Principal Beamline Scientist for I07 (Surface and Interface Diffraction)

This vacancy is now closed
Job Title Principal Beamline Scientist for I07 (Surface and Interface Diffraction)
Job Reference 134/17/TH
Post Type Full time, permanent
Division Physical Sciences
Salary information £53,219 to £62,611 (Discretionary range to £72,003)
Application deadline 07/01/2018
Date of interviews 09/02/2018

Job Description

The position is based at Beamline I07 at Diamond, which is designed for grazing incidence diffraction using an intense X-ray beam (6-30 keV) to study the structure and morphology of surfaces and interfaces. The successful applicant will be responsible for this state-of-the art beamline which is used to study the structures formed over a range of length scales, from sub-angstrom positional information of atoms in well-ordered structures to the morphology of nanostructures. It enables accurate determination of structures at the surface of a material or an interface between two materials. The experiments will be carried out in a number of different sample environments, including ultrahigh vacuum, liquid layers or buried solid interfaces.

Developing a strong in-house science programme is a critical aspect of this role. The successful candidate will be expected to conduct their own internationally leading research activities on the beamline and elsewhere.

Suitable candidates should have expertise in the principles of synchrotron crystal truncation rod analysis, grazing incidence x-ray diffraction, x-ray reflectivity or grazing incidence small angle x-ray scattering, and they should have a strong interest in a specific area of surface science (e.g. ultrahigh vacuum, soft matter surfaces, photovoltaics). The position will involve responsibility for beamline upgrades and defining/leading the development projects. Experience of surface diffraction instrumentation and methodology, structure solution and refinement and additional knowledge of related techniques (e.g. LEED, RHEED, ellipsometry, AFM/STM) is a requirement for this role.

The successful candidate will help maintain the beamline including the end-station, and provide user support by assisting visiting scientists to carry out a wide range of experiments.


To design, build and operate a world class beamline.

The core duties and responsibilities of Principal Beamline Scientists (PBS’s) include, as appropriate and as agreed with a Science Director:

  • Lead the design, build and commissioning of one or more beamlines and/or a continual programme of short term (1 year) and long term (3-5 year) upgrades and state of the art developments;
  • Direct the operation of one or more beamlines with full responsibility for the schedule, beamline maintenance, user support, advice and involvement in beamtime and measurement methodology, data reduction/analysis and advice on publications;
  • Prime responsibility for safety on the beamline and peripheral labs; including risk assessments, personnel safety system documentation and ensuring good practice.
  • Budgetary responsibility for the beamline operations and relevant upgrade projects;
  • Lead the development of appropriate beamline support laboratories and the management of the peripheral space;
  • The establishment, management and professional development of the beamline team of staff;
  • Leadership of the Technical Working Group and establishment/support of the User Working group;
  • Coordination (financial, technical, scientific, resource management, build, commissioning and documentation) of complex beamline operations projects across many groups within Diamond;
  • Beamline reporting; produce internal and external reports as required;
  • Contribute to scientific direction of long term strategic planning for Diamond in area of expertise through long-term (5-10 year) vision statements;
  • Maximise the impact of the beamline by engagement with the best user groups from across the world;
  • Stakeholder engagement; develop and present training seminars, workshops and summer schools. Outreach to a wide variety of stakeholders including VIP visits, the local community and the wider scientific community;
  • Other management responsibilities including scientific advisory committee review preparation, beamline budget preparation, chairing interview panels, grade review boards and job evaluation. Related external duties including peer review of publications;
  • Develop own internationally competitive in-house research programme including supervision of doctoral students;
  • PBSs may also be required to undertake additional management responsibilities as agreed with a Science Director.

Qualification & Experience - Essential

  • Relevant synchrotron research experience;
  • Experience or knowledge of surface X-ray diffraction, reflectometry or other closely related techniques;
  • Ability to lead own research project;
  • Budgetary and resource management responsibility for beamline operations and upgrade projects;
  • 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 work occasionally out of regular office hours;
  • Must be available to travel occasionally within the UK and abroad, including overnight absences;
  • Ability to manage a small team;
  • Experience of beamline instrumentation and/or sample environment equipment;
  • Experience of X-ray beamlines;
  • Experience with related surface science equipment or techniques; e.g. ultrahigh vacuum, LEED, RHEED, ellipsometry, AFM, STM, Langmuir film isotherms;
  • Demonstrated ability to develop a research programme;
  • Ability to lead significant upgrade projects;
  • Project Management experience;
  • Appropriate First Degree;
  • Higher (MSc, PhD) degree, equivalent qualification or experience.

Qualification & Experience - Desirable

  • Experience of surface diffraction data analysis (e.g. data reduction and structure modeling);
  • Experience with Windows/Linux/Unix;
  • Experience of programming, especially Python and Java.

Further Information

  • Must be available to travel occasionally within the UK and abroad, including overnight absences.

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