Postdoctoral Research Associate, VMXm

This vacancy is now closed
Job Title Postdoctoral Research Associate, VMXm
Job Reference 039/17/CH
Post Type Full time / 1 year fixed term contract
Division Life Sciences
Salary information £32,480 to £38,211 (Discretionary range to £43,943)
Application deadline 23/03/2017

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 an innovative and enthusiastic individual to work on a project developing novel sample preparation methodology including nanocrystal mounting for the new micro/nanofocus VMXm beamline at Diamond Light Source. VMXm is a ground-breaking tuneable wavelength beamline with a minimum X-ray beam size of < 500 nm, utilising an in vacuo sample stage combining knowledge from both X-ray and electron microscopy fields. The VMXm team have developed new approaches to beam focusing and sample visualization and are seeking to complement the group with a researcher to develop methods and tools for the preparation of micro/nano sized biological particles and crystals.

The successful candidate will ideally have experience in the preparation, handling and manipulation of delicate biological samples. Experience in cryo scanning or transmission electron microscopy sample preparation would be beneficial. The candidate will play a key role in sample preparation and delivery to VMXm. S/he will also assist in the commissioning of the VMXm beamline and later play a role in the support of visiting users to the facility. The candidate should be able to demonstrate good research practice and experience in macromolecular crystallography data collection and analysis is highly desirable.

Duties / responsibilities:

Assist in developing MX beamline capabilities in collaboration with other MX staff. In particular take a role in the development of micro/nano crystal sample preparation, mounting and characterization for the VMXm micro/nanocrystallography beamline and later provide support to users with the preparation of their samples.

  • Measurement of samples including data analysis and contributing to publications;
  • Develop and maintain expertise in a scientific field;
  • Work closely with other scientific and technical staff to produce designs for new systems, equipment or processes;
  • Collaborate with users and in house staff research within area of expertise;
  • Contribute to scientific papers from external or in-house research;
  • Assist the VMXm scientists in the development of sample preparation and delivery methods;
  • Local contact support to users by setting up and providing advice and guidance on the best approach to experiments, data analysis and research techniques.

Qualification & Experience - Essential

  • PhD in structural biology or related disciplines;
  • Good interpersonal, communication, organizational and presentational skills;
  • Ability to interact with staff and facility users at all levels;
  • Ability and initiative to get to the heart of the problem and take it effectively through to completion;
  • Ability to work as part of a multi-disciplinary team;
  • Ability to work flexibly with occasional weekend and out-of hours;
  • Self motivation;
  • Experience in the preparation of biological samples for structural studies ideally having contributed to new sample preparation methodology;
  • Experience with Scanning or Transmission Electron Microscopy of biological samples;
  • Experience in structural biology;
  • Basic knowledge of using Windows/Linux/Unix;
  • Experience in providing expert support to end-users;
  • Programming experience.

Qualification & Experience - Desirable

  • Experience in macromolecular crystallography data collection and analysis.

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

Other information