Beamline scientist at Materials Science and Powder Diffraction (MSPD) beamline

Website ALBAsynchrotron Alba Synchrotron


ALBA is the Spanish 3-GeV synchrotron radiation facility operated by the Consortium CELLS, which is equally funded by the Spanish Government (Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades) and the Catalan Government (Generalitat de Catalunya, Departament d’Economia i Coneixement). ALBA is currently operating 8 beamlines, and is expanding its capabilities with the construction of four new beamlines.

Out of the eight operating beamlines, BL04 – MSPD, is devoted to high-resolution powder diffraction and high pressure powder diffraction using diamond anvil cells. Detailed information can be found here:

The beamline is open to worldwide scientific community since 2013. The scientific staff of the beamline is responsible of giving support to the users, maintenance and development of instrumentation and the continuous upgrade of the beamline.


Under the supervision of the Materials Science and Powder Diffraction (MSPD) group leader, you will work within the MSPD group as a beamline scientist who supports the user program of the beamline. This will include Local Contact duties for selected experiments, engagement in the operation and maintenance of the beamline infrastructure and all experimental facilities of the beamline and supporting infrastructure, and development of technique and instruments. Specifically, you will drive the materials science program, and will advance your own research program in material sciences building on the specific opportunities provided by the MSPD beamline.

As a beamline scientist who is engaged in a thriving research program with a goodnetwork to the materials science and chemistry community, you will understand the research needs of the community and you can identify opportunities for the MSPD beamline program. By building your own research program as partner of larger collaborations, you will create new capabilities like technique developments, instrumentation improvements and additions, and analysis or simulation tools; the research program will provide you a platform to test these capabilities and demonstrate their effectiveness and uniqueness to solve an important scientific problem. You will disseminate the progress of your research in scientific meetings and peer reviewed publications, proving your scientific leadership, demonstrating the larger existing and potential user community the effectiveness of the approach, and finally positioning MSPD as a leading beamline in the materials science field and chemistry.

Equally important to the scientific efforts, you will provide excellent user support to the MSPD user community. As a Local Contact, you will take ownership of providing excellence in user support, by guiding the user in the preparation phase, ensuring optimum experimental conditions during the experiment, and offering analytical help and scientific discussions during the analysis phase. You will also analyze the operation conditions and provide to management improvement suggestions including instrumentation and software improvements, operational management adjustments, support strategies, and user access improvements. Under the group leader’s supervision, you will also contribute in evaluating the beamline operational performance.

As a good team player with excellent soft skills, you will engage with staff and management not only of the MSPD group but all ALBA searching and exploring scientific and technological synergies. With the same spirit you will also shape your relationship with the user community.

Specifically, the successful candidate will:
– Provides Local Contact support to the user community.
– Guarantees the safe operation as Local Contact.
– Identifies operational challenges and supports management to develop and
implement improvement plans.
– Develops in collaboration with colleagues a strong in-house research program.
– Contributes to the program development by new developments, their
demonstration of effectiveness, and their dissemination.
   – Reports to the group leader or her/his delegate.


You have developed in your career a strong scientific program in the area of material science or chemistry by applying X-ray powder diffraction using synchrotron radiation. With a good publication record you have demonstrated your scientific capabilities and effectiveness of your science management. You have also a solid background in all aspects of user support, including Local Contact duties, developing and maintaining a solid user base, and integrating into a beamline group. Your long-time experience in software development and experience in X-ray Powder Diffraction will strongly benefit the development of the materials science program at MSPD.

Profiles of interest are candidates with:
• Ph.D. with an experimental profile in materials science, chemistry, physics, or a closely related discipline and a work experience of at least 5 years.
• Strong background in applications of X-ray Powder Diffraction especially in the field of material sciences and chemistry.
• Demonstrated experiences in synchrotron-based characterization.
• At least 2-year experiences as Local Contact at a beamline supporting users.
• Experience with maintaining, operating and developing X-ray Powder Diffraction instrumentation and/or sample environments for X-ray Powder Diffraction.
• Empathy, communication skills, and social intelligence to lead or contribute to collaborations.
• Excellent adaptability to a multidisciplinary environment, sense of responsibility and capabilities to work in a group.
• The working language at ALBA is English. A good level of English both written and spoken is strictly required.
• Strong safety record and experiences in managing safely instruments.

Other information

– Salary depends on qualifications and experience.
– Contract type: temporary. The contract follows working conditions accordant to CELLS regulations.
– This position is reserved for those candidates having the legal status of persons with disabilities with a degree of disability equal or   greater than 33%. If there are no applicants   with disabilities that meet the requirements of the position, the rest of the applicants without declared disability will be evaluated.
 Documents to be submitted:

  • Cover letter.
  • Curriculum Vitae including publication list, active collaborations, and active and pending funding proposals.
  • List of three references.

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