PhD Studentship: Development of High Resolution Resonant Inelastic X-ray Scattering for the Study of Biological and Synthetic Inorganic Systems.

The University of Manchester - School of Chemistry

Supervisors: Principal Supervisor: Dr. Michael L. Baker

Anticipated start date for project: 17 September 2018

Closing date for applications: The application deadline for this studentship is 28 February 2018. However, please note the School reserves the right to review applications as they are submitted, to interview and appoint a candidate that meets the academic requirements prior to the closing date.

Applicants are invited to pursue a fully funded postgraduate studentship in the research group of Dr. Michael L. Baker, at The University of Manchester at Harwell, located alongside the Diamond Light Source and ISIS Neutron and Muon Source near Oxford.

The PhD project will develop the application of resonant inelastic x-ray scattering (RIXS) for the study of biological and synthetic inorganic systems with novel physical phenomena. In particular compounds with functional electronic properties will be targeted, including switchable magnetism and bioinorganic active sites. 

The candidate will conduct X-ray and neutron spectroscopy measurements at Harwell and at international facilities. You will be amongst the first users of the recently commissioned and state of the art, ID21 RIXS spectrometer, at The Diamond Light Source. You will receive hands-on training in a range of experimental techniques, including both hard and soft X-ray absorption and emission spectroscopies and inelastic neutron scattering. The candidate will acquire a thorough knowledge in X-ray and neutron data acquisition and analysis methods. A detailed understanding of transition metal electronic structure and magnetism will be obtained. The project will develop a deep understanding in how transition metal quantum spin and orbital angular momenta contribute in the functionality of compounds with switchable properties and ultimately within the active sites present in metalloenzymes. The project involves collaborations with researchers around the world providing an extended network that will be valuable when planning for steps after your PhD.

Manchester at Harwell is part of the UK’s leading science innovation and technology campus situated 20 minutes from Oxford and one hour from London. The campus combines the UK’s premier research facilities including the Central Laser Facility, ISIS Pulsed Neutron and Muon Source, STFC Scientific Computing Department, The Diamond Light Source, Science and Technology Facilities Council amongst others.


Applicants should have or expect a good II(i) honours degree (or an equivalent degree) in Chemistry, Physics or a related discipline. Prior experience in X-ray or neutron spectroscopy is advantageous but not essential. Experience in scientific programing (MATLAB, python etc) would be beneficial.


The Studentship covers tuition fees and maintenance for 3 years. Due to funding restrictions the studentship is open to UK and EU nationals only.

Contact for further Information

Informal inquiries may be made to Dr. Michael L. Baker:

How to Apply

Complete an online application form using the following web link

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