Senior Support Scientist

This vacancy is now closed
Job Title Senior Support Scientist
Job Reference 016/18/CH
Post Type Full Time / 3 year Fixed Term Contract
Division Life Science
Salary information £32,805 to £38,593 (Discretionary range to £44,382)
Application deadline 01/05/2018

Job Description

The world-first XChem facility at Diamond has since 2015 been offering routine and fast crystal-based fragment screening to academia and industry: in 2017 helped over 30 user groups screen over 35,000 crystals.

To meet steadily increasing demand and ensure long-term sustainability, Diamond is expanding capacity, and therefore recruiting a Senior Support Scientist.  The successful candidate will join the XChem team to support academic and industrial users with experiments and service work, and develop new fragment-related methodologies. 

The nature of the role requires graduate or postdoctoral experience in crystallography and crystallization, but additionally someone highly organised and with the natural authority necessary to assist users productively.  First-hand experience in crystallographic fragment screening and compound development is highly desirable.

To collaborate with the Principal Beamline Scientist for the commissioning and operation of the beamline. Work closely with other scientists and support groups within Diamond to ensure smooth operation of the beamline providing beam time to the scientific user community.

Support the scientific research projects of external and internal users (applying specialist scientific knowledge) to enable them to perform their experiments on the beamline, including:

  • Act as a single point of contact (“Local Contact”) for users, to enable the successful completion of their experiments within the allocated beamtime;
  • Communicate effectively and in a timely manner with users, to establish and implement the requirements in time for their scheduled experiment;
  • Provide technical and scientific expertise to users, advising on the best possible strategy for experimental and data collection procedures including data analysis;
  • Actively participate in pre- and post-experimental scientific discussions to enable the publication of the results in peer reviewed journals;
  • Setting up multiple complex and bespoke pieces of equipment to meet the requirements for the user’s experiments;
  • Training users in the safety procedures, including radiological Personnel Safety System and laboratory safety, to enable them to work safely while on site;
  • Manage the development, procurement, testing, installation, and maintenance of bespoke scientific equipment and software to perform novel experiments on the beamline and the peripheral laboratory;
  • Create and maintain a comprehensive and up to date beamline operation documentation including training materials and tutorials for users;
  • Work with the Principal Beamline Scientist on strategies and implementations for improvements to operational procedures and beamline component development;
  • Manage the day-to-day coordination of support groups at Diamond to implement beamline upgrade projects, to improve the quality of the beamline, develop solutions for emerging problems, and ensure its smooth operation;
  • Provide input and recommendations in safety aspects of the beamline and peripheral laboratories, including risk and COSHH assessments,  where necessary;
  • Managing the day-to-day operation of the beamline peripheral support laboratories, where applicable; overseeing activities, and ensuring safe working environment for preparation of samples;
  • In line with the beamline strategy, devise, perform, and collaborate on in-house and external scientific experiments, collect and analyze data, and disseminate results;
  • Promote Diamond externally; this could include public outreach activity and engaging with the scientific community.  

Qualification & Experience - Essential

• First degree in a relevant scientific discipline;
• PhD;
• 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 experiments and draw convincing conclusions;
• Track record of advanced laboratory work;
• Strong track record of organisational skills.

Qualification & Experience - Desirable

• 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;
• 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;
• Programming.

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