Organisation STFC
Organisation Detail Science and Technology Facilities Council
Reference Number IRC254020
Location Didcot See on Map
Salary £38969 - £43300
Date Posted 23 June 2020
Grade RC-E
Contract Type Open Ended
Hours Full Time
Closing Date 31 August 2020
Interview Date

Brief Description

Salary: £38,969 - £43,300
Grade: E
Contract Type: Open-Ended
Hours: Full Time
Closing Date: 31st August 2020


The Crystallography Group at ISIS operates 9 neutron beamlines, performing world class powder and single crystal diffraction studies covering a broad range of academic and industrial research. Of these, the High Resolution Powder Diffractometer (HRPD) is widely recognised as a world-leading facility for studies of the structural properties of advanced materials across a broad range of scientific disciplines. For example, the unique capabilities of HRPD are exploited to probe the structure-property relationships within technologically important ceramics, investigate the nature of hydrogen bonding within molecular systems and characterise structural phase transitions induced by pressure and/or temperature. Such a wide range of experiments requires a high level of expertise to collaborate with visiting research teams. In addition, there is an active programme to upgrade the current HRPD to expand its application into new areas and maintain its world leading position. These include a complete redesign of the detector array and the development of novel sample environment devices, such as high pressure cells and in-situ capabilities. We are looking for a highly motivated and independent scientist to join the Crystallography Group, to develop the powder diffraction programme on HRPD (and other diffraction instruments), including new instrumentation and experimental procedures. In addition, you will perform your own research programme, using the facilities available at ISIS to experimentally probe the relationships between the crystal structure and physical properties of materials.


  • Collaborate with external research teams using HRPD and other instruments within the Crystallography Group
  • Develop new powder diffraction capabilities at ISIS, including new instrumentation, experimental procedures, sample environment facilities and data analysis techniques
  • Seek funding for instrument and other equipment upgrades
  • Represent and actively work on developing the research community
  • Provide supervision for students and team members
  • Conduct and disseminate their own research via peer-reviewed publications and conference presentations
  • Conduct tours for visiting scientists and visiting members of the public.

Contacts and Communication

You will interact extensively with research teams, predominantly from higher education institutions but also from industry. You will be expected to present their scientific work and represent the group at international conferences and meetings.

Personal Skills and Attributes

  • Good written and oral English language skills, including good presentation skills
  • Must be capable of working independently and in small teams.

Any other Relevant Information

  • Willing to work in radiation areas (classified radiation status)
  • Willing to work out-of-hours occasionally, at night or weekends
  • Willing to work in confined spaces (2x2 m2 floor area)
  • Willing to travel abroad (for discussions with collaborators, attendance at conferences etc.)

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 (S) and Interview Criteria (I) and both (S&I)



  • Ph.D. in a physical science or a related discipline, plus some relevant postdoctoral experience (S).

Knowledge and Experience


  • Solid scientific background in his/her relevant discipline (S&I)
  • Recognised international profile in crystallography and/or powder diffraction techniques (publication record) (S&I)
  • Noticeable potential of an independent scientific profile in crystallography or a related area (S&I)
  • Experience of data analysis methods using neutron diffraction or X-ray diffraction (S&I).


  • User experience of neutron or synchrotron instrumentation at central facilities (S&I)
  • Direct hands on experience of operating a neutron or synchrotron beamline (S&I)
  • Experience of developing new neutron or synchrotron instrumentation, including Monte Carlo neutron instrument simulations (S&I)
  • Working knowledge of one or more programming languages (e.g. C++, Java, Python) (S&I).

Personal skill and Qualities


  • Excellent written and oral skills in English (S&I)
  • An excellent cover letter that demonstrates your suitability for the position and your relevant knowledge and skills (S)
  • Good interpersonal, communication and presentation skills (I)
  • Ability to work both collaboratively and individually, in order to develop the ISIS user community (S&I).

Special Requirements


  • Willing to work in radiation areas (classified radiation status) (I)
  • Willing to work out-of-hours occasionally, at night or weekends (I)
  • Willing to work in confined spaces (2x2 m2 floor area) (I)
  • Willing to travel abroad (attend conferences etc.) (I).

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 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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