Develop protocols for record keeping;
  • Keep the fragment libraries up-to-date, including regular quality control, maintaining an accurate and generally accessible inventory, and ensuring historical records are always available;
  • Design and perform Quality Control experiments for both processes and fragment libraries;
  • Supervise the general use of the laboratory, including use of equipment and reagents, monitoring H&S and other compliance and maintaining records as appropriate;
  • Act as secretary to the Steering Group, organising the meetings, taking minutes etc.;
  • Organise outreach activities for other staff as relevant, including travel arrangements, marketing and advertising;
  • Responsibility for all safety matters in the laboratory, both existing arrangements and future requirements;
  • Carry out regular inspections of the facility to identify faults and issues;
  • Management of budgets as assigned;
  • Undertake other duties of a similar nature including working flexibly with other employees as required.


Qualification & Experience - Essential

  • Track record of advanced laboratory work;
  • Strong track record of organisational  skills;
  • Ability to perform laboratory work independently and rigorously;
  • Excellent organisational and time management skills;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to work with staff and users of any level of seniority;
  • Experience in conflict management;
  • Technical proficiency with equipment and ability to troubleshoot independently;
  • Ability to work part of a multi-disciplinary team, including effective communication of results and updates;
  • Ability to manage interactions with vendors;
  • Ability to design and perform rigorous scientific.

Qualification & Experience - Desirable

  • PhD;
  • Programming;
  • Experience with compound management;
  • Fully versant in macromolecular crystallography;
  • Experience with crystal handling and soaking;
  • Experience with fragment screening (any);
  • Experience of synchrotrons / x-ray beamlines;
  • Experience with Windows/Linux/Unix;
  • Experience of programming, especially Python, and Java;
  • Experience with database programming;
  • Ability to drive a research project independently and bring it to a scientific conclusion;
  • Ability to write scientific papers;
  • Ability to present at scientific meetings;
  • Ability to manage scientific collaborations.

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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