Postdoctoral researcher position at NOTOS

Website ALBAsynchrotron Alba Synchrotron


ALBA is the Spanish national synchrotron light source, a large research infrastructure operating ten beamlines, complementary facilities, an Electron Microscopy center and currently constructing multiple more beamlines and a correlative microscopy platform.

Located in Cerdanyola del Vallès (Barcelona, Spain), it is funded by the Spanish Government (Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación) and the Catalan Government (Generalitat de Catalunya, Departament d’Empresa i Coneixement). The synchrotron light produced by 3 GeV electrons is used by thousands of researchers to analyse and understand the properties and functionality of matter, spanning a wide variety of fields, such as catalytic research, health, energy production/storage, environmental research, communication technologies, or cultural heritage.

Our highly motivated staff works in a multidisciplinary work environment with an atmosphere formed by lived diversity, inclusion and respect for our colleagues. Located close to Barcelona in a natural park and well connected by car and public transportation, you will find yourself in an area where others make vacation, with excellent connectivity to the world and an employer who understands the importance of life-work balance.

With ALBA facing an upgrade to ALBA II, a 4th generation facility, which will increase dramatically brightness and coherent flux, ALBA is in a phase of growth and dynamics. With new beamlines, integration of advanced data analytics, laboratory resources for dedicated research areas, and a correlative microscopy platform, ALBA provides a wide range of infrastructure geared toward finding solutions to societal challenges. Being a part of the ALBA team will promote your career and will give you the opportunities to explore new territories.

As postdoctoral researcher and a member of the NOTOS group, you will be part of the interdisciplinary team commissioning a brand-new, state-of-the-art hard X-ray spectroscopy and diffraction bending magnet beamline; by supporting a user community of international reputation and developing new multimodal approaches, you will find wide ranging opportunities to focus your own science program and establish yourself as potential leader in the advanced materials for energy community.


As the successful candidate, you will be guided by the expert team of NOTOS, external collaborators and users to fully develop the capabilities of the NOTOS instrument, a new beamline at ALBA, dedicated to the multimodal operando characterization of advanced functional materials, mainly using hard and tender X-ray spectroscopy and powder diffraction, demonstrate its scientific impact by investigating structural changes during the reaction, and contribute to the development of a long-term vision for spectroscopy and diffraction on a 4th generation synchrotron. You will develop your own scientific program aligned with the groups, sections, and facilities goals and at the same time support users mostly, but not exclusively, aligned with your own scientific interests. In a diverse, highly interactive team, you will have excellent conditions to refine your scientific expertise, the technical and computational background, and most importantly build a broad and carrying network for your future scientific career. You will build national and international recognition by using opportunities to publish and present your scientific results and approaches at conferences, workshops and seminars.

In parallel and as part of the NOTOS team, you will bring the beamline into user  operation. As a postdoctoral researcher, you will support the user program of the beamline. This will include Local Contact duties for selected experiments, to a smaller fraction engagement in the operation and maintenance of the beamline infrastructure and all experimental facilities of the beamline, and development of technique and instruments. 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, depending on the degree of collaboration, scientific discussions during the analysis phase..Under the group leader’s supervision, you will also contribute in evaluating the beamline operational performance.

As a postdoctoral researcher who is developing a thriving research program with a good network in your science community, you will understand the research needs of the community dedicated to advanced materials for energy; specifically, your scientific interest may focus on catalysis, especially the circular Carbon economy, energy storage of different kinds, or any aspects of energy conversion like renewable energies. By building your own research program as partner of larger collaborations, you will create new capabilities like technique developments, analysis or simulation tools, or instrumentation improvements and additions; the research program will give you a platform to test these capabilities and demonstrate their effectiveness and uniqueness to solve an important scientific and/or economic 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.

As a good team player with excellent soft skills, you will engage with staff and management not only of the NOTOS 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.

The successful candidate will:

• Provide support to the general users of BL16-NOTOS as Local Contact.
• Develop your own scientific program which will be strongly aligned with the scientific program of the beamline and in the larger context of the section and facility. In details this includes, developing the research plan, contributing to the preparation of experimental proposals applying for general user beamtime at ALBA and/or other facilities, and contributing to the analysis and publication of the results.
• Participate on the maintenance, commissioning and upgrade activities of the beamline and facility.
• Engage in the on-going beamline research program, national and European projects and collaborations. This may also include the initiation of new projects if appropriate.
• Contribute to develop the Spectroscopy and Diffraction program within ALBA II, the upgrade project of ALBA to a 4th generation synchrotron.



Expected skills and knowledge:
• PhD degree in physics, chemistry, material science, computer science or related discipline.
• Previous experience as user or postdoc in running hard X-ray spectroscopy or/and powder diffraction experiments at Large Scale user facilities.
• Ability to propose and conduct an independent research program using the NOTOS instrumentation ideally focused towards advanced materials for energy.
• Good interpersonal and communication skills, adaptability to a multidisciplinary environment, sense of responsibility and capabilities to working in a group and/or alone are expected.

The working language at ALBA is English. A good level of English both written and spoken is strictly required.


Other valuable assets:
• Hands-on experiences with XAFS/EXAFS and/or powder diffraction experiments, data analysis, and theory.
• Specifically, sound practice of commonly used Powder Diffraction softwares (Rietveld refinement, data reduction from 2D detector, ab-initio structure determination, total scattering, …).
• Experiences in multimodal ansaetze in best case using these techniques.
• Previous experience in at least one of the fields correlated with advanced materials for energy.
• Experience and knowledge of operando sample environments.
• Knowledge of programming languages especially Python.
• Hands-on experience with fluorescence detection systems and their controls hard and software.
• Experiences in structure refinement, ab-initio calculations and simulations.
• Ability to work within a multidisciplinary team.

Other information

• Salary depends on qualifications and experience.
• The contract follows working conditions accordant to CELLS regulations.
• Documents to be submitted:
– Cover letter.
– Curriculum Vitae including publication list, active collaborations, and active and pending funding proposals.
– List of tow references

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