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Job Title Administrator - User Office
Job Reference DIA0663/TH
Post Type
Division Science
Salary information Circa £26k
Application deadline 18/11/2011

Job Description

Diamond Light Source is the UK’s national synchrotron science facility. Located at Harwell Science & Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire, we enable world-leading research across a wide range of scientific disciplines and industrial applications.

The Diamond Light Source produces incredibly intense light beams, mainly as X-rays, that can penetrate deep inside all kinds of matter from proteins to plastics to enable research. The synchrotron has been operational since January 2007 and further details can be found in the “Beamlines” area on Diamond Light Source Ltd website.

Most users are from UK Universities and will apply for access to the synchrotron. They will submit a proposal which will be considered by an external review panel. If their proposal is accepted then they will be given access to the synchrotron for a certain period of time, this can last from a few hours to a few days.  This access is known as “beamtime”. Diamond is also used by commercial companies who will buy “beamtime”.

We require an Administrator to join our busy User Office team. You will be responsible for providing first line support to the scientific community, interacting directly with the users of the facility and coordinating their requirements to enable them to conduct their experiments effectively.

Duties - To support the User Office Manager in ensuring the smooth and efficient running of the User Office. To act as the ‘face of Diamond’ in providing a first-class service to users, thus enabling them to undertake their experiments with minimal administration.

Working in support of the User Office Manager and with other User Office and Science Division Office staff in the following areas.

Associated with scheduled beamtime experiments the following interactions are required:

  • User queries to be answered and solutions provided;
  • Principal Investigator and the experimental team to ensure that all necessary registration and experimental forms are completed in advance and providing support for them during beamtime;
  • Beamline staff to ensure that they are aware of the experimental team coming and any conditions relevant to the experiment in order to enhance the user experience both for commercial and academic users.
  • Experimental Hall Coordinators to ensure that they are aware of the experimental team arriving and any safety requirements imposed by safety. Regular meetings held to discuss forthcoming user runs and areas for improvement assists this;
  • Safety staff to ensure that it is graded in time for scheduled beamtime;
  • Site services and facilities (eg. restaurant, on-site guesthouse and security) for each experiment to ensure that the user’s needs and their requirements are met.

As a result of scheduled beamtime experiments the following actions and skills are required:

  • Dealing with knock-on consequences of cancelled and rescheduled beamtime;
  • Working under tight deadlines and to react to last-minute changes while remaining calm under pressure. This requires tact and diplomacy for difficult situations;
  • Maintaining user information, e.g. personal information, safety information, experimental documentation, expenses claims, access control;
  • Maintaining and updating experimental information to enable production of statistical reports to show the demand, usage and success of the synchrotron;
  • Maintaining quality of service while meeting the demands of new beamlines as they come in to operation. 

Other duties include:

  • Day-to-day running of User Office systems, involving working with web applications; in house administrative databases; Microsoft applications Outlook and Excel; and C Cure access control system;
  • Undertake user acceptance software testing on in-house software and, when appropriate, putting forward suggestions for continuous improvement;
  • Setting up and constant development of procedures to ensure the smooth day-to-day running of the office (documentation development, checklists, office procedures, filing systems);
  • Communicating with Peer Review Panels and organising regular review meetings;
  • Assisting Diamond colleagues in areas such as conference/workshop management when required; liaising with the Communications team with regard to PR interest for and from users.

Applicants must have a flexible approach to work and be comfortable in a dynamic and moving environment.  For up-to-date information on the User Office please see the “For Users” area on the Diamond Light Source Ltd website.

Qualification & Experience - Essential

  • Good interpersonal and communication skills;
  • Tactful and diplomatic in dealing with others;
  • Ability to interact effectively with staff at all levels;
  • Self motivated and an ability to work as part of a multi-disciplinary team;
  • Proven organisational skills with good attention to detail;
  • Flexible approach to work, comfortable in dealing with change;
  • Ability and initiative to get to the heart of the problem and take it effectively through to completion;
  • Good IT skills, including MS Office Suite;
  • Numerate & literate.

Qualification & Experience - Desirable

  • Significant experience of working in a busy office environment;
  • Experience in working within a scientific or academic environment.

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