Organisation STFC
Organisation Detail Science and Technology Facilities Council
Reference Number IRC254236
Location Didcot See on Map
Salary £31305 - £47300
Date Posted 16 July 2020
Grade UKRI-Band E
Contract Type Fixed Term Appointment
Hours Full Time
Closing Date 09 August 2020
Interview Date

Brief Description

Salary: £31,305- £37,028 (D) or £38,969 – £47,300 (E) (dependent on experience and inclusive of role-based allowances)
Grade: UKRI-D or UKRI-E
Contract Type: 18 Months Fixed Term
Hours: Full Time
Closing Date: 9th August 2020


The ISIS pulsed neutron source at the Rutherford-Appleton Laboratory in Harwell is a world-leading facility that uses neutron scattering techniques to study materials at the atomic level. Applications exist across a broad range of research areas in chemistry, physics, biology, geology and material sciences, as well as in the engineering and pharmaceutical industries. Amongst the many neutron instruments at the ISIS facility, SXD alone is dedicated to single-crystal neutron diffraction, which is generally recognised as the ‘gold standard’ technique for structural characterisation of materials.

About the role

We require a highly motivated and independent scientist to work in the Scientific Computing Department in a cross-facility collaboration, alongside the SXD team at ISIS and the development teams of DIALS and Mantid at Diamond Light Source and ISIS. The project is to develop the computational methods required for the treatment of diffraction data from SXD and to support the scientific programme on the instrument. You will have good programming knowledge for the development of scientific analysis algorithms, and the ability to adapt existing software packages for use at the SXD beamline. An understanding of crystallography and diffraction methods is highly desirable, in order to develop new routines dealing with complex crystallographic cases and the automation of the data processing flow. An ability to work collaboratively is fundamental. You will interact closely with a postdoc at ISIS on the development of crystallographic correction algorithms, and other colleagues in various groups and departments.

Responsibilities include:

  • Research available methods for time-of-flight diffraction experiments
  • Extend the DIALS diffraction analysis software for the processing of single crystal diffraction data from the ISIS pulsed neutron source
  • Make the resulting neutron diffraction analysis software available within the Mantid package
  • Work alongside colleagues at ISIS, the Diamond Light Source and within STFC’s Scientific Computing Department on the development of new data analysis methods. At Band E, coordinate and lead this collaboration.

At Band E only:

  • Provide expert data analysis support for users of the SXD single crystal diffractometer at ISIS
  • Liaise with external networks and facilities (e.g. the European Spallation Source) to ensure the widest use of the software
  • Keep up to date with the scientific literature on neutron diffraction
  • Present work at national and international scientific conferences and meetings.

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


  • A PhD or equivalent in a physical science, engineering or related subject, or equivalent research experience (S)
  • Experience of molecular science fields, such as chemistry, condensed matter physics, molecular modelling or similar (S&I)
  • Good experience of modern programming languages, particularly Python and C++ (S&I)
  • High quality covering letter (S)
  • Excellent English language skills, including good presentation skills (I)
  • Proven capability to work independently and in small teams (I)
  • Ability to collaborate effectively across various groups and departments (I).


  • Experience in implementing software or systems for data analysis (S&I)
  • Experience of single crystal diffraction methods (S&I)
  • Good track record of academic publications or technical writing (S&I)
  • Experience of working on a collaborative software project with a shared codebase (S&I)
  • Experience with version control and software testing (S&I)
  • Experience of using diffraction data analysis software (S&I)
  • Proven ability to deliver on complex software development in research projects (S&I, Band E only)
  • Good understanding of the requirements of user support (I, Band E only).

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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