Support Scientist / Senior Support Scientist

This vacancy is now closed
Job Title Support Scientist / Senior Support Scientist, Macromolecular Crystallography
Job Reference DIA0588/TH
Post Type
Division Science
Salary information Circa £25k. For appointment at the senior level, Circa £30k (dependent upon skills, qualifications and experience).
Application deadline 25/02/2011
Date of interviews 17/03/2011

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. 

We are looking for highly motivated and experienced Support Scientists to work within the Macromolecular Crystallography (MX) village at Diamond. Diamond currently operates five beamlines for MX, carrying out macromolecular structure determination experiments. The beamlines are equipped with state-of-the-art automated sample environments using the latest in detector technology and are fully capable of being remotely operated by users. Support Scientist will provide support and advice to both external and internal users while also contributing to ongoing developments in beamline instrumentation, software and scheduling.

Provide technical and scientific support to the operational MX beamlines and user programme to ensure effective use of Diamond facilities by all users. Take day-to-day responsibility for beamline timetabling and scheduling of user beamtime across the MX village under supervision of the Principle Beamline Scientists. Assist in developing MX beamline capabilities in collaboration with other MX staff.

For appointment as Senior Support Scientist:

  • Assist in the procurement, installation, assembly, and maintenance of a range of equipment and systems on the beamline and support laboratories, including testing and commissioning;
  • Local contact support to users by setting up and providing advice and guidance on the best approach to experiments, data analysis and research techniques;
  • Measurement of samples including data analysis and contributing to publications;
  • Undertake problem solving and fault diagnosis of the beamline;
  • Develop and maintain expertise in a scientific field, and apply it to user support;
  • 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;
  • Produce reports and documentation (e.g. manuals) to support the beamline and laboratories;
  • Administrative tasks in support of user scheduling for the MX village.

For appointment as Support Scientist:

  • Assist in the installation, assembly, and maintenance of a range of equipment and systems on the beamline and support laboratories, including testing and commissioning;
  • Provide support to users both on and off site, answering queries and ensuring they are fully briefed to use the appropriate equipment;
  • Undertake problem solving and fault diagnosis of complex instrumentation eg the beamline end station;
  • Technical support to users and in-house research activities;
  • Management of beamline peripheral laboratories where appropriate;
  • Produce beamline documentation for external users;
  • Co-ordinate meetings, documents, reports and communications;
  • Administrative tasks in support of user scheduling for the MX village.

Qualification & Experience - Essential

  • Appropriate degree or equivalent qualification or experience;
  • Experience with Windows/ Linux/Unix;
  • 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.

For appointment at the senior / higher level a PhD is essential and at least 3 years post doctoral experience in a scientific environment.

Qualification & Experience - Desirable

  • Experience of instrument development and deployment;
  • Experience in timetabling and organizing intensive use of multiple facilities;
  • Experience in macromolecular crystallography data collection and analysis;
  • Experience in using synchrotron beamlines;
  • Experience in laboratory work and crystallisation;
  • Experience in beamline instrumentation and X-ray equipment;
  • Experience in providing expert support to end-users;
  • Experience in programming.

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