Postdoctoral Research Associate

This vacancy is now closed
Job Title Postdoctoral Research Associate, for BioSAXS - Scattering Group
Job Reference DIA0682/TH
Post Type
Division Science
Salary information Circa £33k
Application deadline 29/02/2012

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 to recruit a Post Doctoral Research Associate, to a position on the Scattering beamlines, I22 and HATSAXS, B21. You should have a strong interest in the use of SAXS for structural studies in biological molecules (proteins, lipids and other biological polymers) and will work closely with the Principal Beamline Scientist and Senior Beamline Scientists on several projects, mainly based on I22 and B21. You would be expected to carry out the structural studies on biological molecules using SAXS liaising with internal and external user groups. The position will involve; 1) upgrading and maintenance of experimental equipment (HPLC, BioSAXS robot etc.) for BioSAXS experiments, 2) Structural studies, both static and kinetic, on multi-subunit proteins with SAXS together with Molecular Modelling. 3) Improvement and development of the data analysis pipeline software for BioSAXS. Any candidate will require skills in instrumentation, mathematics and computing.

Beamline I22 (Non Crystalline Diffraction) is a high-flux SAXS/WAXS facility that is optimised for both biological and materials science. The beamline uses an in-vacuum undulator to generate X-rays in the range of 3.7-20 keV, and delivers a high photon flux into a focused 75 x 300 µm spot. It is equipped with a highly flexible end station and sample platform, capable of carrying the wide variety of science applications seen on I22. The beamline performs SAXS, SAXS/WAXS, ASAXS, GISAXS and microfocus applications supported by a wide range of x-ray detector systems.

On B21 (HATSAXS), we plan to carry out highly automated throughput measurements with the highest possible reliability and accuracy once operational using X-rays in the range 6-23 keV. All experimental equipment in the experimental hutch is planning to be automated. The construction of this beamline will end in the second half of 2012, and will be open for users in early 2013 after a commissioning period in which the PDRA will play a full role.

Working with the Non Crystalline Diffraction beamline team in the following areas:

• Carrying out experiments, analysing data and publication of results;
• Keeping up with latest results and research directions internationally;
• Developing experimental and data analysis techniques and implementing them on the beamlines;
• Jython scripting for data acquisition;
• Occasional support of the research projects of the users, who will come from a diverse scientific background.

Qualification & Experience - Essential

  • Appropriate first degree;
  • Appropriate PhD degree or equivalent qualification and experience;
  • Experience of SAXS-WAXS on biological molecules;
  • Experience in a relevant area of biophysics;
  • Experience in a sample preparation/purification;
  • Experience or knowledge of preparation for biological solution samples, handling of chemicals and lab glass wares; 
  • Ability and initiative to get to the heart of the problem and take it effectively through to completion;
  • Good interpersonal, communication and presentational skills;
  • Good organisational and planning skills;
  • Ability to work as part of a multi-disciplinary team;
  • Self motivation;
  • Able to propose new directions for research.


Qualification & Experience - Desirable

  • Experience or knowledge of synchrotron  instrumentation;
  • Experience or knowledge of scientific data analysis and programming/scripting;
  • Experience of a relevant exploitable scientific area.
  • Must be available to travel occasionally within the UK and abroad, including overnight absences;

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