Postdoctoral Research Associate

This vacancy is now closed
Job Title Postdoctoral Research Associate, Beamline I15
Job Reference DIA0845/TH
Post Type
Division Science
Salary information Circa £33k
Application deadline 21/07/2013
Date of interviews 16/08/2013

Job Description

Diamond Light Source is the UK’s national 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 research facilities supporting cutting edge research in all fields of science.

We are seeking a PDRA, experienced in high-pressure x-ray techniques, to participate in the development of diffraction using the Paris-Edinburgh type of large volume press and the research at extreme conditions based on I15 at Diamond Light Source. A thorough knowledge of experimental high pressure techniques and x-ray diffraction is essential. The successful candidate will work with the beamline team to commission the large volume press and perform individual research in any area relevant to I15. Some beamline operation and development, including User support will be required. I15 provides powder and single-crystal diffraction based around the diamond-anvil cell with the possibility to go to extreme temperature conditions. A wide range of on- and off-line laser facilities complements the diffraction techniques at high pressure.

To strongly support in the installation and commissioning of the Paris-Edinburgh large volume presses for off-line high-pressure and temperature synthesis, on-line diffraction; and to conduct own research using the Paris-Edinburgh press. 

Working with the I15 beamline team in the following areas:

  • Commission the Paris-Edinburgh pressure cell for off-line materials synthesis and online diffraction together with the I15 team;
  • Pursuit of a research programme on the study of materials under extreme conditions of pressure and temperature, including the analysis and publication of the results;
  • Keeping up with latest results and research directions internationally;
  • Developing experimental and data analysis techniques and implementing them on the beamline;
  • Assist the beamline staff in maintaining and running the beamline peripheral laboratories;
  • Occasional support of the research projects of the users, who will come from a diverse scientific background. (This will include occasional duties as local contact for users).

Qualification & Experience - Essential

  • Appropriate First Degree;
  • Appropriate PhD degree in Physics, Chemistry, Materials or Earth Sciences, or equivalent qualification;
  • Crystallographic data collection skills – powder and/or single-crystal procedures, computation and detectors;
  • Experience with diamond anvil cells;
  • Experience with diffraction using the Paris-Edinburgh pressure cell;
  • Experience in high-pressure and high-temperature diffraction;
  • 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;
  • Self motivation;
  • Must be available to travel occasionally within the UK and abroad, including overnight absences.

Qualification & Experience - Desirable

  • Knowledge of vibrational spectroscopy applied at high pressure;
  • Experience with Windows/Linux/Unix;
  • Operational experience at x-ray beamlines and instrumentation;
  • Experience or knowledge of synchrotrons;
  • GSAS, Topas™ or other software for crystallography;
  • Rietveld analysis and programme experience;
  • Mechanical and electrical aspects of experimental design.

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