Organisation STFC
Organisation Detail Science and Technology Facilities Council
Reference Number IRC249739
Location Didcot See on Map
Salary £30782 - £33459
Date Posted 05 June 2019
Grade RC-D
Contract Type Fixed Term Appointment
Hours Full Time
Closing Date 03 July 2019
Interview Date

Brief Description

Salary: £30,782 - £33,459
Grade: D
Contract Type: Fixed Term (12 month)
Hours: Full Time
Closing Date: 3rd July 2019

The ISIS pulsed neutron and muon source at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire is a world-leading centre for research in the physical and life sciences. It is owned and operated by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

ISIS produces beams of neutrons and muons that allow scientists to study materials at the atomic level using a suite of instruments. It supports a national and international community of more than 2000 scientists who use neutrons and muons for research in physics, chemistry, materials science, geology, engineering and biology. It is the most productive research centre of its type in the world.

The Support Laboratories Group operates a number of specialist laboratories at ISIS which are used in conjunction with neutron and muon experiments, covering a broad range of sciences. These laboratories include a synthetic organic chemistry lab – The ISIS Deuteration Facility. The Deuteration Facility Staff prepare, purify and characterise deuterated samples for ISIS beam time experiments.

We have an exciting position for a highly skilled research fellow with practical synthetic chemistry experience to join the team. As well as working in the area of organic synthesis the position includes a significant amount of neutron studies using the instruments at the ISIS facility.

List of Duties/Work Programme/Responsibilities

  • the main project focuses on skin model interaction with surfactants using neutron scattering techniques
  • study the structure of oligomeric surfactants and lipids at equilibrium air/water surfaces
  • performing SANS experiments and analysing the results, shape, size, aggregation number and ellipticity of the surfactant aggregates
  • study the lipid-surfactant interaction by isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC)
  • undertaking deuteration reactions, chromatographic purification of deuterated molecules and their characterisation using NMR Spectroscopy and other analytical techniques
  • assist in methodology development for new synthetic routes to deuterated materials, particularly in the area of synthetic lipids
  • work in a safe, tidy and responsible manner, abiding by STFC SHE Codes e.g. COSHH, Lone Working
  • obtain required analytical data on final products for stock samples and more specialist materials
  • maintain a high standard of documentation in lab notebook and procedure reports
  • contribute to journal and conference publications that arise from work carried out in the Deuteration facility.

Contacts and Communication

You will be working directly within the Support Laboratories Group as well as the Deuteration Facility Access Panel and ISIS Users and Instrument Scientist.

Personal Skills and Attributes

You will show initiative and work with the minimum of supervision. You will display a high level of problem solving ability and safety awareness. Additionally, you will need skills in work prioritisation, teamwork, communication and good attention to detail and accuracy.

Any other Relevant Information

You will be required to work within a radiation controlled area.

Organization Description

UK Research and Innovation is a new entity that brings together nine partners to create an independent organisation with a strong voice for research and innovation, and a vision to ensure the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation. More information can be found at

The Science and Technology Facilities Council is a world-leading multi-disciplinary science organisation, and our goal is to deliver economic, societal, scientific and international benefits to the UK and its people – and more broadly to the world.

Shortlisting Criteria


  • a PhD in chemistry
  • experience in the use of high pressure reactors
  • experience in a range of deuteration method, specifically in deuterated surfactants/lipid synthesis
  • experience in the Neutron reflection and small angle neutron scattering
  • experience in isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC).


  • to be familiar with mainstream characterisation techniques such as HPLC-MS and NMR
  • to be able to produce high impact scientific publications.

Interview Criteria


  • proficiency in verbal and written English and must have strong communication skills
  • excellent knowledge of synthetic reagents and reaction mechanisms
  • excellent knowledge of neutron scattering techniques in the area of soft matter research.


  • ability to produce high quality laboratory reports or publications
  • proven ability to work confidently as part of a team
  • show initiative and work with the minimum of supervision.

UKRI supports research in areas that include animal health, agriculture and food security, and bioscience for health which includes research on animals, genetic modification and stem cell research. Whilst you may not have direct involvement in this type of research, you should consider whether this conflicts with your personal values or beliefs.

To enable us to hire the very best people we will conduct a full and comprehensive pre-employment check as an essential part of the recruitment process on all individuals that are offered a position with UKRI. This will include a security check and an extreme organisations affiliation check.

Employee Benefits

UK Research and Innovation recognises and values employees as individuals and aim to provide a pay and rewards package that motivates staff to perform to the best of their ability. The reward package includes a flexible working scheme, a Career Average Revalued Earnings pension scheme, 30 days annual leave allowance and a number of other benefits.

Developing Talent

We are committed to developing employees in their roles throughout their career. Learning and development plans enable employees to continue their professional development through training and development opportunities such as e-learning, classroom training and on-the-job experiences. We encourage our employees to share their learning across teams and organisations.

Equal Opportunities

We strive to make decisions based on individual merit and ability. We welcome applications from all sections of the community and promote equality of opportunity in accordance with the Equality Act 2010. As holders of Disability Confident Employer status, we guarantee to interview all applicants with disabilities who meet the minimum criteria for the vacancy.

Online applications only. Please submit a covering letter and CV ensuring that the IRC reference is included in the filename description of each document uploaded. Please note that failure to address the above criteria or submitted without a covering letter may result in your application not being considered.

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