This vacancy is now closed
Job Title Postdoctoral Research Associate, Beamline I15
Job Reference 0019/17/TH
Post Type Full time, 3 year fixed term
Division Physical Science
Salary information £32,480to £38,211 (Discretionary range to £43,943)
Application deadline 17/04/2017

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 are seeking a PDRA, experienced in high-pressure and low-temperature measurements, to install and use a magnetic-susceptibility set-up for studying pressure-induced magnetic and superconducting transitions in conjunction with structural phase transitions on the extreme conditions beamline I15 at Diamond Light Source. A thorough knowledge of experimental high pressure, low temperature, and magnetic measurement techniques is essential. The successful candidate will work with the beamline team to commission the equipment and perform individual research in any area relevant to I15. Some beamline operation and development, including User support will be required. I15 provides powder and single-crystal diffraction based around the diamond-anvil cell and a wide range of on- and off-line laser facilities.

To install and commission a magnetic-susceptibility set-up to measure the susceptibility as a function of temperature (T < 300 K) and high pressure (p < 50 GPa) and to conduct own research using the equipment also online in conjunction with X-ray diffraction.

Working with the I15 beamline team in the following areas:

  • Install and commission an ac-magnetic susceptibility set-up in a diamond-anvil cell for off-line magnetic measurements at low temperature (T < 300 K);
  • Commission a combined susceptibility and X-ray diffraction experiment on I15;
  • Support beamline users during low-temperature diffraction measurements;
  • Pursue  a research programme on the study of materials under extreme conditions of pressure and temperature, including the analysis and publication of the results;
  • Keep up with latest results and research directions internationally;
  • Develop experimental and data analysis techniques and implementing them on the beamline;
  • Assist the beamline staff in maintaining and running the beamline peripheral laboratories;
  • Occasional support of the research projects of users, who will come from a diverse scientific background. (This will include occasional duties as local contact for users).

Qualification & Experience - Essential

  • Appropriate First Degree;
  • Appropriate PhD degree in Physics, Chemistry, Materials or Earth Sciences, or equivalent qualification;
  • Experience in high-pressure and low-temperature (thermodynamic) measurements;
  • Experience in magnetic susceptibility measurements;
  • Experience in interfacing and controlling low-temperature probes;
  • Experience in diamond anvil cells;
  • Experience in programming and controlling (e.g. python or LabView);
  • Experience with Windows/Linux/Unix;
  • 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 at all levels;
  • Ability to work as part of a multi-disciplinary team;
  • Self-motivated.

Qualification & Experience - Desirable

  • Experience with X-ray diffraction using a diamond-anvil cell;
  • Good knowledge of crystallographic data collection  (powder and/or single-crystal procedures);
  • Experience in synchrotron-based diffraction technique;
  • GSAS, Topas™ or other software for crystallography;
  • Mechanical and electrical aspects of experimental design;
  • Must be available to travel occasionally within the UK and abroad, including overnight absences.

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

Other information