Organisation STFC
Organisation Detail Science and Technology Facilities Council
Reference Number IRC252077
Location Warrington See on Map
Salary £30782 - £42576
Date Posted 08 January 2020
Contract Type Fixed Term Appointment
Hours Full Time
Closing Date 12 February 2020
Interview Date

Brief Description

Salary: £30,782-£33,459 (Band D) or £38,318-£42,576 (Band E)
Grade: D or E depending upon experience and ability
Contract Type: Fixed Term (2 years, starting March 2020)
Hours: Full Time
Closing Date: Wednesday 12th February 2020

About The Role

This Research Fellow post has been created to provide dedicated theoretical and modelling support to the SuperSTEM facility and its users, and to provide leadership in the development of modern theoretical methods based in electronic structure theory within the Daresbury-based Theoretical and Computational Physics team of the STFC Scientific Computing Department.  In the first instance, the position is of a fixed term of two years.

The successful applicant will lead a research programme associated with electronic structure theory for simulating electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS).  The GW approximation of many body perturbation theory or methods combining Density Functional Theory with Dynamical Mean-field Theory may, where necessary, form an important part of the work; code development and optimisation for high performance computing platforms will be required.

The position will also address aspects of data analysis, and may include contributions to open-source (Python-based) data analysis platforms, such as the Hyperspy software package (

Assisting facility staff members and collaborating with external facility users. The electronic structure community will play a significant part of the position and the successful candidate will demonstrate the ability to lead and develop new collaborative projects effectively. In addition to publication of scientific work, the post will also involve teaching and training activities related to electronic structure theory and participation in the supervision of undergraduate or postgraduate students.

About You
We are looking for someone with the following attributes:

  • PhD in computational physics, or in another subfield of computational science or mathematics oy equivalent experience
  • Experience in computational condensed matter physics
  • Detailed knowledge of electronic structure methods (preferably all electron methods, e.g. LMTO, LAPW)Experience of electron microscopy/spectroscopy desirable
  • Experience of code development in Fortran90 (or C/C++) and Python
  • Eager to collaborate with experimentalists and engage in diverse research activities
  • Highly motivated and capable of effectively leading and organizing individual research programs
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English.

About Us

The SuperSTEM Laboratory is a world-leading electron microscopy centre specialised in the direct imaging of atomic structures as well as the determination of elemental composition, along with chemical and bonding analysis down to single atom precision.

Located in a purpose-designed building on the Daresbury Laboratory campus, near Warrington, Cheshire, the laboratory houses three state-of-the-art aberration corrected scanning transmission electron microscopes (STEM), including SuperSTEM3, one of only a handful of monochromated Nion electron microscopes in existence.  This instrument boasts a UK-leading energy resolution of a mere 10meV, along with the highest spatial resolution for a microscope operating in this energy range (0.1nm at 60kV, 0.08nm at 100kV). The SuperSTEM instruments allow truly ground-breaking experiments, enabling capabilities such as vibrational spectroscopy or band gap mapping at the nanometre scale.

Highlights of research impact since 2010 include:

  • A total of 296 journal publications since 2010 (h factor=45)
  • First demonstration of atomically resolved EELS mapping (2007)
  • First demonstration of single atom detection with X-rays (2012)
  • Demonstration of bond fingerprinting at the single atom level (2013)
  • First demonstration of band gap mapping with 10meV precision and nm resolution (2016)
  • First demonstration of phonon mapping at atomic resolution (2019).

SuperSTEM gathers a team of world-leading experts in the field of scanning transmission electron microscopy and energy loss spectroscopy, each of whom, in addition to supporting facility users and collaborators, leads their own research programme.  The facility, established in 2001 and funded since 2011 by EPSRC as the National Research Facility for electron microscopy, is embedded within the UK academic community through a Consortium of Universities, currently consisting of the Universities of Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Oxford and York, with further close links with a wide network of collaborators and academic institutions.  Further details can be found at .

STFC Theoretical and Computational Physics
The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is one of Europe’s largest science research organisations. The Scientific Computing Department consists of approximately 200 scientists working in all areas of computational science and engineering, data science, software infrastructure and systems research. The Theoretical Physics group plays a central role in a number of UK code development projects (CASTEP, CRYSTAL and QUESTAAL codes among others) and is active in a large number of diverse scientific projects and collaborations with national facilities (ISIS, Diamond) and university groups in the UK and abroad.

The Daresbury group provides the core support in the CCP9 project “Computational Electronic Structure of Condensed Matter” which is a large network supporting the UK electronic structure community.  The group is particularly specialised in all-electron calculations using LMTO and KKR and in methods for treating strong correlation for d- and f-electron systems; our recent focus has been on GW, as implemented in the Questaal full-potential LMTO code project.  For more information on the group, see , .

We have a strong emphasis on training and a commitment to continued professional development.  In addition to the competitive salary, an excellent index linked pension scheme, 30 days leave allowance and flexitime are offered. Full details of offered benefits can be found on STFC’s careers pages.

To Apply
Please provide details of two referees in the CV or cover letter and indicate whether we can contact them now.  Informal enquiries may be directed to Quentin Ramasse (Facility Director, SuperSTEM laboratory, ) or Jerome Jackson (STFC Theoretical Physics, ).

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.



  • PhD in Physics, Materials Science or related area or equivalent experience
  • Some experience of materials simulation using density functional theory
  • Some experience of theoretical spectroscopy and/or experience in application of “post DFT” electronic structure methods (GW, DMFT).


  • Specific experience of energy loss spectroscopy
  • Code development in Fortran90 and Python
  • Experience with all-electron DFT methods
  • Advanced UNIX and HPC development experience.



  • Excellent communication skills in English.


  • Specific experience of energy loss spectroscopy
  • Code development in Fortran90 and Python
  • Experience with all-electron DFT methods
  • Advanced UNIX and HPC development experience
  • Experience of machine learning/neural network techniques.

Additional Essential Criteria for Band E:

  • Postdoctoral experience of theoretical spectroscopy and commensurate publication record (Shortlisting)
  • Extensive experience in application of “post DFT” electronic structure methods (GW, DMFT) (Shortlisting and Interview)
  • Proven project management skills (Interview)
  • Very strong individual motivation and leadership skills (Interview)
  • Experience of method development of scientific codes and HPC/parallel programming (Shortlisting and Interview).

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.

Limited parking subject to waiting list (Polaris House, Swindon only).

Employee Benefits
UK Research and Innovation recognises and values employees as individuals and aims to provide a pay and reward package that motivates staff to the best of their ability. The reward and benefit package includes a flexible working scheme, an excellent Defined Benefit 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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