Postdoctoral Research Associate, BLI11

This vacancy is now closed
Job Title Postdoctoral Research Associate, BLI11
Job Reference DIA0853/TH
Post Type
Division Science
Salary information Circa £33k
Application deadline 04/08/2013

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 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 fields of mineral formation and environment such as carbonate and silicate systems, and/or energy such as 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 either of the fields mentioned above or closely related areas. It is essential that the selected applicant is familiar with refinement methods to support our users to analysis SXPD data. The position will include participation in beamline commissioning, user support and sample cell developments. He/She will also participate in individual and collaborative research activities on the beamline and elsewhere, with the specific remit of developing research in the fields of energy and mineral formation 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, Raman, IR and UV-Vis spectrometers will also be required.

The PDRA will be responsible for data analysis, in-house and collaborative research in the fields of energy or mineral formations.

Work in the team in the following areas:

  • carrying out in-house research activities;
  • performing experiments, analysing data and publication of results;
  • keeping up with latest results and research directions internationally;
  • support of users in performing experiments on the beamline, including data analysis and training;
  • data collection of samples (Rapid Access) sent to Diamond by users;
  • beamline upgrade, development and testing of new equipment and software;
  • maintenance of the beamline components and equipment during operations.

Qualification & Experience - Essential

  • Appropriate First Degree;
  • PhD degree;
  • Experience of powder diffraction data analysis (e.g. Le Bail and Rietveld refinements);
  • Background in energy or mineral (or related) research;
  • 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 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

  • Experience or knowledge of synchrotrons X-ray powder diffraction; 
  • 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