ISIS Instrument Scientist

  • Full Time
  • Posted 3 weeks ago
  • Salary: £39,748 - £44,166 per annum (dependent on skills and experience).

Company Details

The Science and Technology Facilities Council is a world-leading multi-disciplinary science organisation where curiosity-driven, blue-skies thinking meets practical, application-led science and engineering.

Our team has a great opportunity for you to join our Disordered Materials Group, as an Instrument Scientist at the ISIS Neutron and Muon Source! We specialise in the use of neutron diffraction methods and modern computational and analytical methods, to characterise the structure of liquids and amorphous materials, over atomic, molecular and nanometric length scales. We are a small team looking for someone to join us who is highly motivated, wants to be part of a specialist group that undertakes nationally and internationally recognised science, and has an interest in supporting an active community of academic and industrial researchers.
At the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), we give you flexibility, freedom and the world-class facilities to allow you to focus on what you do best, and play your part in breakthroughs and achievements that will give you lifelong pride!

About the role

The core components of your role will be to provide a high level of local expertise to support visiting research teams using our Small Angle Neutron Diffractometer for Amorphous and Liquid Samples (SANDALS), and to contribute to an active programme of scientific and technological developments. You will also assist us expand the research programme of the Disordered Materials Group. The responsibilities of your role will typically be split between the three core activities of instrument operations and development, conducting scientific research, and visiting-user support, with a degree of flexibility in proportion, derived from your balance of skills and interests. As an ISIS Instrument Scientist, you will also be able to interact and build relationships with key partners and staff, as well as work collaboratively to support the team and the user community.

Other responsibilities will include:

We are looking for someone to provide assistance in the operation and maintenance of a wide range of general laboratory equipment used by the team. The role will involve seeking funding for instrument and other equipment upgrades. You will be representing the group in scientific fora, and actively working to further grow the Disordered Materials community. You will also disseminate research via peer-reviewed publications and conference presentations. At STFC, we are dedicated to public engagement so this role would also involve conducting local tours for visiting scientists and members of the public.

The ISIS Neutron and Muon Source is a highly multi-disciplinary environment, so scientists are encouraged to collaborate closely with other specialists to ensure that performance is maintained throughout the facility operations. The role will occasionally require travel and work outside of the UK for short periods.

About you

We would love to hear from you if you are educated to PhD level in science, or a related field, and have experience in performing and analysing the data from neutron scattering or X-ray diffraction experiments of liquids or amorphous materials. We are also looking for someone with knowledge of large-scale facility instrument operations. Additionally, it will be beneficial for the successful candidate to have experience in atomistic modelling of liquids or structurally disordered materials.

What we offer

An outstanding index linked pension scheme, 30 days leave allowance, flexible working, an onsite nursery, subsidised restaurant, gym and sports facilities. A relocation allowance may also be available where applicable. Full details of offered benefits can be found on STFC’s careers pages.

Person Specification

The below criteria will be assessed at Shortlisting (S), Interview (I) or both (S&I)

Essential Criteria

  • PhD or equivalent in biology, chemistry, materials science, physics or a related subject area. (S)
  • Recognised international profile in neutron or X-ray diffraction/PDF studies of liquids, glasses or amorphous materials. (S)
  • Proven scientific background and clear potential of an independent or collaborative scientific programme that would make advantageous use of the instrumentation supported by the ISIS Disordered Materials Group. (S&I)
  • Extensive experience of analysis methods for neutron or X-ray diffraction/PDF data. (S&I)
  • Evidence of a publication record in relevant science areas: soft/hard condensed matter etc. commensurate with experience. (S&I)
  • Recent experience performing neutron scattering or X-ray diffraction, at a large-scale facilities beamline. (S&I)
  • Good written and oral skills in English. (S&I)
  • Good interpersonal, communication and presentation skills (I)
  • Ability to interact optimally with staff and ISIS users at all levels (I)
  • Ability to work collaboratively and individually to support the user community (I)
  • A responsible demeanour towards personal safety and the safety of others (I)
  • Willing to work in radiation areas (I)
  • Willing to work out-of-hours when required for experimental programme support for the instrument, at night or weekends (I)
  • Willing to work within a chemistry/biology/materials-science support laboratory (I)
  • Willing to work in confined spaces (2×2 m2 floor area) (I)
  • Willing to travel abroad (attend conferences etc.) (I)

Desirable criteria

  • Post-doctoral experience in relevant science areas: soft/hard condensed matter, life sciences etc. (S)
  • Experience of neutron or X-ray crystallography (S&I)
  • Experience of neutron or X-ray small angle scattering (S&I)
  • Experience in atomistic modelling (Monte Carlo or Molecular Dynamics) of liquids, glassy materials or complex systems. (S&I)
  • Experience of developing new sample environment facilities for neutron or X-ray diffraction. (S&I)
  • Demonstrated potential of software development in one or more programming languages (e.g. FORTRAN, C++, Python). (S&I)

About STFC 

The Science and Technology Facilities Council is a world-leading multi-disciplinary science organisation where curiosity-driven, blue-skies thinking meets practical, application-led science and engineering. Our goal is to deliver economic, societal, scientific and international benefits to the UK and its people – and more broadly to the world.

One of Europe’s largest research organisations, we’re trusted to support, enable and undertake cutting-edge projects in an amazing diversity of fields. Through world-class facilities and people, we’re driving ground-breaking advances in science, engineering, computing and technology. Our research seeks to understand the Universe from the largest astronomical scales to the tiniest constituents of matter, yet creates impact on a very tangible, human scale.

How to Apply 

Online applications only preferred for this role. Please submit your CV and a covering letter which clearly outlines how you fulfil the criteria specified along with your motivation to join STFC and the role you’re applying for. Ensure that the job reference number is included in the filename description of each document uploaded. Note that failure to address the above criteria or submit your application without a covering letter may result in your application not being considered. You will only be assessed on the content of your CV and covering letter and not the ‘experience’ section of the application.

About UKRI 

Launched in April 2018, UKRI is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Our organisation brings together the seven disciplinary research councils, Research England, which is responsible for supporting research and knowledge exchange at higher education institutions in England, and the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK 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

How we support EDI in the workforce 

At UKRI we believe that everyone has a right to be treated with dignity and respect, and to be provided with equal opportunities to flourish and succeed in an environment that enables them to do so. We also value diversity of thought and experience within inclusive groups, organisations and the wider community.

Disability Confident Employer 

As a Disability Confident employer, UKRI will offer an interview to a fair and proportionate number of disabled applicants that meet the minimum criteria for the job (this is the description of the job as set by the employer). To enable us to do this we ask the appropriate questions within the candidate application.


Tagged as: Small Angle Neutron Diffractometer for Amorphous and Liquid Samples (SANDALS)

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