Post-doctoral research associate: HeXI

Website DiamondLightSou Diamond Light Source

Business Area: Science
Full Time Salary: £33,963 to £39,955 per annum (Discretionary range to £45,949)
Post Type: Full time / Fixed term
Term: 5 years
Closing Date: 11/07/2021
Ref No: 10563

About Us

Diamond Light Source is the UK’s national synchrotron science facility. By accelerating electrons to near light-speed, Diamond generates brilliant beams of light from infra-red to X-rays which are used for academic and industry research and development across a range of scientific disciplines including structural biology, physics, chemistry, materials science, engineering, earth and environmental sciences.

The goal of the Hybrid electron X-ray Instrument (HeXI) project is to construct a novel beamline for rapid, high-resolution electron diffraction (ED) of macromolecular crystals (MX). The HeXI project is predominantly funded by the Wellcome Trust as part of the major strategic collaboration between Diamond Light Source, The Rosalind Franklin Institute and The MRC-LMB effort to “electrify life sciences”.

About the Role

An opportunity is now available for a highly motivated PDRA to carry out their own innovative research in the development of new methods and their application to high-throughput ED in MX. The PDRA will initially assist with the commissioning and operation of offline instruments installed at Diamond and partner institutions to perform proof of concept ED studies. As the project develops, the post will assist with commissioning prototype and first-of-a-kind instruments.

The successful applicant will benefit from Diamond’s outstanding expertise and experience with data collection and data processing within the MX group along with the extensive specific expertise in the collection and processing of microED data within the eBIC and DIALS groups. A wide range of world-class instrumentation will be available to the PDRA including the MX group’s ultra-rapid, micro-focus, and in-situ beamlines. eBIC’s five Titan Krios microscopes are all equipped with the latest generation direct electron detectors and a Talos, two Glacios, Scios and Aquilos dual-beams are also onsite along with the B24 cryo structured illumination microscope for correlative work.

There will also be the opportunity to play an active role in interacting and collaborating with the rapidly expanding EM community based at Harwell such as ePSIC, The Research Complex at Harwell (e.g. CCP-EM), and The Rosalind Franklin Institute, as well as other collaborations.

Further responsibilities will include:

  • Performing experiments, analysing data and publishing results;
  • Supporting users in performing experiments, including data analysis and training;
  • Assisting HeXI staff with commissioning, instrument upgrade, development and testing of new equipment and software.
  • Keeping up with latest results and research directions internationally;
  • A flexible approach to working hours is required, along with occasional UK and overseas travel including some overnight stays.

About You

You should hold an appropriate science degree and a PhD in a scientific field with significant experience in crystallography and/or electron microscopy and their applications. Previous specific knowledge or experience at postgraduate level in cryoEM and/or MX data collection and processing is highly desirable,

You will be an enthusiastic scientist with a demonstrable record of accomplishment in conducting high quality original research.

You will demonstrate excellent interpersonal, communication and presentational skills to interact with staff and facility users at all levels


Diamond offers an exceptional benefits package to support staff in achieving a positive work/life balance. This includes 25 days annual leave plus 13 days of statutory and company holidays, along with flexible working hours and an excellent pension scheme. Staff also have access to a range of amenities on site including a nursery, cafes, a restaurant and sports and leisure facilities.

To Apply

Applicants are required to outline their suitability for this role via the online application process. Please also state where you saw this role advertised.

Other information

Where relevant, and possible for the role, we will consider flexible working arrangements and secondment opportunities.

Diamond attract talented individuals from around the world and currently employ 39 different nationalities.  Reflecting trends in our sector we employ more men than women (78% men and 22% women as at 5 April 2019). Therefore, in accordance with law and good practice, we particularly welcome applications from suitably qualified women.

If you are disabled and would like to be considered under the Guaranteed Interview Scheme, please let us know via the online application process.

Diamond are members of Working Families (the UK’s work-life balance organisation), we have also achieved the Athena SWAN Bronze award and Disability Confident Level One.

To apply for this job please visit