Post Doctoral Research Associate - National Crystallography Service

This vacancy is now closed
Job Title Post Doctoral Research Associate - National Crystallography Service. Externally Funded
Job Reference DIA0571/TH
Post Type
Division Science
Salary information £28,409 - £39,050. Starting salary, dependent on assessment of previous relevant experience and qualifications
Application deadline 20/08/2010
Date of interviews 10/09/2010

Job Description

Diamond Light Source is a new 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 facilities supporting cutting edge research in all fields of science.

The fixed-term position will be based on Beamline I19 at Diamond, which is designed for small-molecule single-crystal diffraction using an intense x-ray beam (5-25 keV) to study the structural properties of materials in detail. The successful applicant will work on this state-of-the art beamline which is designed to study small and weakly diffracting crystals, for time resolved studies, for anomalous dispersion studies and for studies involving complex crystallography. He/She will be responsible for the operation of the synchrotron component of National Crystallography Service (NCS) based at Diamond and the duties will involve: the running of beamtime awarded to the NCS; the management of samples sent from the central laboratory component of the NCS (Southampton); the collection of data, structure solution and refinement for challenging samples and the management of data; the interaction with staff from both DLS and Southampton including direct contact with NCS users; reporting on the NCS usage of beam time on I19 as well as the participation in the write-up of results in journal articles.

Suitable candidates should be experienced with single-crystal diffraction instrumentation and methodology, structure solution and refinement. Familiarity with the principles of synchrotron x ray single-crystal diffraction would be an advantage and he/she should have a strong interest in a specific area of materials science, physics, chemistry and pharmaceuticals. The position will involve some participation in beamline commissioning and development and the successful candidate would be expected to be able to assist in the setting up of the beamline in advance of NCS beamtime.

This post is externally funded.  

The successful candidate will have the opportunity to be involved in performing individual or collaborative research activities on the beamline and/or using other central facilities and laboratory equipment.

Working with the single-crystal diffraction beamline team in the following areas:

  • Carrying out experiments, analysing data and publication of results;
  • Support users in performing their experiments;
  • Developing experimental and data analysis techniques and their implementation;
  • Running beamtime for the synchrotron component of the National Crystallography Service;
  • Data collection on demanding samples sent from the laboratory component of the NCS based at Southampton;
  • Structure solution and refinement on extremely challenging data sets;
  • Participation in the drafting of journal articles;
  • Interaction with DLS staff and the NCS team of scientists at Southampton;
  • Direct interaction with users of the NCS;
  • Management of core diffraction data and meta data;
  • Reporting of the NCS usage of time awarded on beamline I19;
  • Assist in the alignment preparation of beamline.

Qualification & Experience - Essential

  • Relevant PhD degree in areas such as Chemistry, Physics or Materials Science;
  • Experience of small-molecule single-crystal x ray diffraction and data analysis;
  • 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;
  • Good organisational and planning skills;
  • Must be available to travel occasionally within the UK and abroad including overnight absences.

Qualification & Experience - Desirable

  • Experience of synchrotrons and x ray beamlines;
  • Experience with Windows/Linux/Unix;
  • Experience of programming, especially Python and Java;
  • A high-level of self motivation.

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