Postdoctoral Research Associate

This vacancy is now closed
Job Title Postdoctoral Research Associate, Beamline I13
Job Reference DIA0750/TH
Post Type
Division Science
Salary information Circa £33k
Application deadline 16/08/2012

Job Description

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

Beamline I 13 is one of the latest beamlines dedicated to imaging and coherence operational since October 2011. The scientific applications for the two independently operating beamline branches relate to imaging in real (X-ray microscopy; absorption- and phase-contrast tomography) and reciprocal space (coherent X-ray diffraction imaging).  Micro- and nano-structured materials from different scientific fields such as biology, materials science or earth science will be studied in the energy range of 6-30keV. The project is unique in many aspects. The 250m long beamline provides space in large hutches for advanced experimental methods, new electron optics (mini-beta) and X-ray optics have been developed along the project.  Since 2010 the project is supported in collaboration with Manchester University, providing interesting academic opportunities. More detailed information can be found at:

We are currently searching for a highly motivated Postdoctoral Research Associate. The position is offered for a period of three years and provides the opportunity to develop a scientific career. Candidates should have a strong background in X-ray imaging, preferentially with synchrotron radiation experience. The successful candidate will take an active role in beamline activities and assist with user support. Since 2010 the I13 imaging branchline is supported by a close collaboration with Manchester University, providing additional attractive academic opportunities.

Candidates will have some experience in the fields and application examples described in the current advertisement and on the I13 web pages. Several research subjects are available and will be agreed according to the qualifications of the candidate, namely: 

Hard X-ray microscopy
The beamline team currently develops a full-field microscope for the hard X-ray energy range (>8keV). The candidate will be involved in the development of the instrument and lead research with the new instrument.

Tomography with X-rays
Tomography is one of the main activities at the beamline offering possibilities for theoretical as well as experimental work. Scientific applications cover the field of hearing research and materials science.

Imaging with phase information
New methods for coherent diffraction imaging are currently implemented at the beamline. Candidates with an interest in phase retrieval methods or new experimental techniques such as Ptychography will find an ideal working environment interacting with neighbouring institutes on the Harwell/Oxford site.

To work within the I13 team to undertake research. The PDRA will be expected to devote 25% of his/her time to support the I13 beamline, fulfilling duties such as acting as local contact, taking part in beamline development projects and discussing experiment and data analysis with outside Users.

Work in the I13 team in the following areas:

  • carrying out and support in-house research activities;
  • planning and realising experimental setups, carrying out experiments, analysing data and publishing the results;
  • maintenance of the beamline during operations;
  • development and testing of new equipment and software;
  • procurement, installation and commissioning of beamline components and instrumentation;
  • support of users in performing their experiments at Diamond;
  • testing of samples sent to Diamond by users;
  • development of new instrumentation to upgrade the performance of the beamline;
  • keeping up with latest results and research directions internationally;
  • assisting users with data analysis;
  • developing experimental and data analysis techniques and implementing them on the beamline;
  • Jython scripting for data acquisition.


Qualification & Experience - Essential

  • Appropriate first degree or equivalent qualification;
  • Second degree in appropriate subject;
  • Relevant synchrotron research experience;
  • Experience or knowledge of synchrotrons;
  • Experience of beamline instrumentation;
  • Notions about coherence, microscopy, imaging or tomography;
  • Experience in imaging/tomography data analyses;
  • Successful scientific publication record;
  • Ability to plan and then carry out a research project;
  • Ability to write research papers.

Qualification & Experience - Desirable

  • 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;
  • Ability to work flexibly with occasional weekend and out-of hours working;
  • Must be available to travel occasionally in UK and overseas including overnight absences.
  • Self motivated.

Further Information

For further information about this role please visit:

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

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