Principal Beamline Scientist – VMXi

Website DiamondLightSouce Diamond Light Source

Business Area: Science
Division: Life Science
Full Time Salary: £54,017 to £63,550 per annum (Discretionary range to £73,083)
Provisional Interview Dates: 27th June 2019
Closing Date: 16/06/2019
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VMXi is a unique beamline, designed specifically for automated data collection with in situ crystallisation experiments and is highly adaptable to emerging serial data collection methods. We are seeking to appoint an internationally recognised structural biologist and/or methods development expert, at the group leader level, to guide and develop the newly established facility. In the role of Principal Beamline Scientist (PBS) you will supervise a small team of scientists to establish a competitive research programme which exploits the capabilities of VMXi and Diamond and contribute to the development and operation of the VMXi/MX group international user programme. Suitable candidates will have expertise in macromolecular crystallographic techniques as applied at synchrotron beamlines and have a broad outlook in structural biology.

To facilitate establishing your research programme, funding for a post-doctoral research associate is available, subject to a suitable case being made, as well as the opportunity for PhD studentships within Diamond’s PhD programme. You will have access to state-of-the-art laboratories for structural and cellular biology embedded at Diamond and within the Research Complex at Harwell to pursue your research. Instrumentation and software development is facilitated by dedicated support from Diamonds computing, engineering and scientific software groups as well as partnerships with CCP4 and the recently established Rosalind Franklin Institute amongst others. We would expect candidates to apply for external grant funding through national and international funding agencies to take full advantage of the stimulating and exciting research environment at Diamond.

VMXi is equipped with Formulatrix plate hotels linked via robotics to the data collection system for automated screening and data collection, coordinated for users via the ISPyB SynchWeb interface. High flux (10e14 ph/s) beam is available via a double multilayer monochromator as well as from a more conventional double crystal monochromator (10e12 ph/s). This opens up significant potential to explore serial data collection methods alongside in situ data collection coupled with the advanced Eiger2 X 4M detector. The beamline is currently in the optimisation stage of its user programme for in situ experiments and early commissioning developments of its serial crystallography capabilities, presenting a unique opportunity for the post holder to develop methodologies and a complementary user programme for room temperature crystallography with these sample delivery methods.

The MX group at Diamond comprises 7 world-class MX beamlines with unique capabilities and is complemented by dedicated beamlines for BIOSAXS, CD, X-ray imaging and spectroscopy, IR-microspectroscopy and the UK’s national Cryo-EM centre (eBIC). In addition the MX group at Diamond has established the first dedicated X-ray fragment screening lab (X-Chem) and the UK XFEL hub which engages UK users in serial crystallography experiments around the world, and directs UK developments at the SPB/SFX instrument at the European XFEL. The strong software development programme includes development of the DIALS integration software package, ISPyB/Synchweb and automation pipelines.

Please make informal inquiries to Dave Hall (

Diamond is committed to equality of opportunities for all, and offers a competitive salary (dependent upon skills, qualifications and experience), comprehensive benefits, an index-linked pension scheme and flexible working hours.

For an application form and further information including work permit and visa requirements for non-EU nationals please visit our website at, telephone our recruitment line on 01235 778218 or write to us at the address below, quoting the appropriate reference number.

Other information

Where appropriate for the role, we will consider flexible working arrangements and secondment opportunities (e.g. for fixed-term contract positions).

Diamond are members of the Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion and we have achieved the Athena SWAN Bronze award and Disability Confident Level One. Women are underrepresented and so 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.

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