Postdoctoral Research Associate

This vacancy is now closed
Job Title Postdoctoral Research Associate ( BLI11)
Job Reference DIA0693/TH
Post Type
Division Science
Salary information Circa £33K
Application deadline 24/03/2012

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 PDRA post will be based on beamline I11, which is designed and constructed for high resolution and time-resolved powder diffraction using an intense X-ray beam to study the structural properties of polycrystalline materials. With a wide range of non ambient sample environments including cryogenic apparatus, humidity cell, gas cells and furnaces, the beamline provides new opportunities for researchers in the fields of materials science, energy, solid state chemistry, earth sciences, engineering and pharmaceuticals. As the beamline has been successfully operating as a dedicated user facility for a number of years, it will soon start an upgrade project involving the design and construction of a second experimental hutch for long duration experiments (LDE). Included in the upgrade programme is the ongoing development of in-house and collaborative research in the field of energy, e.g. bio-fuel, gas storage and battery materials.
Suitable candidates should be familiar with the applications of synchrotron X-ray powder diffraction (SXPD) and should have a strong research interest in energy and storage materials or closely related fields. The post holder will be required to work with the beamline team and other staff to ensure the new LDE hutch becomes a leading user facility. The position will include participation in beamline commissioning, user support and sample cell developments. It is essential that he/she is familiar with methods of SXPD data analysis. The selected candidate will also participate in individual and collaborative research activities on the beamline and elsewhere, with the specific remit of developing research in the field of energy using new and existing equipment; involving structural changes induced by variation of temperature, pressure or other physical conditions. Although SXPD is the principal technique on the beamline, the use and support of non- ambient apparatus, bench top instruments such as SEM, Rama, XRF, DSC and their data analysis will also be required.

Main responsiblities will be:
  • Carrying out in- house research activites;
  • Carrying out experiments, analysing data and publication of results;
  • Maintenance of the beamline during operations;
  • Beamline upgrade, development and testing of new equipment and software;
  • Support of users in performing experiments at Diamond;
  • Assisting users with data analysis;
  • Keeping up with latest results and research directions internationally

Qualification & Experience - Essential

  • Ability and initiaive to get to the heart of the problem and take it effectively  through to completion;
  • Good interpersonal, communication and presentational skills;
  • Self motivation;
  • Experience or knowledge of synchrotrons X-ray powder diffraction;
  • Experience of powder diffraction data analysis (e.g. structure solution and refinement);
  • Appropriate First Degree;
  • PhD degree;
  • Must be available to travel occasionally within the UK and abroad, including overnight absences

Qualification & Experience - Desirable

  • Good organisational and planning skills;
  • Ability to interact effectively with staff at all levels;
  • Ability to work as part of a multi-disciplinary team;
  • Background in energy (or related) research;
  • Experience with X-ray beamline and optics;
  • Experience of sample environment equipment;
  • Experience with Windows/ Linux/ Unix

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