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Post-Doctoral Research Associate, I11

Diamond Light Source

Location: Didcot
Salary: £33,963 to £39,955
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 10th September 2021
Closes: 3rd October 2021
Job Ref: 10615

About Us

Diamond Light Source is the UK’s national synchrotron science facility. By accelerating electrons to near light-speed, Diamond generates brilliant beams of light from infra-red to X-rays which are used for academic and industry research and development across a range of scientific disciplines including structural biology, physics, chemistry, materials science, engineering, earth and environmental sciences. 

About the role

We are seeking a post-doctoral research associate to develop further our research in the study of naturally occurring and primitive materials relevant to the fields of environmental materials, Earth, space and planetary sciences, including, for example, geochemical and aqueous mineralisation processes, solid-gas interactions, clathrate hydrate formation and dissociation, organic-inorganic mineral interactions, pre-biogenic materials, biominerals, and the evolution of mineral structure in cosmic materials through laboratory experimentation or sample characterisation.

The successful candidate will be based on beamline I11 at the Diamond Light Source, which is optimised for high-resolution and time-resolved X-ray powder diffraction studies of the structure and evolution of materials under ambient and non-ambient conditions through the use of a range of in situ sample environments (e.g. variable high/low temperature, humidity, gas loading and flow). The beamline is also supported with facilities for chemical synthesis and complementary analyses (e.g. Ramen, IR, UV/Vis spectroscopy).

Suitable candidates should be familiar with the application of powder diffraction and the analysis powder diffraction data. Experience with other diffraction/scattering methods (e.g. single crystal, XPDF) and/or complimentary techniques (synchrotron or laboratory) as well as synthesis methods would be desirable. Programming experience would be advantageous, as would experience in applying machine learning methods to data analysis.

Applicants should have a strong research interest in one or more of the science areas outlined above, or closely related fields. The selected candidate will be expected to use the beamline and its facilities (as well as other central facilities/techniques where appropriate) to develop both their own individual research, and to collaborate with beamline staff on existing projects. The post holder will also be required to work with the beamline team and other Diamond staff in providing support to the beamline’s user programme and the commissioning and development of sample cells.

About you

You should hold a Ph.D. in a scientific field relevant for the post (e.g. physics, physical-chemistry, chemistry or material science, Earth and planetary science), with a strong background in the study or synthesis of naturally occurring materials.

You will have a strong background in experimental work with well developed experimental skills and the ability of conducting high quality original research.

You will be an enthusiastic and motivated scientist with excellent interpersonal and communication skills and the ability to work both independently and as part of a multi-disciplinary team.

Knowledge of powder diffraction and related or complimentary techniques along with data analysis are an essential. Experience with synchrotron radiation would be an advantage as would experience in software development and programming.


Diamond offers an exceptional benefits package to support staff in achieving a positive work/life balance. This includes 25 days annual leave plus 13 days of statutory and company holidays, along with flexible working hours and an excellent pension scheme. Staff also have access to a range of amenities on site including a nursery, cafes, a restaurant and sports and leisure facilities. A relocation allowance may also be available where applicable.

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